Half-Kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)

Half-Kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw Top

One of the biggest mechanical disconnects I see when analyzing video from many of our pitchers is the ability to increase leverage on the front leg, from the time of first foot-strike to ball-release. Everyone has different opinions of what is an adequate amount of extension. For me, after analyzing hundreds of high school, college and pro pitchers, I’ve come up with what I consider to be an appropriate range of 20-30 degrees of additional knee extension between first foot-strike and ball-release. Zach Greinke provides a great example below.

Half-Kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw Middle

Gaining adequate front knee extension from first foot strike to ball release helps with:

  • Creating better leverage to help transfer more energy up through the core and into the arm
  • Allowing for more hip and core stability to help get out over the body at release and create a greater “perceived velo”, and
  • Allowing for more hip mobility on the front leg to help decelerate the arm after release.

For our younger guys (13-15), this is more than likely a lower body and core strength issue. For them, some good old fashioned strength training will do wonders. But for our older more experienced guys it’s more about awareness and getting them to “feel” what is supposed to transpire.

Take a look below at one of our more high level throwers. Note that there is only about a 6 degree difference from foot-strike to ball-release. This will force the athlete to “throw sitting down” as well as compromise his ability to rotate over and around the front leg through his finish possibly compromising his posterior shoulder and medial elbow.

Half Kneelding Image

This requires both quad and posterior chain strength as well as adequate adductor length. Here’s a great drill that helps pull it all together.

Notice the lightweight ball. This drill is meant to be explosive!! It’s not a strength training exercise, it’s now mid-January and time to take that strength and get explosive with it.

If you don’t have use of a med ball, a similar effect can be attained without it. Pitching Lab Coach and PBR NJ Head Scout TJ Hunt demonstrates below.

Give them both a try…

See ya’ in the gym…

 

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