Velocity and the Holy Grail (Part 4)

Best of  - 2In today’s post we are covering Part 4 of “Velocity and the Holy Grail”. In case you missed Part 1 please click here, Part 2 please click here and Part 3 please click here.

We’re going to wrap up Part 4 of this Series with 3 more of what I believe to be key components in the quest for velocity. As I’ve said before, everyone is different so all things may not apply to all people. These are just some of the more “universal” issues that I see come up on a daily basis.

10. Create Dynamic Stability: We need to create strength, timing and stability in the shoulder, but we have to make sure we can do it while the arm is in motion!! The shoulder moves in three planes of motion, Sagittal (front to back), Frontal (side to side), and Transverse (rotational). So while it’s moving in one direction, the cuff musculature is firing to help stabilize in the other two directions. More injuries are caused from poor firing of the cuff than actual weakness of the cuff. This requires strength, timing of the scapula on the ribcage and timing of the humerus (arm) on the scapula.

Part 4 -1

Here’s one exercise that puts it all together:

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(Band Retraction to Low Row)

11. Improve Core Stability and Transfer of Power from Lower Body to Upper Body: More than half of a pitcher’s power comes from the lower body. If the core is not strong enough to help transfer this power into the upper body and through to the extremities (arm), it will cause what we call “energy leaks” (power lost through insufficient movement) and have a negative effect on the athlete’s ability to throw gas.

Part 4 -2

Enter “Dynamic Cable Lifts:

(Dynamic Cable Lifts)

12. Warming up…Properly!! Everyone has their own opinion of what this might be, and here is mine. Elevating body temperature and increasing blood flow to the shoulder is imperative. That doesn’t mean you have to do every band drill under the sun and put your arm somewhere in the third inning before you’ve even thrown a pitch. Soft tissue work (foam rolling) and mobility drills will do the trick. Doing stretches to improve internal rotation can be good but only if needed. Every arm is different, so stretching into IR can sometimes do more harm than good. Also, make sure you’re doing it correctly:

(Prone IR)

Note – The quest for velocity can also come at a price. Some overzealous dads can enroll young pitchers into velocity programs claiming they can get you that “extra 3-5 mph” without even knowing if the kid has built up a stable enough base of support through strength training to be able to handle it.  He may get that 3-5 mph but chances are he won’t keep it there or end up getting injured.  My advice is “get strong and mobile”; the rest will fall into place. I hope you have enjoyed this 4 Part Series on throwing gas.

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