The reality is that during the season many pitchers may have difficulty getting to the gym more than 1-2 x’s per week. So here at RPP, we recommend supplementing your in-season training with some strength / mobility work that can be done at home or at the field. These exercises are designed to maintain your strength and mobility without creating any residual soreness that could effect on-field performance. It’s not as efficient as coming into the gym and getting your reps done but it’s better than not doing anything at all… much better. Today, we’re going to talk about four exercises for the prime movers of the lower half that affect among other things stability and power, from foot strike to ball release. They are:
- Adductor length (mobility)
In the image below, a weak quad can cause an inadequate angle at first foot strike forcing the athlete to decelerate the lower half abruptly, leaking energy through the knee and losing the ability to allow the upper half to rotate adequately. In addition, from a velocity standpoint, a strong front leg position tells the back leg (the gas) that the brakes are strong enough to absorb anything coming its way. In other words, an athlete will only throw as hard as he feels the front leg can handle.
This drill can do wonders for getting in and out of the front leg efficiently.
(Split Stance Band Row w/ Rotation)
Lack of back leg leverage is a direct indicator of weak or waning abductor and glute/hamstring strength as well as adequate adductor length. This leads to a lack of force production into the ground from the back leg as well as a shorter stride. Not only does this drastically reduce velo, but without a good strong and stable platform to throw from our trunk position at foot strike will be negatively affected. This will in turn force us to re-adjust in mid-throw creating a slower more erratic delivery:
Strengthening these “big guns” of the lower half during the season can help you with continuing to throw gas.
(Band Res. Hip Abduction)
(Band Res. Hip Extension)
And last but not least, this big bang for the buck that works on quad / abd and glute strength while giving us a great stretch to the back leg adductor.
(Band Assistance at Foot Strike)
Remember, it’s not about who’s the strongest, it’s about who stays the strongest all season.
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)