When you’re a pitcher on a baseball team, you have to make sure that your shoulder and arm are prepared to throw 50 to 75 pitches during a game. Injuries happen when your muscles aren’t ready to exert that kind of force. It stresses your muscles and joints, so you need to have a plan to warm up.
Before you do anything, make sure your muscles are relaxed and loose. If you worked out the day before or just pitched a game, it tightens the shoulder muscles. Self myofascial release is a technique you can use if you can’t afford your own personal massage therapist.
Warm-ups for your muscles should work the same types of movement patterns that you’ll use when pitching. These include your scapula and rotator cuff muscles, but don’t underestimate the need to work out your entire body. Experts recommend resistance tubing. Warm-ups shouldn’t make you fatigued, nor are they a substitute for strengthening exercises. Work with your trainer and coach to find the right warm-up for your own level of play.
Ease into Practice
Don’t start by throwing fast pitches at a long distance. Throwing is stressful on your body. Throw pitches at short distances with your catcher standing up to begin. This gets your body prepared for the upcoming work it’s going to do. Every pitch you throw shouldn’t be an attempt to gain velocity or strength, because of the stress it puts on your muscles and joints.
As you practice, increase the distance. Throw the ball with a bit of an arc, like you’re attempting to hit your catcher in the chest. The ball shouldn’t fly past them. If it does, you’re throwing too hard for the distance. It’s okay to ease your body into throwing so that when you are ready to do the hard work of gaining strength and speed, your arm and shoulder aren’t injured.
Maintaining Your Arm
Regular chiropractic care can benefit your spine and muscles. Many professional baseball players use the professional services of a chiropractor to help them maintain their pitching arm. The American Sports Medicine Institute recommends that youth pitchers have a program to build their strength and throwing ability. This is good advice no matter what age you are. Always make sure that you listen to your body. Fatigue and pain are indicators that your muscles and joints are stressed. Talk to your coach and trainer so that they can evaluate your ability to practice so that you avoid an injury.
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