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As far as baseball pitchers are concerned, keeping their pitching arm safe and healthy is of utmost importance. As a result, much care is invested in ensuring that this body part is safe and can be called upon to turn the tide of the game. If you are trying to get into the Major League, or you just love playing baseball with friends, the tips in this article when practiced will guarantee your pitching arm safety. Let us know more detail about ‘Tips For Keeping Your Pitching Arm Safe’.
Tips For Keeping Your Pitching Arm Safe
Tips for keeping your pitching arm safe include the practice of conditioning, proper warm-ups and stretch before the game, engaging in weight training, conditioning and exercising every part of your body, practicing the right pitching mechanics, limiting pitch counts, proper resting and recovery regime, etc. Keep reading as we discuss these tips in detail.
Tips For Keeping Your Pitching Arm Safe:
1. Practice Conditioning
Pitchers are required to be well-fit to endure the duration of the game. This is important because baseball is not a sport that gets wrapped up in a few minutes.
Therefore, to ensure that you are in top shape as a pitcher, you need to practice conditioning even before you enter the field. It is better that you don’t play when you are not properly prepped for the game than to go into the game without being in perfect condition and end up sustaining an injury.
Pitchers typically exert their arms and legs the most during the game. Therefore, when conditioning, they have to do exercises that will help to strengthen these body parts. For instance, run short distances and mix it with some sprints. This will help you condition your body to cope with when you have to pitch and then run to catch the ball during the game. Likewise, you can condition by throwing different pitches. This will help you build throwing tolerance.
2. Engage in Weight Training
You will notice a significant difference in your performance just by doing the right amount of weight training during the offseason. Weight training won’t just help you pitch better, but it will also make your arm feel good during and after a game.
When weight training, you should focus on certain parts to ensure the safety of your pitching arm. These parts include your:
- Shoulder: every time you throw, you use your shoulder muscles. This makes your shoulders prone to injuries. But you can reduce the chances of this happening by building your shoulder muscles.
- Elbow/wrist: Focusing on these areas during weight training will improve your performance as it will boost the efficacy of your pitches.
- Lower and upper arms (biceps, triceps, and forearm): focusing on these areas will boost control of your arm during various pitches.
You can target most of the above parts with the following weight-training workouts:
- Toss back
- Basketball cuff dribble
- Medicine ball slams
3. Practice Proper Warm-Ups and Stretch Before the Game
Warmups and stretches are not only important to prep you for practice or a game. They also go a long way in reducing your chances of getting an injury or sprain during games.
Warmups are especially important for pitchers because they tend to exert the same set of muscles during the game. If they fail to properly warm up, they risk straining these muscles. When warming up, focus on key areas such as your shoulders, arms, and lower body.
4. Practice the Right Pitching Mechanics
Being consistent with your pitching steps will give you a certain precision that will ensure you produce the best throws. It also helps to ensure your pitching arm safety. When you have consistent pitching movements, you reduce your chances of getting injured.
So, practice your pitching movements and ensure there are no inconsistencies with them. Study every step of your pitching procedure. Start from your starting stance, then go on to the wind-up, then the leg lift, and to the next step until you have studied and revived all 13 steps of your pitching mechanics. Take your time to properly go through these steps; do not be in a rush to go on to the next.
If you find any error or inconsistency with a particular step, do not move to the next step until you fix the problem. By practicing your pitching mechanics and ensuring it stays consistent, you’d reduce the strain put on your pitching arm.
5. Have a Daily Pitch Limit
A lot of pitchers tend to keep throwing until they can’t anymore. While this may seem logical (especially for someone new to pitching), this will only put unnecessary strain on your muscles. Therefore, you need to count and control the number of pitches you make per day.
6. Do Not Pitch if Your Throwing Muscles Aren’t in a Good Condition
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of athletes have the mentality that they have to “work through the pain”. So, even when they are injured, they keep pushing themselves to keep going.
This is, however, not the best thing to do because when you keep exerting your muscles when they are not in the best condition, it may end up further complicating things. It can even cost you your career.
Therefore, the best thing to do whenever your throwing muscles are strained/injured is to give them time to heal.
7. Rest During Off-Seasons
Pitching is not like other positions in baseball. Other athletes can keep playing their sports all through the year, but the same can’t be said for baseball pitchers. As a pitcher, you need some time off; this is the only way you can ensure that you do not overwork yourself.
However, resting does not mean you should stop conditioning. You need to continuously practice conditioning to ensure your body stays in top shape.
A pitcher’s arm health has a significant impact on the overall performance of their team. This is why the arm has to be kept safe and strong at all times. The tips discussed so far will help you keep your pitching arm safe and ensure you play at your best.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Pitching Bad for Your Arm?
Pitching makes you make some unnatural arm movements. These movements tend to put a strain on your joints and can result in long-term issues with the arm down the road. Due to this, you could say pitching is bad for your arm. However, if you take care of your pitching arm and ensure that you do not overexert it, you should be able to mitigate the risks of getting a long-term injury.
- Is it Bad to Pitch Every day?
Yes, pitching every day is bad because it puts unnecessary strain on your arm that could cause an injury. So, pitchers are often advised to take breaks and not pitch every single day.