Is your arm ready?
Your arm is only as fast as it can decelerate the throwing action! What does this mean? When we throw a ball hard, there is a bunch of muscles that act to slow down and stop the arm from spinning all the way around; if they didn’t it would spin around about 20 times in a second. Now we all know that is not going to turn out too well. Day to day activities combined with lots of throwing and hitting mean we can get strong in the muscles in the front of our shoulder, but the ones at the back can often be neglected. These muscles include parts of the rotator cuff and the periscapular muscles. These are the muscles that are the “fine tuners” of the shoulder and they help to control the shoulder blade. Essentially they help stop the arm from flying off when we throw something hard. Unfortunately these muscles are often over looked in exercise programs.
So most of us know that exercises like push ups, arm curls and chin ups will help us throw harder. But how do you exercise these important stabilising muscles. Exercises like J Band stability exercises and the “Throwers Ten” are great places to start. These programs feature great exercises such as Rows, Y Lifts, Shoulder External Rotation, and prone shoulder horizontal abduction. Important muscles such as Infraspinatus, Trapezius (upper and lower), Rhomboids are addressed to balance out the power of the pectorals and biceps. Additionally it is important to strengthen the core and legs. If the body drops in the action of throwing, this can make it hard for the arm to find the right slot to throw from. Our strength exercise videos outline many of the exercises you need to perform in order to throw hard.
So don’t just work on the muscles in the front of your shoulder. It might look good at the beach, but your arm will be much healthier and happier if you give a lot of attention to the shoulders at the back of the shoulder blade.