Five Must Do Exercises for PITCHERS!

For the past 20 years I have owned some type of weight training facility. It wasn’t until I moved back to California that I started training softball players without the luxury of an massive weight room and power lifting equipment. It caused me to really start training outside of the box for my players. A lot of coaches and strength and conditioning coaches really have an addiction to power lifting and heavy lifting. Don’t get me wrong, some of the lifts involved in that type of training are extremely beneficial for players, but they are not the end all be all of player development.

I typically have an open field or facility, my medicine balls, ropes, kettlebells and bands. That’s not a huge list of equipment when you compare it to the equipment I’ve been using to train players with over the years but it’s highly functional and provides a tremendous amount of work for players that are applicable to their playing on the field. So if I’m able to give a good buttkicking without all the bells and whistles, you can too.

So I thought I’d share with you my Top Five Exercise that I use to train Pitchers with very little equipment. I hope that you can implement these exercises into your pitchers routines.

1.Body Weight Leg Circuit- This circuit is tremendous for the development of the lower body for pitchers. It really targets every muscle group involved in their pitching; hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes. It also is a valuable way to develop mobility and endurance. Here it is-

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and no rest before you start the movement.

-squat jumps

-split squats

-lateral squat jumps

-jumping knee tucks

Give 1 minute of rest then repeat for desired amount of sets.

This is a brutal circuit. You will notice your pitchers power and endurance start to develop the more you implement this exercise into their training program.

  1. Band Back Circuit- Pitchers place a ton of stress on their shoulders. The constant struggle from biomechanics point of view is teaching pitchers to use their back muscles to be as involved in their pitching movement as possible. The problem faced is that those muscles are extremely underdeveloped and thus not firing like they need to. This causes an extreme amount of overuse by a pitcher’s shoulder complex and ultimately can lead to injury and breakdown. I like to incorporate a circuit using bands that strengthen the lats so they can assist in providing power to a pitcher. Here’s your Circuit-

Perform each movement for 1 minute with 20 seconds’ rest in between each exercise.

-Upright Rows

-Single Leg Balance Rows

-Wide grip front Raises

-Reverse Flyes

Each of these exercises targets a different part of the back and is extremely valuable for a pitcher’s arsenal.

3.Single Leg Exercises- Pitchers spend a great deal of time driving off of one leg. Single leg exercises are really a valued tool for them to use to develop strength, power, mobility and stability.

Here’s a few exercises you can incorporate-

-Single Leg Reverse squats

-Single Leg step ups(use a bench if you don’t have access to a plyo box)

-RDL (reverse deadlifts)

-Skaters

-Single leg linear jumps

There’s so many beneficial movements here that require little to no equipment, but will provide your pitcher with a ton of power.

4.Lateral Plank walks-

This movement is great for your pitcher’s entire body. It really targets the core and shoulder complex without putting excess amounts of stress on them.

Place two cones about 20-30 feet apart from each other. The player starts alongside one cone, in a plank position, and moves laterally towards the other cone (stay in that plank position). Player then returns to the starting cone and continually repeats movement. I don’t like to time this one. I usually determine a rep count of 10x ( 5 to each cone). Here’s some pointers for your pitchers;

-Hands stay under shoulders

-Legs remain straight (no bending knees)

-Core is flexed

-But stays parallel to body.

This is a deceiving exercise. It’s pretty killer and really a great addition to any players regimen.

5.Kneeling Band Presses- As I mentioned before, shoulders are extremely overused for pitchers but they do need to keep them strong. A kneeling press changes the movement angle of the pressing motion so it’s less stressful on the players shoulders but players get a great benefit from the movement. Here it is:

-Player uses a resistance band (www.armprobands.com) clipped in front of them and kneels, one leg in front one in back.

-Plater then pushes at an front outward angle ( almost like they are punching in front of themselves) and returns to starting position.

-Make sure the players controls the entire movement during the pressing phase and return phase. The band should not control the movement, the players does.

There’s your FIVE exercises for pitchers with little to no equipment. If you have any further questions email Kris at www.softballstrong13@gmail.com.

PS I get all my bands from Arm Pro bands. You can get yours at www.armprobands.com

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