In case you missed
Shark Paul Nyman Week, luckily for you we DVR’d it!
After reading today’s article, I highly recommend that you come back and revisit this series of articles, great stuff!
- Every Coach Should Do This!
- Pitching Instruction: Form vs Function by Paul Nyman
- Pitching Mechanics vs. Pitchers Training
- Risk vs. Reward
- Return on Training Time
- Pitching Coach or Throwing Coach?
You don’t need a huge upper body to play baseball. Too much bulk in your upper body can actually decrease your mobility and reactivity when playing. Furthermore, adding mass in just your chest, arms, and back can put extra stress on your shoulders and lead to injury.
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled “Baseball Strength Workouts”
The best way to avoid shoulder injuries – and improve arm strength – is to make shoulder exercises a focal point of your workout. When doing upper body lifting limit yourself to lighter-weight, higher-repetition sets, or better yet, body weight exercises. Plain old chin-ups and push-ups are great for shoulder strength. If you’re going to bench press, stick to dumbbells. Also work in dumbbell shrugs and arm raises.
Dr. Lyle Micheli, a past president of The American College Of Sports Medicine (ACSM), has also indicated that ballistic weight training (such as Olympic lifts) contributed to spondylolysis.”
With that kind of potential injury risk, does it make sense to have pitchers doing such exercises that not only send stress through the spine but also the total shoulder?
An excerpt from an article by a well-known “pitching expert”
Pitching injures = poor and/or inappropriate training regimens
Baseball, hitting, pitching, fielding has always been the stepchild of sports training. Why?
Two major reasons:
1. After 150+ years of organized baseball how the body swings and throws is still very much misunderstood by most to either coach or play the game. Therefore training to optimize swing and throw capabilities is a hit or miss proposition.
2. Throwing a baseball 100 mph and hitting a baseball 400+ feet are considered “talent” activities i.e. you are either born to throw hundred miles per hour or born to hit home runs. Therefore most believe that these capabilities cannot be developed.
What does it really take to properly train and condition to consistently throw a baseball 100 mph?
Let’s start with some simple physics. Using videotape of Nolan Ryan throwing his fastball 100 mph the actual time that Nolan is throwing the baseball (accelerating from 0 to 100 mph) is approximately 2 frames on a VCR with a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
In other words Nolan accelerates the baseball from 0 to 100 mph in 1/15th of a second.
Accelerating a baseball from 0 to 100 mph in 1/15 of a second is equivalent to accelerating the baseball at a rate of 2200 ft./s-s.
A baseball weighs 5.25 ounces. Accelerating 5.25 ounces from 0 to 100 mph in 1/15 of a second requires a rate of force development (RFD) of approximately 338 pounds per second.
- Stated differently, this rate of force development is equivalent of lifting from a standstill a barbell weighing 338 pounds just off the floor in one second.
- The 5.25 ounce baseball during acceleration has the equivalent “dynamic weight” of 22.5 pounds!
Much of current baseball pitching mechanics teaching and belief is still based on Newton’s laws applied verbatim (straight line throwing) to the pitching process.
I truly wish it were that simple. Unfortunately a few other principles get in the way, both physics and physiology.”Small” issues such as the kinetic chain dependence on sequential rotational of body parts for maximal transfer of momentum and power.
- A significant component of “transforming” the body’s momentum requires rotational movement in the form of loops, i.e. the kinetic whip effect.
- Also eccentric-concentric muscle action, stretch reflex, elasticity of connective tissue, muscle potentiation of muscle fiber come into play.
All joint action is rotary (rotation in a single playing such as the elbow joint, or rotation in multiple planes such as the shoulder joint). The fact that it takes at least two join rotations to produce straight line movement “suggests” that straight line motion may be less efficient and require more nervous system overhead than rotational movements.
20 years from now we may find that there is a better way to throw baseball than how most major league players do today. But it is interesting to me that throwing an object has been around for thousands of years. The same basic principles of throwing a baseball that exist today are the same that existed 150+ years ago when organized baseball game was played.
Yet there is still no definitive agreement as to what constitutes the best way to develop throwing an pitching capabilities. A big part of the reason is that we are attempting to see something that we cannot see into teach something we cannot teach i.e. how the player uses their nervous system in muscles to throw baseball.
All voluntary motion (throwing a baseball) is based upon intent.
The intent to throw baseball with maximal effort and efficiency is a critical to maximizing one’s ability to throw the baseball.
“The first thing I learned was to swing hard and never mind where the ball went. That is what Arnold Palmer was taught too, and I think it is the right way.” Jack Nicklaus
Pitcher training still lags behind the rest of the sports world with respect to what it takes to develop and prepare a pitcher for throwing a baseball 100 mph.
What many have failed to realize is that rate of force development i.e. type to muscle fiber recruitment is as much a neural activity as it is a muscular activity.
- That it requires high levels of resistance (force production) to recruit the fast twitch muscle fiber.
- It is the full recruitment of muscle fibers that make it possible to accelerate a baseball to 100 mph in 1/15 of a second.
The 2nd part of this series will be released on Thursday of this week! Want a little taste of what Paul will be discussing in his next few articles? I think you’re going to be very interested in hearing his take on:
- Training progressions is the key to maximizing throwing potential.
- Functional training
- “Athletic Pitcher” throwing specific functional training
- The intent to train
- Long toss & more!
Before you go…
Get the best of Paul Nyman! Every article written by Paul can be yours!