Dynamic Preparation for Pitchers, Part 2

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The first phase of this Dynamic Warm-Up targeted lower-body muscles and joints. [View part one of this Dynamic Preparation Series.] This second part focuses on preparing the core area and shoulders.

Our approach to dynamic preparation before a training session, practice or competition is to target the joints one at a time. The throwing athlete requires a special emphasis on increasing range of motion and heat in the core and shoulder girdle.

The entire preparation process should take approximately 20 minutes. Its goals are to increase range of motion in the joints, increase heat to the connective tissue and activate both stabilizer and mobilizer muscles.

Here is part two of the dynamic preparation:

Quadruped Linear Oppositions: In the quadruped position [hands and knees], press one leg backward and the opposite arm forward, both to full extension. Switch sides.

Quadruped Rotational Oppositions: On hands and knees, with leg bent at a 90-degree angle and opposite hand on ear, simultaneously lift leg and opposite elbow. Switch sides.

Frontal Wall Slides: These increase range of motion in the front of the shoulders. Sit with back flat against a wall and slide both forearms and hands against the wall toward the ceiling. Maintain contact through the entire range of motion, and hold the end contraction for five to six seconds.

Side Bend Wall Slides: These increase range of motion in the front of the shoulders and the sides of the trunk. Sitting with back flat against a wall and hands on top of head and pressed against wall, lean body to one side, sliding the elbows against the wall. Hold five to six seconds and switch sides.

Rotation Wall Slides: Sitting with back flat against wall and arms up, with fingertips touching wall and elbows pointing to front, slide the fingertips upward along the wall. As the hands pass the head, rotate the elbows outward and press them flat against wall. Hold the final position for five to six seconds seconds. Return to start position.

Plank Series
In Plank position with forearms on floor, elevate hips to vertical position and push forearms into floor. This activates anterior and posterior aspects of the shoulder girdle without irritating the elbows. Perform six to 10 reps with three to six-second isometric holds.

In Plank position with feet spread wide, lift one forearm in line with side of body. Hold trunk in position to maintain stability without rotating the spine. Perform six to 10 reps with three to six-second isometric holds.

In Plank position, move both arms and legs laterally to create a wide base, then return to original position. Perform six to 10 reps with three to six-second isometric holds.

Knee Hugs: Standing on one leg in vertical alignment, grab opposite knee and pull it up and toward body. Release after two to three seconds, but don't allow leg to touch floor. Switch sides.

Knee Locks: Standing on one leg, raise opposite leg to a 90-degree angle, grab under the hamstring and fully extend the knee. Relax and repeat. Switch sides.

Hip Rotation: Standing on one leg, raise opposite leg to a 90-degree angle, grab inside of thigh and move leg laterally to full range of motion. Keep trunk square. Switch sides.

Quad Stretch: Standing on one leg, lift opposite leg back and grab ankle. Release after two to three seconds, but don't allow leg to touch floor. Relax and repeat. Switch sides.

Cradles: Standing on one leg, lift opposite leg in front, rotate it across body and grab knee and ankle. Lift ankle up to stretch hip muscles. Release after two to three seconds, but don't allow leg to touch floor. Repeat and then switch sides.

Thermo Series: Perform the following movements in a 15- to 20-yard area:

a) Forward to backward jog

b) Forward to backward skip

c) Shuffle and back

d) Carioca and back

e) Butt kick to straight leg run

f) Five yards of quick feet and five yards of jogging, performed twice

g) 10-yard sprint to five-yard backpedal, performed twice

Photo:  thestate.com; exercise images courtesy of Bryan McCall

Bryan McCall is the performance director for Champions Training Academy [Mount Dora, Fla.], where he oversees all performance training, from youth speed-strength programs to preparing professional NFL, MLB and Olympic athletes.

McCall has worked in the performance enhancement field for the past 11 years. He has also done sport-specific training for the Baseball Factory, the leading scouting organization for elite baseball players; the Dallas Texans, a top-ranked Nike-sponsored soccer club; Nike high school football training camps; and the Texas Advantage Volleyball club, a perennial powerhouse.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASEBALL | PITCHING DRILLS AND WORKOUTS | PRESS | RANGE OF MOTION