Rotational movement is essential for your pitching and throwing skills. Without good rotational movement, you won’t be able to throw with speed, accuracy, or control in baseball or football. There are numerous rotational exercises that you can do. But most importantly, you must do the correct ones and train your muscles properly.
Functional Sport-Specific Rotation Matters
Functional Sport-Specific Rotation refers to the coordination of your oblique muscles to rotate at the precise time in the sequence of your movement. For example, you push through the ground and your lower body to generate force to rotate and throw.
If your rotation cannot coordinate the force between the lower and upper body, you will lose speed and power.
Functional Sport-Specific rotations are essential.
Here’s why functional sport-specific rotational power is crucial to develop.
Skill and Precision
Functional Sport-Specific Rotation is your brain’s way of “programming” how a specific movement or skill should be done. Rotational exercises specific to your sport, for example, refine your nervous system and muscle pathways responsible for those movements. This leads to greater precision and consistency in performing those skills during gameplay.
Developing efficient Functional Sport-Specific Rotation allows you to perform rotational movements and skills without wasting energy to maximize your effort. Efficient patterns optimize and improve muscle coordination, resulting in enhanced performance.
Coordination and Timing
Rotational movements often require precise coordination and timing of muscle contractions using various muscle groups. Functional Sport-Specific Rotation ensures the correct muscles are activated at the right time, allowing smooth and powerful rotation to throw. This is especially important in baseball and football, where timing and coordination are essential.
Why Rotational Exercises are Essential
Both pitching and quarterbacking require the ability to generate significant rotational power. Although the movements are similar, they are different in how they generate energy. For example, a QB’s timing is faster, and stride length is shorter than a pitcher’s. But for the most part, the same rotational exercises can be used to develop power.
Rotational exercises will help you develop stability and control in your core and shoulder areas, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Strong and balanced muscles help protect joints and muscles subjected to high forces during throwing or passing motions.
Agility and Mobility
Both quarterbacks and pitchers need agility and mobility to deliver throws and pitches from different angles. Rotational exercises can enhance your ability to change directions quickly. For instance, a quarterback may need to throw on the run. Or a pitcher may use different stances on the mound.
There are numerous rotational exercises. Here are some exercises to choose from:
Medicine Ball Rotational Throws – Power
Stand sideways to a wall, hold a medicine ball, and explosively throw it against the wall. Repeat on both sides.
Medicine Ball Diagonal Throws- Power
Similar to side throws but with a diagonal movement pattern, throwing the ball across your body.
Sandbag Rotations- Strength/Speed
Hold a sandbag by the handles and rotate side to side.
Cable Chops and Lifts- Functional Strength
Attach a handle to a cable machine and perform diagonal chopping movements across your body.
Cable Lifts- Functional Strength
Reverse the motion by pulling the cable handle from low to high across your body.
Russian Twists- Strength and Mobility
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet off the ground. Hold a kettlebell, plate, dumbbell, or medicine ball with both hands. Twist your torso to the left, then right, touching the weight to the ground each time. Repeat for 8-10 reps.
Rotational Planks- Stability and Mobility
Start in a forearm plank position and rotate your hips to one side, then the other, while maintaining a straight body.
Seated Cable Rows with Rotation- Strength
Sit at a cable row machine, grasp the handles, and row while simultaneously rotating your torso at the end of each rowing motion.
Anti-rotational stability is essential, too!
Resisting or anti-rotation exercises keep your body stable to resist rotational forces. They don’t make you twist and turn actively; it’s more like you need to stabilize against it. Anti-rotation plays a crucial role in helping you improve your ability to control, accuracy, speed, and timing of your throws effectively.
Here’s how resisting or anti-rotation exercises can help with rotation:
Doing exercises that resist rotation can help you strengthen the muscles that stabilize your core, like your obliques and transverse abdominals. These muscles are important because they allow you to control and manage rotational forces. By working on these muscles, you can improve your control during rotation, which will help you be more accurate and in control when you throw a pitch or pass a ball.
Improving overall core stability can be achieved by performing anti-rotation exercises. A stable core is crucial for effectively transferring power from the lower body that generates rotational movements. Lack of stability leads to energy loss or misdirection, resulting in reduced performance and an increased risk of injury.
These exercises can enhance coordination for rotational movement, leading to more efficient and precise skill execution.
Balance and Control
During dynamic movements, resisting rotation improves balance and control, allowing you to execute throws precisely and accurately.
Examples of resisting or anti-rotation exercises are:
Pallof presses, single-arm back rows, anti-rotation band walks, side planks, single kettlebell rack lunges, single kettlebell overhead press, single side loaded single leg deadlift, single side farmers carry, etc.
Understanding any unilateral loaded exercise involving resisting and twisting forces to pull the body into rotation while maintaining a stable position is an anti-rotational motion.
How to Create a Rotational Routine
First, you want to make sure your routine contains anti-rotation stability exercises. Stability will create control and allow you to maximize the speed and power of your rotation.
Secondly, after you have stability, you want to develop strength. Use functional sport-specific rotation exercises.
And thirdly, after you develop strength, you will want to build speed and power.
One thing to understand about being a pitcher or QB is that you mainly need to focus on many slow reps for stability, mobility, strength and just one rep with speed and power. Speed and power don’t need to have back-to-back continuous repetitions. It is not how you play.
Stability – Anti-Rotation
Standing One Leg Knee Lift Shoulder Presses
Lunge Kettlebell or Dumbbell Rack Position Hold
Single Leg Hinge Arm Raise
Strength- Functional Sport-Specific Rotation
Bent Over Row Rotations
Lunge Rotational Presses
Lunge Position Dumbbell Circle
Med Ball Wall Throws
Kettlebell or Dumbbell One Arm Lunge Snatch
Single Arm Med Ball Shotput
Rotational Complex Training
Complex training involves pairing two exercises with the same movement pattern. For example, a compound movement like a squat can be paired with a plyometric exercise like a box jump.
The two exercises need to be in the same movement pattern.
Complex training is meant to improve the dynamic plyometric exercise’s speed and power instantly.
- The first exercise aims to stimulate and enhance your nervous system. This helps produce a greater than maximal effort for the second exercise. It supercharges your nervous system.
- The second exercise is the dynamic exercise that will create speed and power. An explosive plyometric movement must match the first exercise’s motion. This movement is unloaded or can be very lightweight.
- The rest periods between and after the exercises depend on the type of sport or training. Baseball pitchers and football quarterbacks can rest for a few minutes.
1st) Resistance Band Plate Rotation for 3-5 reps.
2nd) Use a light Med Ball for your rotational wall throw.
One way to incorporate complex training into your pitching or throwing is at your practice. For example, get warmed up. Do heavy med ball power throws on the field or against a wall. Rest for 2 minutes and pitch or throw for 5-8 times. You will notice your speed and velocity increase.
Including a combination of rotational and anti-rotation exercises in a training regime will help you achieve a well-rounded approach that improves your overall ability to rotate. You will gain better control, power, speed, and precision over your rotational ability by strengthening the motions that promote rotation, stability, and anti-rotation.
Check out the book Instant Strength to learn how to develop instant strength, speed, and power.
The book Balanced Body will help you develop stability, mobility, and flexibility for functional movement.
If you need nutritional help, the book Eat to Win will show you how and what to eat.
And if you need nutrition quickly, before school and practice or after games, check out Blended Bliss; it will help supply you with smoothie nutrition.