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II

Stabilization and Balance Exercises for Pitchers

by Dan Potts, c.P.T.

What do all great pitchers have in Great arm speed? Great mechanics? possess command of their pitches?

common? Do they

At the highest levels, the answer is "all of the

above." How is this owe their success

possible? Invariably, they at the advanced level of

competition

in no

small

measure

to

above-average

Balance and Skeletal/Muscular

Stabilization. In an athletic pitching-where

movement explosive

such actions

as are

repeated with every pitch during the course of a game and where the desired result of that explosion is an accurate delivery to a specific

while being in a state of imbalance. During the years of doing our work, we have learned that the best way to create balance and stabilization in a skilled baseball athlete is to put the athlete in a position of imbalance. We do this through a system of controlled movements that cause the

for balance

throughout

working

and building

body to

fight

exercise,

thus

the the

necessary muscles used in performing these skilled tasks not only with efficiency of movement, but with the addition of explosive power.

In this issue, we present three of our favorite movements that we employ on a regular basis.

I. Single Leg Med-Ball Balance Drill

location-balance

and

stabilization

of all the

moving parts are the keys to success. players possess these strengths naturally, the rest of us need to work to develop

Some while these

major league attributes.

However,

everyone,

Stand on your left leg only, with your right left bent and your right foot off the ground, and cradle a five pound medicine ball overhead in your left hand at arm's length. This is the position depicted in Figure l(a). Next, while

including the top-caliber pitcher, can benefit by

incorporating

into

their

workout

regimen

exercises balance.

that enhance stabilization And every pitcher I help train

and goes

through the rigors of performing present in this article.

the exercises

I

Everything we do on the baseball fielding, hitting, and especially pitching,

field: are

still cradling the ball, extend your left forward, doing so with your left knee slightly. During this move, your right

arm bent foot

remains well as a counter

above the ground, and should balance. At the completion of

act the

move, Figure

you should be in the position depicted in 1(b). Finally, bend at the waist and lower

basically controlled body is attempting

kinetic chaos, in which the to perform a skilled activity

About based

The Author:

in

the

Seattle

Dan Potts

area.

A

baseball player, trained Olympic,

A member of collegiate and

an Elite Athlete Strength Specialist former University of Washington the Puget Sound MSBL, Dan has professional athletes for nearly two

decades, specializing in bio-mechanically programs for the advanced, skilled athlete

correct and functional . Dan works closely with

several regionally and nationally recognized

hitting and

pitchinq

developing

strength

instructors, programs for

their promising players. Potts is available for team and individual consultation, seminars and other

presentations.

His new DVD,

"Dynamic

Baseball

Conditioning"

is on sale now, and includes

baseball

athlete.

'Combining

the video

with the

6-month

over 30

unique

movements

created

especially

for the

training

cycle

makes

this

the

most

comprehensive

plan

available

for the adult baseball

athlete,"

he says. To learn more, call

(206) 546-8798 or (206) 365-0420. You can also e-mail him

at

DanPotts@advancedathlete.com

or log on to his website

www.advancedathlete.com.

at

Fig,1c)

10 HardBaliMagazine

the ball downward and to the right, until it is

below the

waist at

level as the

left knee,

approximately

the

as depicted

in Figure

same 1c).

Return immediately to the starting position with the arm extended once again above the head. Concentrate on pushing through at the top with the heel of your hand. Repeat this six times, then switch to the right side. If you have

difficulty,

start

with

a

nerf

football

or

basketball until you can execute the movement, then work with a two-pound ball until you are ready to handle five pounds of weight.

Holiday 2003

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