When you think of sports performance workouts you generally think of running faster, throwing harder or jumping higher. It makes sense to correlate those improved performance because that’s what we physically see on the field. The part that doesn’t translate to the novice fan is that the athlete is on the field at all. Staying healthy is a large part of any baseball workout. Baseball players are extremely prone to shoulder and elbow injuries simply because they have to throw a lot and they throw hard. The anterior muscles of the shoulder get over used as well as biceps, triceps and forearm muscles. When you throw hard you’re asking your muscles to contract and relax extremely fast and if your muscles are not prepared for this they can get strained, sprained or even tear. Limiting how much a player throws and how hard he throws can make a big difference on the prevention of injury, so can his specific baseball workout. Here’s a quick rundown of how injuries happen
A single muscle becomes over active from being used to much and will shorten and misalign the joint. The muscle on the opposing side of the joint becomes under active and will lengthen. Both of these muscles will see deceased performance and elevated risk of injury. This happens by the lengthened muscle being stretched further than it’s intended to stretch and the short muscle shortening too much causing cramping as well as additional stress on the ligaments and tendons.
Throwing a ball is a violent action and can put a lot of stress on the body. Muscles must explosively contract and relax simultaneously during the throwing motion. If your muscles are not prepared for these types of stresses and a muscle doesn’t contact or relax at the right time or the right force a strain, sprain or tear will occur.
Over use and unprepared muscle injuries can also happen from the wrong kind of baseball workout. Training an already over active muscle can lead to cramping, straining, spraining and tearing. The same can happen when stretching an under active muscle. Muscles used to slow contraction speeds that are trained at high contraction speeds like doing plyometrics or actually throwing are at a huge risk of injury. Here’s an overview of how to train for each injury.
Over Active Muscles
Over active muscles are short and have been over used. To remedy this they need to be stretched. Self myofacial release, dynamic and static stretching are all great ways to release activity in an overused muscle.
Under Active Muscles
Under active muscles are long and have not been used enough. Strengthening these muscles to shorten them will alleviate the over stretching that will occur during movement. Resistance training will work to stimulate the muscle to shorten. The specific type of resistance training should prepare the muscle for the movement of the sport.
Muscles not prepared for the exploding contraction of throwing are at great risk of injury. A specific progression of resistance training baseball workouts should be preformed. An example would be advancing from a slow tempo with light weight and high reps to a faster tempo with heavier weight and lower reps. This type of progression will prepare the muscles for the stress of throwing a baseball hard.
Article Title: Prevent Throwing Injuries with Proper Baseball Workouts