Written By: Gwen Lawrence
While it is clear the needs of a baseball player are completely different from a soccer player for example, it should also be noted that the concerns of a pitcher and their training are different from the infield and the outfielders. The requirements if a pitcher as opposed to his teammates are more full body. It is a big mistake for a pitcher to think his attention to be fully on his upper body, the legs are where most of the power is generated from; hence the need to stay focused and clear on training the complete body.
In my experience it is also a concern for the pitcher to stay very alert to his/her boy’s symmetry. Once the body becomes too strong on the pitching side the alignment becomes too far out of balance. We all would never take a three hour car ride in a misaligned car; for if we did we know that the misalignment would continue to wear on one tire until the tire goes bald and finally blows. The same concept should be applied to your body; you need only drive a misaligned car for a few minutes to clearly see how difficult it is and how much of a constant struggle it is to keep it driving in a straight line, the same for your body.
Whether you are a starting pitcher, or come in relief it is important for you to pay attention to these parts of the body:
Elongated long spine
The only way to get full rotation in your spine if for the back to have full extension first. Try hunching over and then twisting your back and you will see it is greatly inhibited. A great athlete is strong and flexible in flexion and extension of the spine
Open flexible strong shoulders
The power yoga for sports philosophy, strength+ flexibility = power, the more open and strong the shoulders are the more power generated with the least amount of stress on the shallow vulnerable joint, the shoulder need to be strengthened more completely than bench press and shoulder press, it is way more complicated of a joint than that
It is critical to work the spinal flexion and anterior deltoid or fronts of the shoulder. If the chest is collapsed and closed off not only is it harder to breathe and stay calm , you will not get the fully opened chest and power
The best way to support the spine is through a strong core, also it aids the bodies balance, a key requirement for the intricate moves of a pitcher
Open hips keep the movement on the mound fluid and sturdy, most of the arm speed comes from strong lower body and keeping the legs in shape
Strong supple legs
Working the quads hamstrings, calves and hips help to generate the power needed to bring the heat
Keeping the ankles strong enough to support the burden of the push off and back leg kick and the landing follow through on the mound, with its dips and hills
Good neck rotation
Keeping the neck supple will help you have owl like range of motion from tracking your base runners to looking over the front shoulder before the wind up. If the neck is still you may miss critical movements to tip you off of the base runner about to steal on you
Incorporating yoga into your already packed baseball training could be the missing piece of the puzzle and key to getting to the next lever. Before starting any Yoga routine, research a properly trained teacher. Try these critical poses 1-3 times per week:
Check out power yog afor sports for more information on Power Yoga for Pitchers programs.
Gwen Lawrence BS,LMT, E-Ryt 500, Registered Yoga Therapist