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Check out my articles on the topic. Thanks!
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Are you advocating forearm 'flop/lay back' backwards with your forearm at 90 degrees? Is that what MLB pitchers do?
In video 3, you are advocating using weighted balls to increase your range of motion in external rotation. Why does my ROM need to increase? What is the ideal ROM angle?
Essentially, yes. And depending on what major leaguers you look it, it is what I tend to see. I would like to promote more of a focus of 90 degrees with the angle of your back, but there are guys that very on this part of mechanics. I have found that when my external rotation is at its max potential, the rest of my mechanics are where I want them to be.
I will address the rest of your questions in two ways. ROM can refer to both static and dynamic ROM. A good way to tell the differences is the simple lift your leg straight out and up slowly and control. You will probably only be able to get parallel to the ground or a little past it depending on how flexible you are. If you kick your leg up, you should be able to get it much higher.
This same principal applies to the ROM questions you are asking. Dynamically your arm should be able to external rotate(lay/flop back means the same as this) at around 90 degrees to your back and be nearly or completely parallel to flat ground.Statically, it will be much less and what it is statically is much less important since throwing is a dynamic activity.
I believe the medicine ball helps with arm action and external rotation is that it helps you to feel external rotation and feel your arm laying back. I have also found that is shows what my personal max possible external rotation is.
Your ROM doesn't need to increase, I believe that an athlete who throws on a consistent basis, the potential for a good amount of external rotation is possible. I don't want to advoacte just increasing the ROM, but the increase the fluidty and connection of all your mechanics. You can't force ER when you pitch at full speed, believe me I know. It occurs when efficient mechanics are present.
It's a result of good mechanics.
Am I making sense?
I'd love to answer any more questions you have. I'm not expert, but I have improved this area of my mechanics, and my mechanics in general pretty drastically. So I know how the process and how to work on it, since I have for over 2 years now.
This is kind of external rotation that has been my goal to achieve for a while. Both of these guys have great mechanics and gives them a great deal of external rotation.
Just to add two cents, most of the players I work with have too much external rotation and not enough internal rotation. Most players that develop elbow issues have this exact imbalance: Internal Rotation Deficit. Not trying to be negative or argumentative in any way, but just what I have seen over 20 years. Not sure why a player would want to create that type of imbalance of ER to IR. additionally, it is not just the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) that allows these folks to get into these angles and throw as they do, but a combination of many things such as scapular positioning, spine angles, as well as the pelvis and hips. Again, just my two cents.
Do you have an example of a pitcher who has that issue? I'm curious to see an example of a pitcher with that issue.
Throughout the process of changing my arm action and overall mechanics, I was pretty consistently told that I have good internal rotation, when my external rotation was poor. So that is something I have little to no focus on that part of my mechanics. I also did very little research on internal research in general, so I am not very knowledgeable about the issues associated with pitcher lacking it.
Jimster- The DriveLine article you reference in your write up talks about the IR issues.
Specifically the Sleeper Stretch. This is all new to me but has become a hot topic in my household since my son has developed scapular issues.
He has very limited IR on his throwing arm compared to his non-throwing arm. This is typical of throwers acording to his Physical Therapist.
Also he has been doing Jaeger bands 3 times a week for 2 years now and they are great for the rotator cuff, but don't do much for the back/scapular area.
His PT and others recommmend using the Throwers 10 or even Crossover Symetry bands.
I am interested in your thoughts on this? The upper back/scapula the primary launching pad for explosive arm movements appears to be a much neglected topic for throwers.
I remember the part the article a little. Is internal rotation lack of ROM just referencing a static stretch comparison or you're mentioning? Or is their something when those pitchers throw that show an issue too. I have read about pitchers having the issue your son is having, but I have not heard of any issues in the actual pitching motion. Similar to how I talk external rotation. You can see the level of external rotation you achieve. Is there something that you can see when you look at that? I'm just curious about that whole topic.
I know personally that I have never had an internal rotation ROM issue. Of course, I'm unique in the sense that I have above average flexibility from stretching all the time.
If you feel that those areas are neglected, then you should be doing exercises to work those areas. I know I have always done exercises to work those muscle(even when I was younger, before band tubing was commonplace and before I used it). So I don't think I lack in strength in the area. But I have not heard of neglect with others guys.
I feel like the you can work those areas quite easily and they should be worked. There are a lot of exercises that can work the scap and upper back/shoulder area.
What does your son do for his back workouts? I assume he lifts.
Why do you feels those areas are neglected a lot?
I am not sure of a way to tell in the actual throwing motion. I am just a dad and know very little about this.
The PT showed his lack of IR by comparing his IR via the Sleeper Stretch on both sides. His throwing side would not rotate without his shoulder blade moving forward with it.
He had done normal stuff (only 14) not heavy lifting. Pushups and light weights etc..
Unfortunately if your scapular muscles are not activating then instead of these exercises making them stronger your body finds a way to adapt and do the work with the wrong muscles. This puts undo stress on rotator cuff, labrum etc.. etc....
I feel they are neglected because he has gone to pitching guys and workout guys etc.. and they have never mentioned it. They normally talk Rotator Cuff and elbow.
If you're interested in finding exercises to work those muscles you can search http://exrx.net/. A great resource for anything related to working out. And free too. That's the best part.
Also check out the body map here http://exrx.net/Lists/WtMale.html
You click on the areas of the body that you want to find workouts for and it will show you stuff that you can do.
If you are having him do push-ups, then you can add other body weight exercises to work the upper body as well.
Pull ups and dips are two great exercises to work those areas of the body.
If you are doing the Jaeger band routine, the flies and reverse flies work the back well. You can also add in ' bent over reverse flies' with a light dumbbel(5-10lb).
For those you basically stand, have your back at around a 45 degree angle and do reverse flies, focusing on the pinch of the scapula.
An easy way to make sure that your son is strengthening all the muscles he uses to pitch is to develop some sort of full body workout. I don't have any specific formula for making a workout, but whenever I do, I focus on the major muscle joints: chest, shoulders, legs(quad, ham, hips, calf), abs, arms(bi&tri).
If he is 14 then he can probably start lifting weights and heavier ones at that, but I would focus on form rather than weight. At his age, he shouldn't be going crazy trying to lift tons of weight, but could benefit from a full body lifting routine. If focuses on form, he will remain healthy and be able to build up some strength.
Like my dad has always told me(phys ed teacher and trainer) you workout to prevent injury. Strength and muscles are side effects of that.
Anybody want to take a guess on how many baseball players I've stretched into external rotation of the shoulder? Volleyball hitters?
That's right--- Exactly ZERO. They already have excessive ER and by stretching it, all I would do is stress the already stressed joint..