Throwing the perfect pitch requires the collaboration of many upper body muscles. While proper form and hip motion can do half the work for you, a little extra strength can help turn your throwing arm into a cannon. Fortunately, there are many kinds of workouts that can help tone the muscles you use during throws. By pairing yoga poses with weight training workouts, you can create an effective strength training regimen that targets your biceps, triceps, trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids and other crucial throwing muscles. For best results, talk to your physician about the safest workouts for your fitness level.
1 Warm up your throwing arm by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back slightly arched. Let your throwing arm hang at your side with a weighted softball in your hand. Rotate your arm in a large counterclockwise motion, as if you were mimicking a windmill. Switch directions after 30 seconds.
2 Practice throwing weighted softballs to help tone your throwing arm. Adopt the basic softball throwing stance with one foot in front of the other and practice throwing the ball as if you were playing in a game. Simulate both overhanded and underhanded throws to help tone the muscles used for each.
3 Perform one to three sets of modified push-ups every day to strengthen your triceps and deltoid muscles. Lie face down on a yoga mat and place your hands in push-up position next to your shoulders. Push simultaneously with both hands while keeping your knees on the ground, lifting your upper body. Keep your spine perfectly straight to avoid arching your back or hunching your shoulders as you lift. Bend your elbows to lower your upper body until your chest is one to two inches from the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can before pushing your upper body back up and repeating for eight to 12 repetitions.
4 Tone your shoulder muscles by grabbing dumbbells in both hands and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let your arms relax at your sides with your palms facing your body. Perform the standing dumbbell shrug by slowly lifting your shoulders in a shrugging motion while holding the weights. Keep your elbows straight as your shoulders slowly raise up towards your ears and then move back down. Repeat for eight to 12 repetitions.
5 Lie face down on the yoga mat with your feet hip-width apart and your toes touching the ground. Place your forearms directly underneath your chest and slowly lift off the ground until your elbows form 90-degree angles, with your upper arms perpendicular to the ground. Keep your legs and back straight as you hold the Dolphin Plank Pose for 30 to 60 seconds, or until your arms give out.
Items you will need
- Weighted softballs
- Yoga mat
- If your throws are consistently weak, check your form for any errors that might be killing your efficiency. Spice up your workout by asking another player to come along to keep you company and help “spot” you while working with weights.
- Play it safe by only practicing yoga or weight training under the supervision of a personal trainer. Pregnant and new moms should avoid strength training exercise without the express permission of a physician.
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