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December 9, 2021

Softball: Exercises to help Pitchers who Only Use Their Arm to Throw

"You're only pitching with your arm..."

How many of your pitchers have you worked with that over-throw with their shoulders/arms?

If you can't see it directly, such as the pitcher hiking her shoulder or rolling her shoulder forward (as seen in this video)--she may also fall to the side at release instead of following through straight toward home plate. Lastly, she will just her opposite hip out to the side at release instead of landing on a solid front leg that is lined up foot, knee, hip.If those aren't visible, other good indicators of it, include: shoulder pain, bicep pain, groin pain on the throwing side. Or over-musculature on those sides. Or simply if you ask a pitcher what fatigues first in her pitching lesson or a game and she says her arm.-----What we as coaches have to be better at, is seeing those things, and realizing that just cueing the corrections are NOT enough. For most girls', verbal cueing isn't going to change her mechanics because most are lacking the skill set, mobility, or technique to complete the pitch, correctly, and she will continue to struggle.In most cases these struggles are related to the girls' inability to rotate through her hips/core. Common reasons for lack of rotation mean she has limited internal rotation of her hips or limited mobility through her mid-back. As a result, she over-uses her shoulder/bicep and hip to throw the pitch down the middle. This mechanism for throwing can only be sustained so long before injury.What I want to share with you in this series is ways I help my pitchers work on and improve rotation, in the weight room.For the warm-up, simply improving mid-back mobility through soft-tissue work and stretching is key.

Repeat these exercises 2x a week.


Foam roll your upper back x 2 minutes

Foam roll your lats x 1 minute each

Foam Roll Inner thigh/Quads x 1 min per muscle group

Thread the Needle x 10 per arm

Modified Couch Stretch (hip flexor) x 10/Leg

do NOT let your pelvis tilt down toward the floor as your stretch forward with your hips. "don't spill the water"

Rotation Exercises:

Half-Kneeling Banded Paloff Press + Rotation-- 3 x 10 per side

Keep ribs stacked over hips. Pelvis tilted upward, "don't spill the water out the front" as you press or rotate. Keep arms extended forward. "push your knuckles as far away from your chest as you can."

Cossack Squat + Rotation with Kettlebell 3 x 10

Keep ribs over hips. Push your butt back as you lunge to the side. Rotate only through your upper back, DO NOT bend your elbows. KB swing is initiated through the feet and hips, NOT the arms.

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