A recent article shares some staggering results about the state of arm care for pitchers. A group of 242 professional baseball players tested internal and external rotation strength against a fixed dynamometer, and what was found did not make sense…
Pitchers train their throwing arms much more frequently than position players—typically daily for pitchers versus three times per week for position players—yet, pitchers were significantly weaker and had more imbalance between external rotation strength and internal rotation strength.
These results are eye-opening and demand more research and attention in perfecting arm care programs for pitchers.
Throwing volume is a major reason why pitchers are weaker than position players.
While it has never been studied, pitchers throw 10x more, so it’s safe to say that pitchers showing strength deficits is a sign of throwing-related fatigue versus undertraining.
Fatigue can occur prior to the season and linger throughout the competitive schedule for pitchers. This can limit performance and is a major injury risk, but the following will build stronger pitchers and help overcome fatigue-related deficits.
The first step is better workload management.
The concept of throwing your best pitchers to the point of maximum pitch counts every game is outdated and risky. While current pitch count standards provide rest schedules, we have expanded upon the guidelines to create a new and improved process that includes:
- Building up pitch counts at the beginning of the season
- Underloading pitchers when they hit peak pitch counts
- Managing usage on back-to-back days for amateur athletes
- Accounting for peak growth rates in adolescents as they experience a drastic change in field dimensions at the age of 13.
Click here to Download PitchStrong to get ArmCare’s latest pitch count guidelines and review the rules that will keep pitchers performing at their peak capacity.
Objectively Track Fatigue
Pitch count guidelines are a great start, but they do not account for the differences between players or the constant changes that occur within a player.
The ArmCare platform allows you to manage loads based on strength changes rather than blindly following numbers set for the masses. Through consistent strength testing, there is no question about a player’s readiness or their level of fatigue.
Click here to see how the ArmCare App measures and monitors strength changes.
In training, most arm care programs focus on muscular endurance, but the changes in strength are the primary concern. When strength changes occur in a pitcher, rather than pushing more reps, the training needs to increase muscular recruitment (especially for weak areas) and address strength deficits and recovery.
In this ArmCare IQwe go into more detail about why pitchers’ arms are weakening and what we need to do about improving strength related to monitoring and data-led training with our platform.
We want to set a new paradigm in the approach to arm care training. I hope this provides good insight into the current issues and provides a better approach to keeping pitchers strong and healthy.
If you have any questions, please reach out at email@example.com.