It is not too late to build your arm strength for the upcoming season, but the clock is ticking. When we refer to arm strength, most people think we are referring to your ability to accelerate a baseball, however this is not the most critical component of arm strength. The decelerating muscles of your arm, the brakes for your arm, need to be the primary focus for all ball players. The latest research shows that strengthening these vital decelerating muscles in the preseason will protect your arm from injury as well as increase your throwing velocity.
Yes, you heard that right. Strengthening the decelerating muscles will actually improve your ability to accelerate a baseball. That may sound crazy, but your body doesn’t want to hurt itself and will only allow you to accelerate your arm to the point where it can slow it down. The force created at the shoulder immediately following the release of the baseball (distraction force) has been measured up to 1 ½ times the players body weight. So if you weigh 200 lbs, the decelerating force at your shoulder can be up to 300 lbs. on every pitch. Multiply that by 100 pitches in a game and you can understand why the muscles on the back side of the shoulder are sore.
Ron Wolforth has a great analogy for this: He says “it is like driving a Ferrari with no brakes”, how fast are you going to drive? The primary brakes for your arm are the external rotators (posterior rotator cuff muscles) and the scapular stabilizing muscles. Crossover Symmetry and IRON SCAP™ target these essential decelerating muscles in a practical, structured and time efficient system that can be done right on the field. In fact, many users of the Crossover Symmetry and IRON SCAP™ programs not only report significant increases in velocity, but many of them say they don’t get sore on the back side of their shoulder anymore.
Below are three proven ways to strengthen the decelerating muscles in your arm:
1. Use Crossover Symmetry
- Strengthen specific decelerating rotator cuff muscles, (external rotators and the supraspinatus).
- Includes pre throwing arm activation, post throwing recovery and fast twitch plyometric program.
2. Add IRON SCAP™
- The most intense scapular decelerating exercise program available.
- Post activity scap-specific program to strengthen your brakes and enhance kinetic energy transfer.
- You can’t just perform the Crossover Symmetry and IRON SCAP™ programs and expect them to increase your throwing velocity if you are not throwing.
- Throwing itself is a great way to strengthen the decelerating muscles for the arm… you just have to do it smart. Much like any activity, if you overdo it without being prepared, you are putting yourself at risk. Think of it like running a marathon without training or maxing out on bench press the first time in the weight room. You are lucky if you just get sore and don’t hurt yourself.
- The act of decelerating the arm at very high speeds takes strength, timing, and all of your decelerating muscles working in sync with each other.
- Implement a progressive throwing program where you gradually increase your throwing workloads.