Ballastic/Slow Lifting Movements


#1

I’m stumped.
Ballastic vs Slow, controlled lifts.

What are we looking for here? Slower lifts? Plyometrics?

Or, I’m assuming, should there be an equal amount of both?


#2

:roll:
The reason thier bench press got better was probably because thats what they were doing. Med ball throws decreased bench press ability because the athletes were not doing any benching, and med ball throws dont incorporate the major bench press muscles. and Hypertrophy doesn’t equal strength btw.


#3

The reason thier bench press got better was probably because thats what they were doing. Med ball throws decreased bench press ability because the athletes were not doing any benching, and med ball throws dont incorporate the major bench press muscles. and Hypertrophy doesn’t equal strength btw.[/quote]

Thanks for restating my quote… :roll: :roll: :roll:


#4

No offense, yanks, but when I’m asking a question that is critical to how I will train myself, and while I respect your opinions, I am not going to take advice from a 15 year old, regardless of who that may be. Want to give me a link (defranco, tnation, wikipedia, wherever) to support your opinion, great. Please no posting just to bump your user rank up, at least not on my posts. Thank you.

I’m expecting a good answer from Lefty. :wink:


#5

ok, kjeezey, im sorry for restating your quote, but i stand on the same side as you. Im not exactly sure why the med ball throws didnt increase the pitching velocity while the bench press did. There would be some variables involved, such as each pitcher’s mechanics, utilizing the strength they gained efficiently.

IMO, explosive training, rather than slow lifts pertain to throwing a baseball harder. I personally would not change my whole routine due to one study. If more people start following it and seeing results i would think about it. My advice is stick with the ballistic training, as im sure you already know is building fast twitch fibers. Oh, and where did you find this study, im interested in reading it.


#6

Here’s the link mate.

http://www.cscforce.com/johnston.pdf

And I didn’t mean to go off on you, just frustrated today. :bluefrown:


#7

ok thanks, ill read it after i eat. and dont worry about it, its not that big of a deal.


#8

not sure about this study, but be careful wiht different types of studies. they can twist around a study to get different kinds of results that they want. medicine ball training is very beneficial for gaining power and for baseball movements. they were probably doing the wrong type of medicine ball training


#9

DeFranco said in his last article that you can’t be explosive without possessing a lot of max strength. Bompa basically says similar stuff, but he breaks it down with little rate of force development charts. I dont understand all of it, but basically it comes down to how long it take you to complete the movement and how much weight you use. For example, lets say you bench press 200 pounds and the concentric portion of the lift takes 2 seconds. Then you do do med ball chest passes off your back with a ten pound med ball and the concentric takes you .5 seconds (I dont have any evidence here, this is just something off my head). You might do the med ball 4x faster, but with the benching you are using 20x more weight. That means you have to develop more force to move the bar.

I dont think this debunks explosive training, I think it just shows that being hyper-specific with your training is not always helpful. Train every strength attribute and then taper to more specific training as the season gets closer.


#10

Thanks KC.


#11

I’d agree with KC on this one. Just because they were lifting the heavy weights slowly does not mean they were not recruiting a lot of muscles, it just means they would have recruited more muscles (and probably seen corresponding improvement in velocity over slow weight lifting group) had they focused on lifting explosively.

This was a poorly done study because how can you conclude that Slow Weight training is better than Explosive Weight training if you don’t have an explosive weight training test group! All this tells us is that any kind of weight training alone is better than light weight plyometrics alone. For this study to be credible I would need to see an explosive weight lifting group as well, otherwise the conclusion that baseball players should lift weights slow and controlled is meaningless. Again just an example of bending results to fit your pre-existing belief systems.

An excerpt from a study. I hope it’s ok that I’m using this:

[color=darkblue]RELATIONSHIP OF STRENGTH AND THROWING VELOCITY

The Relationship Between Lower Body Strength, Abdominal Strength, and Upper Body Strength to the Velocity of a Thrown Baseball.

Timothy W. Hill II
Georgia Southwestern State University
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a significant relationship between lower body strength, abdominal strength, and upper body strength to the velocity of a thrown baseball. Thirty-five varsity baseball players from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia will be tested for lower body strength, abdominal strength, and upper body strength using the squat exercise, crunch machine, and bench press. Each subject’s one-rep maximum will be determined for each exercise. Throwing velocity will be measured using the JUGS radar gun by taking the average of each subject’s five throws at a distance of 60 feet. Each subject’s one-rep maximums will be paired with his throwing velocity measurement. Using Pearsons r formula, a correlation coefficient will be determined to see whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between lower body strength and throwing velocity, abdominal strength and throwing velocity, and upper body strength and throwing velocity.

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a significant relationship between lower body strength, abdominal strength, and upper body strength of college baseball players to the velocity of a thrown baseball.

Review of Related Literature

For many years, baseball coaches have been fearful of implementing strength training programs to increase the performance of their players. Recently, the concept of strength training has gained more acceptance among baseball coaches but many are still hesitant to incorporating such programs. Many coaches still believe that lifting weights will make a baseball player too muscle bound and that many strength exercises are dangerous and not related to specific baseball movements (Darden, 1994; Miller, 1984). Before choosing or developing a strength program to help increase the performance of throwing a baseball, a knowledge of the biomechanics of throwing is important. The following review of related literature will discuss the biomechanics of throwing or pitching and several strength training programs specific to the sport of baseball will be reviewed.

Biomechanics of Pitching. The biomechanics of throwing can be better understood by analyzing a pitching motion and the muscles that are active in each phase. The four phases that have been identified in the kinetic overhand pitching chain are: (1) the windup, (2) cocking, (3) acceleration, and (4) deceleration or follow-through (Boscardin, Johnson, and Schneider, 1989; Jacobs, 1987; Jobe, Moynes, Tibone and Perry, 1984; Mullins, 1993). The windup is the beginning of the pitching motion which takes place when the pitcher begins his backward rocking motion and raises his front leg while rotating his hips 90 degrees to the direction of the throwing arm (Cimino, 1987). This phase is identified by upper extremity flexion and involves the deltoids and biceps as well as the legs and hips (Jobe et al., 1984; Mullins, 1993).

The cocking phase is identified by shoulder abduction and external rotation. This phase begins when the ball is taken out of the glove by the throwing hand and ends when the shoulder is at maximum external rotation away from the body. This stage is also divided into early and late stages when the front foot makes contact with the ground (Jobe et al., 1984). The ball does not move forward during this phase. The arm and forearm move backwards as the legs, hips, and trunk move forward. The pivot leg supports the entire body and is slightly flexed against the pitching rubber to allow for a strong leg drive. When the front leg makes contact with the ground, it provides an anchor point onto which the hips can explosively rotate (Cimino, 1987). The muscles involved in this phase are the deltoids, trapezius, triceps, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, and the rotator cuff muscles (Jobe et al., 1984; Mullins, 1993). As the arm undergoes external or backward rotation, several muscles must eccentrically contract or lengthen to slow the external rotation so that the arm can begin internal rotation and move forward. The muscles that are involved with slowing external rotation are the subscapularis, pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi (Mullins, 1993).

Once maximum external rotation of the shoulder has been established, the arm begins to move forward during the acceleration phase. This forward movement of the arm is known as internal rotation. The acceleration phase is completed when the ball leaves the hand. It has been measured that the velocity of internal rotation of the arm is over 6000 degrees per second (Boscardin et al., 1989). The muscles involved during this phase are the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, triceps, trapezius, and rhomboids (Jobe et al., 1984; Mullins, 1993).

After the ball leaves the hand to end the acceleration phase, the final phase of deceleration or follow-through begins. The deceleration phase is completed when the body comes to a full stop. This phase is one of the most important phases of the pitching motion and is an area where many injuries occur. All of the forces that are present during the acceleration phase must be equally counteracted during the deceleration phase to avoid injury to the soft tissues in the shoulder (Boscardin et al., 1989). The deceleration phase acts as a braking mechanism to the forward moving arm, which undergoes horizontal adduction or movement across the front chest. The muscles which primarily act to decelerate the arm are the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor. These muscles are very small and undergoe eccentric contractions to stop the forward movement of the arm. Other muscles that act eccentrically during deceleration are the deltoids, the rhomboids, pectoralls major, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, triceps, and biceps (Jobe et al., 1984; Mullins, 1993).

The above four stages represents how complex a pitching motion can be and the muscles that are involved. The pitching motion can be summarized with the summation of forces beginning in the lower body or legs, working up through the pelvis and into the larger muscles in the trunk, and then added to by the rapid internal rotation of the arm and shoulder (Boscardin et al., 1989). Once the ball is released from the hand, many muscles are required to stop or decelerate the arm, particularly the small rotator cuff muscles.

Baseball Strength and Conditioning Programs. Many strength and conditioning programs have been developed to improve baseball pitching skills (Barber and Cieminski, 1995; Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Boscardin et al., 1989; Cimino, 1987; Coleman, 1982a; Darden, 1994; Jacobs, 1987; Miller, 1984; Mullins, 1993; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989a ). A strength and conditioning program is used to increase athletic performance as well as to prevent injuries. Areas that have been stressed in these strength and conditioning programs are flexibility, muscular strength and power, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance. These programs also emphasize the concepts of specificity, overload, and progression. The focus of this review is on the components of these programs that emphasize muscular strength and power, and the concepts of specificity, overload, and progression. Specificity means that in order for supplementary activities such as weightlifting and running to have a positive effect, the exercises need to closely mirror the primary activity, which in this case is baseball (DeRenne, 1987). The overload principle means that the body is placed under a greater amount of stress or resistance than it is normally use to (Baechle, 1994). Potteiger and Wilson state that progression is a concept where resistance are regularly increased so that the muscles are constantly being overloaded.

A pitching strength training program can be divided into three stages. These three stages are the off-season, the preseason, and the in-season stage. The off-season is a time where a good strength base is established. After a strength base has been established, power can be gained during the preseason (Darden, 1994). Power is defined as the combination of strength and speed. While many strength programs have been developed to increase strength during the off-season, very few programs have stressed the importance of strength training during the preseason (Darden, 1994). Many coaches claim that they do not have the time to continue strength training while they are trying to prepare the team for the season. Darden states, however, that a good preseason strength program is an important bridge between strength gains during the off-season and the quick explosive requirements of baseball. Finally, an in-season maintenance program needs to be followed so that the athlete can maintain a good strength and power base.

Baseball is a sport that requires quick and explosive actions that usually last no longer than ten seconds. Baseball is therefore considered an anaerobic sport rather than an aerobic sport. Tremendous strength and power is needed to perform baseball skills, particularly in pitching. A starting pitcher will throw between 100 to 120 pitches during a typical nine inning game as he performs maximum amounts of short explosive forces when delivering each pitch (Cimino, 1987). These tremendous forces that take place in throwing a baseball require that the pitcher possess strength and power as well as muscular endurance to perform these repetitive actions over the course of a 3 hour baseball game. A study at the University of Auburn found that anaerobic power had a significant seconds. Baseball is therefore considered an anaerobic sport rather than an aerobic sport. Tremendous strength and power is needed to perform baseball skills, particularly in pitching. A starting pitcher will throw between 100 to 120 pitches during a typical nine inning game as he performs maximum amounts of short explosive forces when delivering each pitch (Cimino, 1987). These tremendous forces that take place in throwing a baseball require that the pitcher possess strength and power as well as muscular endurance to perform these repetitive actions over the course of a 3 hour baseball game. A study at the University of Auburn found that anaerobic power had a signicant impact on pitching velocity (Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). Based on the concept of specificity, a pitching strength and conditioning program should emphasize developing anaerobic power. Aerobic strength and conditioning programs will have little effect upon improving the anaerobic activities that a pitcher performs. Many programs that stress light weight exercises with a high number of repititions are aerobic in nature and are not very beneficial to the skills needed in pitching. Potteiger and Wilson mention that research has shown that aerobic strength and conditioning programs may even be destructive to the development of a successful pitcher.

Many strength and conditioning programs for pitching classify exercises as either benefiting the upper body or lower body. Exercises that improve strength in the midsection of the body have been grouped with either the upper or lower body exercises (Cimino, 1987; Miller, 1984; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). The review of the biomechanics of throwing has indicated that a pitcher utilizes muscles beginning in the lower body, working up through the midsection and then into the upper body. The following review of strength exercises will therefore discuss exercises for the lower body, midsection, and upper body.

Muscular strength in the lower body has been determined to be extremely important for pitchers (Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Cimino, 1987; Jacobs, 1987). In a strength study of major league baseball players, pitchers were found to have the strongest legs compared to infielders and outfielders (Coleman, 1982b). Arm velocity produced in throwing a baseball has been determined to be dependent upon the initial force obtained from an explosive leg drive (Cimino, 1987). Consequently, a key component of a strength program for a pitcher should be an emphasis on
increasing leg strength. As with all muscles, a good strength base needs to be established during the off-season. This is accomplished by lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions. Squats, leg extensions, leg curls, leg presses, calf extensions, lunges, and power cleans are all exercises that have been recommended for pitchers to increase leg strength (Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Cimino, 1987; Jacobs, 1987; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). Once a strength base has been established, plyometric drills need to be included in the pitcher’s strength program (Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Cimino, 1987; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). Plyometric drills combine short and explosive movements that are similar to pitching movements and involve various jumping exercises. Some pitching plyometric exercises for leg strength are lateral push-offs using a box, alternate leg bounding, alternate leg vertical jumps, and double leg box jumps. All of these plyometric exercises help to simulate the pitcher’s balance and leg drive (Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Cimino, 1987). Medicine ball tosses are also used, which aid in strengthening hip rotation. Bicycling, running, and sprinting have been used as well to build and maintain strength in the lower body (Bishop and McFarland, 1993; Boscardin et al., 1989; Darden, 1994; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). Once a good strength base has been established and plyometrics have been incorporated into the strength program, strength gains need to be maintained during the season. Potteiger and Wilson state that a good maintenance program is made up of a reduction of the intensity, duration, and frequency of the off-season program. Cimino recommends that plyometric exercises be used to maintain strength while Potteiger and Wilson state that all plyometric exercises should end after the off-season. If a maintenance program is not implemented, then strength gains during the off-season will be lost.

Exercises for the midsection or abdominal area of the body are well documented (Cimino, 1987; Darden, 1994; Jacobs, 1987; Potteiger and Wilson, 1989). Most of these programs utilize weighted sit-ups, leg raises, and abdominal crunches. For pitchers, this area of the body is an important link between the lower body and the shoulder or upper body. Jacobs concludes that these muscles are responsible for transferring the force created by the lower body into the upper body movements. The midsection area needs to be trained for muscular strength in the same manner as the lower body. The number of sets and repetitions of each exercise as well as the frequency and duration should closely mirror the lower body workout (Jacobs, 1987). Darde-n states that much of the power needed for throwing is created through the muscles of the lower back, abdominals, and obliques. In order to increase strength in these muscles, plyometric exercises involving medicine balls need to be incorporated after a good strength base has been developed. Standing medicine ball rotations, kneeling tosses, and seated tosses all help strengthen the midsection (Bishop and McFarland, 1993).

Upper body strength training for pitchers is an area that is primarily focused on in many strength programs (Barber, 1995; Boscardin et al., 1989; Mullins, 1993). Although concentric and eccentric loading of the muscles occur in strengthening the upper body, these programs place an emphasis on eccentric contractions. This is because eccentric contractions are very prevalent during the deceleration or follow-through phase of pitching. Exercises used to strengthen the major load bearing muscles in the upper body are the bench and incline presses, power cleans, and rows. Other upper body exercises are supine flies for the pectoralis major, prone lateral elbow raises for the rhomboids and trapezius, shoulder shrugs for the trapezius, arm curls for the biceps, and arm extensions for the triceps (Mullins, 1993). Boscardin et al. recommend that exercises be done using free weights
instead of machines because these machines can contribute to shoulder problems if they are not used correctly. An important part of upper body strengthening that should not be overlooked is strengthening the rotator cuff muscles and the scapular stabilizer muscles. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder joint, which is the most mobile joint in the body (McCluskey, 1993). The scapular stabilizer muscles include the serratus anterior, rhomboids, trapezius, and levator scapulae (Barber, 1995). These small muscles need to be strengthened using lighter weights that enable the pitcher to perform exercises similar to the throwing range of motion. Enlargement of the muscle fibers known as hypertrophy needs to be avoided when training these muscles. Many exercises have been developed using surgical tubing or a cable pulley system that allows the rotator cuff to be strengthened by partial simulations of the throwing motion (Barber, 1995; Boscardin et al., 1989; Mullins, 1993). Chu and Panariello (1989) recommend several plyometric exercises to help benefit the pitching shoulder as well. Some of these exercises are the behind the back toss, reverse toss, and the 90/90 toss. Strength gains need to take place during the off-season with in-season maintenance a priority as well.

Specific studies have been done to analyze the effects of overload training on the velocity of a thrown baseball. Newton and McEvoy (1994) conducted an experiment comparing the effects of medicine ball training and weight training on the throwing velocity of a baseball. During an 8 week study, 24 subjects were randomly allocated to one of three groups: a medicine ball training group, a weight lifting group, and a control group.

The medicine ball group worked out twice a week with exercises consisting of a two-hand chest pass and a two-hand overhead throw. The weight lifting group also worked out twice a week with exercises consisting of the barbell bench press and the barbell pullover. The medicine ball weight stayed the same at 3 kg, whereas the subjects in the weightlifting group increased the weight resistance whenever possible. The control group did not perform any exercises to increase strength.

Results of the study found that the weight training group showed a significant increase in throwing velocity and in muscular strength. The medicine ball group showed no significant increase in throwing velocity but did show a significant increase in muscular strength. The control group showed no significant increase in throwing velocity or muscular strength. It was concluded that at least for the subjects in this study, a weight training program is more effective than a medicine ball training program to increase throwing velocity.[/color]

does this help at all?


#12

this might also be of interest:

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0325.htm


#13

thats a great post lanky, but i think somethings wrong with the study. with the medicine balls the 2 exercises they were done, chest pass and overhead pass are not that useful and there are much better exercises for medicine ball training. side to side throws, wood chop throws, for example work the core which medicine ball training should do.


#14

good point, just thought I’d share it with you guys though.


#15

Bish what r u on typing 87 paragrpahs like that bish lookin ass.