A lot of injuries occur when that part of the body is not strong and flexible. So when it comes to the elbow, what are some good exercises to help get it strong?
Decreasing stress on the elbow joint when throwing means strengthening the forearm and hand. I’ve written a few articles on this, which you should check out in the training category of my site. Here is a pretty cool exercise that I love for open hand strength for pitchers… http://danblewett.com/2010/01/08/rock-rings-farmers-walks-hand-strength-baseball/
During TJ Rehab my PT gave me a lot of exercises to strengthen the forearms wrists and target the muscles around my elbow as well.
Take a bat (30oz is what I used) and sit in a chair. Set your arm on your leg so your hand hangs over the end of your knee. Hold the bat on the handle (higher up to begin with as it is not easy the first time) and slowly pronate and supinate back and forth to where your palm will face up and down and either side of the exercise. I usually do 2 sets of ten for each side (20 total per set). Once you get used to it you can wrap a towel around the bat while its only negligible in weight it is very tough on the forearms.
Another one is a hammer curl but not the traditional curl as most would think. Grasp a hammer (preferrably one with a large hitting surface, i have a rubber one) with the head hanging behind you and curl the head of the hammer towards your forearm. you might notice there is a crease in the forearm under the arm which separates the two muscles ( I believe) and you can adjust the angle to incorporate each.
Also, he recommended towel drills as that will put stress on the elbow with dry runs.
The previous poster was correct with all of his advice. I’d just like to add a few more ideas…
Firstly, the use of “band work” is another way to strengthen the elbow. Doing similar type wrist and forearm bends while holding a stretchy band attached to a fence or railing will provide a different type of resistance. The easiest way is to hold the hand with elbow up at shoulder height and parallel to the chest (think half of an upright) and curl the wrist forward for 2 or 3 sets of 10. Then turn and around, and in the same position, pull the wrist in the opposite direction. The key here is to control the movement so that the resistance is in the stabilization of the band.
Also, the Arizona Diamondback’s, when I was in there system, were a big fan of the rice bucket. (I forget who first used this technique, but its been around for a while). The idea is simple. Fill a 5 gallon bucket 3/4 of the way with dry rice. Then, start by trying to dig to the bottom with just the hand. Once all the way down, flatten the hand out and try to rotate side to side. Trust me, you will know its working from “feeling the burn”
Just a few more ideas.