I’ve been pitching and when i start cranking up my fastball, my muscles in my forearm tighten up really bad and start hurting. What could be causing that?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that, perhaps without being aware of it, you’re trying to squeeze the juice out of the ball—using too tight a grip. Of course that will put a strain on your forearm, not to mention—In any case, loosen up! A firm but comfortable grip is all you need. The second thing—what arm angle are you using, and do you change the angle when you throw a fast ball? Don’t. For example—if you’re a 3/4 pitcher, stay with it, and don’t try throwing overhand. The third, and perhaps the most important thing: You have to get your whole body into the action; drive off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion to generate the power behind your pitches. The arm and shoulder should pretty much “go along for the ride” so that when you release the ball it’s an effortless motion. That was what I learned long ago, and I never had any trouble with any of my pitches.
Relaxation—that’s the key. 8)
Your UCL is having problems.
I underwent Tommy John surgery last year, and 3 starts into the season my forearm started to get tight after starts…then it began to tighten up in the late innings…then it began to tighten after only an inning…then I had to completely rest the entire week to make my next start…then I tore it completely in the conference tournament, after it seemed to be recovering.
Forearm soreness and tightness is usually a result of UCL stress or injury. You should head to an orthopedic surgeon or good baseball physical therapist immediately. I’ve been there, and while it might not that be that serious, the symptoms you’re exhibiting all fit the pattern. Regardless of whether you squeeze the ball tightly, have poor mechanics or not, there should not be enough stress on the forearm to cause those tightening problems.