How do "shoulder" more of the burden?


#1

My deltoid and my back are by far the most muscular, strong and toned muscles of my upper body. I have very broad shoulders and my line of work develops a really strong back and shoulders. My bicep is the area that needs the most work. Consequently, the bicep area gets fatigued first and in a more pronounced way. I’ve already tried to remedy this by working out that area with curls, etc. I am coming around but my bicep is still the weak link in the chain.
Is the best solution to just keep doing what I’m doing and emphasize the bicep during my workout sessions. Is bicep fatigue a sign that I’m doing something mechanically wrong? Is there a safe and healthy method to use my much stronger shoulder and back muscles to take some of the burden off of my bicep when I pitch?

Much appreciation to all of you potential helpers on this one.


#2

Of course your biceps are the first to get fatigued. You’re relying too much on the upper half of your body, when what you need to do is get the lower half involved. Years ago I learned from watching the Yankees’ Big Three rotation what they did—they drove off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and seamless) motion, and that was how they got the power behind their pitches—not to mention taking a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder. When you get your whole body involved, it seems as if your arm and shoulder are just going along for the ride, and you find that you’re throwing harder and faster with less effort—not to mention avoiding a sore arm or a sore elbow or a sore anything else! 8)


#3

I love the clarity with which you respond to my queries Zita.

So, just so I’m clear, if I focus more on driving with my lower half it should significantly reduce my bicep soreness?

Is there any specific tips, tricks or methods for accomplishing this that you know of or have used in the past?

As a side note, It’s not as though I’m not utilizing my lower half entirely. I have decent drag lines and stride length especially when compared to when I started pitching ten months ago. But now that I think about it, as I noticed my stride length and drag lines improving, I also noticed a reduction in arm fatigue and soreness.

I will however make it a point to bear down, drop and drive and focus my energy on lower half mechanics until the situation with my bicep improves.


#4

There’s a little exercise called the “Hershiser drill” which aims at getting the hips fully involved. Somewhere in these posts is a description of how to do it, so you can look it up and get an idea of how to perform this drill and go ahead and do it. You can be sure that it’ll be an important first step in getting your whole body into the act, and I guarantee that once you have that—once you get your whole body involved—you’ll find that you too will be throwing harder and faster with less effort. It was a long time ago that I picked up the idea of using my whole body—you referred to it as “drop and drive”—and even though I was not what you would call fast I could throw hard without knocking myself out. Of course, being a sidearmer didn’t hurt. :slight_smile:


#5

I agree that pelvic loading is the way to go to decrease injuries and gain velocity. Hell, I gained 7 mph in one night by incorperating it into my mechanics correctly. My verbal que’s were " weight on the back leg" “land softly”" and"explode through the release point". This kid right here reminds me a little of what my mental image was:


#6

CSam, if your bicep is strained, you have a mechanical problem. Often it can be not following through with your pitch, or having arm rebound. Arm rebound is when you throw the ball, then your arm rebounds up a bit. Watch some closers, they do this sometimes.

If your bicep is fatigued, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m guessing that you have a shorter, choppier motion.


#7

Well kevin he said it was fatigued not strained.

It’s probably a little bit of just not utilizing enough of your lower body. Regardless though with a proper arm action and what not the fatigue should begin either in the bicep or underarm area. Just work on utilizing your legs.


#8

Thanks to all. I appreciate the info… more than you guys/gals know.

7steps: awesome that you included the ques. That’s going to be helpful. My most recent tactic or que for improvement in this area has been to wait until I feel my stride foot touch until I let my mind tell my body to hit the target with the pitch. After watching the video you posted I’m thinking my tactic is really just helping me hit my spots a lot better (which it has done in spades) rather than helping me inc. lower body more (which your ques might do for me). I’m gonna try your suggestions next session and mix them with the afore mentioned tactic. I’ll let you know how it goes if you’re interested.

What the responses have brought to my attention ( and it’s what I’ve come to suspect) is the answer to the question of why my bicep isn’t always fatigued quickly during every single session. Those sessions where my bicep feels healthier and more durable are the ones where I’m executing lower body stuff effectively. While this tells me that at least some of the time I’m using lower body effectively, it’s a reflection of how inconsistent I still am on the mound and how I need to square away that lower body as a top priority.

I will reflect on all of this info and take it to the mound tomorrow.

I still have one more thing I need clarified though: My bicep fatigues much faster than my shoulder when I’m not incorporating lower body correctly because my bicep is weaker than my far more muscular shoulder, or is this due to something else?


#9

you are probably trying to throw “too late”. You should work on shoulder flexibility, you should build up some speed behind your body first and your release point should be above your front knee, not way ahead of it. Usually the beginner pitchers utilize more of their bicep to throw, whereas more experienced pitchers shift more to the triceps/rotator cuff.