Managing Recovery for Baseball Pitchers

I wrote Part One of this series today - managing recovery while training and pitching is pretty important, and I hope this helps shed some light on the situation!

That article had some good stuff in it! There were some similarities to “Body by Science”, you should read that book, I think you would like it :slight_smile:

Proper nutrition. Proper flexibility. Proper rest. Proper exercise combinations. I’m not sure it has to be any more complicated than that. When I trained at the International Performance Institute, in Florida, under Mark Verstegen (CorePerformance.com), we spent 1/3 of every session addressing Regeneration. That post-workout nutrition and flexibility are extremely beneficial.

Here is my question then, as within that article, there is another article that says distance running is bad for a baseball player. This is completely contradictory to what I have been taught. I’m not saying that the pitcher should focus on long distance running, but distance running has been the key to lasting long in the innings. Who is a big advocate for distance running who also was one of the best pitchers ever? Nolan Ryan, and he ran 5 miles a day for a number of years before his knees went bad, then rode a bike to replace that. So how is running in fact bad? A pitcher should be responsible for both distance and sprints, they both have their benefits.

Is this concerned with recovery between workouts or recovery after a long season of pitching?

A good source for a general discussion planning an off-season workout schedule is:

the Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual (UOST)- while not relegated to just baseball - it does discuss how to plan and schedule workouts so athletes are more prepared to compete at a higher level for the entire season. I think it cost about $30.00.

I haven’t looked at how TUFF CUFF compares - with the USOT authors approach - but it probably does. While there are no workout plans in USOT, I like it because it explains why you are doing something. TUFF CUFF provides a framework/plan for doing it and I’ll look at it and see if it compares.

But Steven Ellis is right - nutrition, flexibility/mobility, strength/stability & rest are the major elements that should be addressed in any off-season training program.

Also from all my reading - stess the small stuff - flexibilty, stability and mobility - these will help prevent injury (going on 3 weeks now with a back injury). Most guys get wrapped up in bench press, squat and deadlift numbers at the expense of those less glamorous things.

[quote=“kidmullen”]

Also from all my reading - stess the small stuff - flexibilty, stability and mobility - these will help prevent injury (going on 3 weeks now with a back injury). Most guys get wrapped up in bench press, squat and deadlift numbers at the expense of those less glamorous things.[/quote]

Contrary to popular belief, stretching increases chance of injury.

Stretching does not increase a risk of injury if done properly. I don’t know where you got the idea that stretching is bad. People who lack flexibility, stabilization, and mobility as kid mullen said are more likely to injure themselves.

In the words of Arthur Jones, Nolan Ryan would be described as a prized bull. He could of thrown tomatoes at the wall and said thats what helped him achieve success. lol If you want to win a horse race don’t take your horse to a horse race, take him to a horse trainer my friend.

But could he have done that for the 20+ years that he pitched if what he was doing was not working? The answer is no.
He did not just run long distance though, he did more than that. During his 4 day rotation with the angels, he’d run day 1 and 2 after a game, take a day off, then pitch.
In Texas he ran (or biked) the three days after a start after he lifted, which was on days 1 and 3.

Distance builds up your cardiovascular system over a longer period of time which in turn builds your endurance, so it is more beneficial to cross train with both distance running and sprints.

[quote=“TheUnDiscovered”][quote=“kidmullen”]

Also from all my reading - stess the small stuff - flexibilty, stability and mobility - these will help prevent injury (going on 3 weeks now with a back injury). Most guys get wrapped up in bench press, squat and deadlift numbers at the expense of those less glamorous things.[/quote]

Contrary to popular belief, stretching increases chance of injury.[/quote]

I don’t buy that. Maybe improperly performed or inconsistently performed stretching causes injury.

According to my physical therapist, as strength & stability increase due to weight training - flexibility and mobility can decrease unless there is some focus on performing mobility and flexibility exercises. The way she explained it to me was not hours of stretching - but she siad something more than 2 minutes of touching your toes, shrugging your shoulders, or doing arm circles. Maybe something to increase hip mobility, something to increase scap mobility, something to increase ankle mobility, etc… If you do this you’ll find that it will help your general strength.

Much of what I have read relates to issues with older, but physically active, folks (older than college) - who have these nagging injuries or postural issues - (sore lower back, hamstrings, plantar fascities, shoulder issues, knee pain, name what ever you want…) - if they would have just spent five or 10 minutes of every workout day doing something to increase their flexibility/mobility - they might not have these issues. That is why - again my opinion - that we not focus so completely on the big 3 exercises (squat, deadlift, bench) - but that we realize the body is a system - that needs to be trained from the very beginning - as a system so as to maintain the balance. If we do this now and keep it up - then we don’t have to try to regain such balance after some injury or limitation develops.

I just have trouble based on my experiences believing that our general focus should be completely on how heavy my squat is or how heavy my bench is.

When training with weights, there should always be training that trains the muscles the other way, I don’t know quite how to explain this, but an example of this is when we do our bench, then between each set of reps we do something to strengthen the back muscles as well. It is proper cross training to provide you with full flexibility, mobility, and strength.

KidMullen is right, our body is a system, one that should be treated as so. Some people work out hard in the gym and don’t eat right, or we focus on the muscles that look good in the mirror and not our backs, and our training is diminished and we don’t reach our full potential if we don’t make sure we are well balanced individuals.

I definitely agree, but the devil is in the details. :slight_smile:

Some great responses and I’ll post soon!

Regarding throwing & lifting - I think it can/should be done - but there are some things to consider when planning the off season program.

Here is a pretty interesting video that is posted on Eric Cressey’s website - it talks about the continuum between strength and speed.

http://ericcressey.com/ - THE VIDEO IS HALFWAY DOWN ON THE RIGHT OF THE HOME PAGE.

From this information he talks about the different aspects of off-season training and how strength training fits into the off-season. He talks about the continuum from general strength training to specificity weight training (throwing a baseball). The persentation makes sense (throwing a baseball involves general strength but also the rate of force development) these two things need to be trained. This video helped to clarify and provided a little more direction about the how/when/why of working out with weigths and the combination of weights and throwing.