Stretching


#1

I read today’s blog and realize that a lot of the problems that I am having relate to poor flexibility. Can anyone recommend some specific stretches (also when and how often) to improve necessary flexibility for pitching?

I really appreciate it-


#2

I’m not a big fan of stretching if the intent is to increase range of motion of joints. The problem is that that can decrease the stability of joints and increase the risk of injury.

What I am a fan of, and I think Steve is generally addressing in his blog, is the idea of warming up; of using muscles and getting the blood flowing before you start working hard.


#3

I thought I read Steve as saying that the best pitchers are also the most flexible. I’m not sure if it is my genetics or what but my flexibility is very poor.

Is there anything I should do besides warming up to improve this?


#4

I agree that they are very flexible in their torsos. This enables them to rotate their hips well before the shoulders.

One thing you might want to try is what I call the Sideways Step Drill.

  1. Set up in the standard Set position (standing sideways to the target but with your head facing the target). You don’t need to be holding a ball or wearing your glove.

  2. Bring your arms up to shoulder level with your glove-side arm pointing at Home Plate and your pitching arm side arm pointing at Second Base.

  3. Step sideways toward home plate. As you step, you want your body to move sideways to the target with the toe of your glove-side foot pointing toward third base. This will keep your hips closed.

  4. An instant before your glove-side foot lands (and the longer you can delay this the better), rotate your hips so that you land with your toe pointing at the target. However, at the instant your glove-side foot lands your shoulders should still be sideways to the target.

  5. You will feel the tension build up in your torso as your hips open up and your shoulders stay closed. This is good because this tension is creating potential energy. As long as you can stand it, keep your shoulders closed. Only when you can’t stand it, let your shoulders start to turn (to open).

As you get the basic drill down, you can start introducing a larger leg lift into the process. However, the key is to always step sideways toward the target and delay the opening of first your hips and then your shoulders as long as possible.


#5

I’m not a big fan of stretching if the intent is to increase range of motion of joints. The problem is that that can decrease the stability of joints and increase the risk of injury.

What I am a fan of, and I think Steve is generally addressing in his blog, is the idea of warming up; of using muscles and getting the blood flowing before you start working hard.[/quote]

GHEESH Chris I just read that blog and I came away with the idea that Steven was talking about stretching only because he directly used the words STRETCHING more than once in his post. Why you are TRYING to undermine what Steven was actually saying I have no idea. Why Steven lets you perplexes me even more, thats his deal not mine. I have done my best and have left you alone for the most part in recent times. Deciding your not worth the hassle I sometimes receive for my derogatory posting style I use with your absurd posts, like this one. If this kid is a young teenager or not an adult he NEEDS to be stretching frequently. You are so far off base with your “notion” of stretching properly its quite ridiculous. Your “notion” that all that is needed is a flexible torso when thought through is STUPID at best. So if a person works at become flexible within his torso what happens to the rest of the body? What about the groin or hamstrings? What if they are extremely tight and the torso is extremely flexible? Ill say this, my own son had severe oshgoods schlatters in his knees. By sheer luck he was able to be seen by perhaps the most trusted and experienced physical therapist in this COUNTRY. Check him out his name is Gary Gray, Gary Gray has been personally flown to California to properly warm up and stretch the likes of Kobi Bryant before basketball games. He has won several pretigious awards within his occupation, quite simply he is one of if not the best there is. He watched my kid run around for about 1 single minute and knew exactly what had to be done. STRETCHING, in particular the pelvis/hip areas. He put it like this and it was this simple. The kid has bouts of severe pain just under the kneecap . It is either a flexibility issue from the ankle to the knee or from the pelvis to the knee. Within 2 weeks of doing what he told us to do his bouts of pain subsided after a month they all but disappeared. I dont think his situation was unique in any way when compared to the millions of other young athletes who have the same kinds of problems. Any kid that is growing at rapid rates can have huge imbalances in regards to bone length/joint space/muscle length as well as muscle tightness and laxity. In NO way does proper stretching do anything but good for these people. For you to say otherwise is nothing more than Chris Oleary being WRONG again!

For you to tell a young person that stretching will or could likely lead to injury is IRRESPONSIBLE to say the least. 1- you have no idea what you are talking about. 2- you are mistating research or perhaps better said negating some parts of what research is THOUGHT not even proven but THOUGHT to be correct. Your point may have some merit in regards to stretching right before competition but thats where it also ends. Stretching should be incorporated on other days or times when high performance or competition is absent. ESPECIALLY in young ahtletes who are growing. Not to mention any baseball player that does not stretch his posterior cuff is likely on the road to an injury. I have yet to hear a single case of a person becoming injured and his doctor or p.t. therapists professional diagnosment is, " hes just flat out to flexible for his own good". On the other hand I have heard many many times over, " this kid is tighter than a banjo string". Im not interested in hearing what your mentor has to say about stretching being bad and I am even less interested in your “notions” regarding the same subject matter. You have proven over and over again your CLUELESS!

Ive come to the realization that you are obviously hellbent in your quest to conquer the world of pitching mechanics, good luck. That being said when it comes to giving advice to young kids about training/stretching or any other athletic function do so on your own site where others will not be painted with the same brush that may be used to critique yourself. Quit simply you are not up to the task to give advice on naything other than perhaps elevator pitches, my opinion only.


#6

I have come to find that what some people call stretching others call warming up.

Some people use the term stretching to describe an activity that is designed to increase the range of motion of a joint. For example, many swimmers do stretches to increase the range of motion of their shoulder joints to improve their ability to do the butterfly. I have problems with this kind of stretching because recent research has started to show that this kind of stretching – stretching to increase the range of motion of a joint – may be problematic because it can destabilize critical joints.

Other people use the term stretching to describe an activity that is designed to warm up the muscles of the body. I am a big believer in this kind of stretching (but prefer to use the term “warming up”).

When Steve says things like “The best rule of thumb is never throw a baseball unless you have done some sort of stretching to increase your core temperature.” then that sounds to me like he is (largely or entirely) talking about this second type of stretching.


#7

What is the logic behind this statement?

In my opinion, pitchers’ time is much better spent strengthening (and warming up) their posterior rotator cuff rather than trying to stretch it. Otherwise you could end up destabilizing the entire shoulder joint.

Sometimes joints are tight for a very good reason (to hold them together).


#8

What is the logic behind this statement?

In my opinion, pitchers’ time is much better spent strengthening (and warming up) their posterior rotator cuff rather than trying to stretch it. Otherwise you could end up destabilizing the entire shoulder joint.

Sometimes joints are tight for a very good reason (to hold them together).[/quote]

Not that I feel like there is anything to prove to you Chris but heres a piece that you might find interesting. “Shoulder Pain and Rotator cuff abnormalilties in the throwing shoulder” AD Mazzocca, MD Assitant Professor Shoulder and elbow Surgery University of Conneticut. Excellent informative article with PICTURES CHRIS you should love this!!! Be sure to click on the pwr point presentation than save it to your “photo album”