I am a 49 year old javelin thrower that has qualified for my 8th Olympic Trials next year when I will be 50. I have never had any shoulder or elbow problems ever. These are two exercises and two of the reasons why I can still keep going: Two very simple but very effective exercises I do year round at the gym - once or twice a week. These would be great for any pitcher of any age or level to do to help increase arm speed and at the same time reduce the risk of injury.
The first is winding up with a racquetball racket and hitting a racquetball that bounces off the wall. You will notice in the video that I go through the exact same body position as I do when I throw. There are several great benefits to doing this exercise: First you learn to stay closed and wait to hit the ball. Second the focus moves away from throwing and moves to working on timing so that you can hit the ball as hard as possible. And third you go through the throwing motion without letting go of the racket ( 150 gram to 170 grams ) so your body, shoulder and arm must absorb and decelerate the racket. So in essence you work the positive and negative action of the throwing action with a weighted object:
Arm Speed Drill #1: Racquetball hitting:
The second drill is throwing a racquetball ( 1.4 oz ) against a wall and doing it in sets - 5 to 10 reps. The focus here moves away from throwing for distance and moves to building rhythm and working on body position. I throw standing about 15 to 18 inches from the wall to my throwing side (right side). This makes me really focus on my what my right side does during the throw from my right heel turning over and down to my arm coming up and over the line of my shoulders. You will notice on some of the throws I actually touch the wall with my left hand at the beginning of the throw when I wind up:
Arm Speed Drill #2: Racquetball Throwing:
- I do between 50 and a 100 reps per exercise.
I hope some of you in the baseball world agree that these two exercsie could help athletes in your sport. I hate hearing and seeing all the arm related injuries that I believe could almost be entirely eliminated.