As the weather warms up, many athletes are heading to the baseball and softball fields for a summer packed with nonstop practices, games and tournaments. Regardless of their experience, these athletes want to perform at their highest possible level while also staying healthy. Luckily, performance enhancement and injury prevention go hand-in-hand in the throwing athlete.
When we think of the throwing motion, we always think of the arm. However, most of the power in the throwing motion actually comes from the lower body! With that in mind, here are three simple ways to address the lower body and trunk to maximize performance while also preventing an injury that may keep you off the field.
To maximize the power behind your throws, building strength of the hips and legs is crucial. Not only will this help to deliver the ball quicker, but it will decrease the amount of work the arm has to do, preventing injuries from occurring.
To build this lower body strength and power, you can perform these two exercises:
Once the power for the throwing motion is generated by the legs, the trunk transfers the energy up the kinetic chain to the arm. For this energy to be transferred effectively, the trunk must be able to rotate powerfully toward the target in a controlled manner.
To make the most of the force generated by the legs, achieving good hip-shoulder separation during the throwing motion winds the trunk up and allows a greater release of power. This occurs when the hips rotate toward the target after pushing off the back leg, followed by the shoulders. To achieve this hip-shoulder separation, good thoracic rotation mobility is necessary.
These exercises should keep you at the top of your game while also keeping you on the field. However, if you do experience an injury, be sure to schedule a free assessment at your nearest Athletico clinic.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
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