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Post-Pitching Arm Care

arm care baseball development overhead athlete recovery restoration softball tennis volleyball

What does a post pitching arm care plan look like? 

We want to certainly do our recovery.  We want to do our restoration, but it's also our prime opportunity for development.  And what does development mean?  We want to improve capacity, so we are going to improve strength.  We're going to improve our durability at this point in time. We're going to improve our power. 

We need to think about energy system development because it takes time to recover from resistance training.  So we want to put our heaviest activities actually on the day of pitching or the day after pitching so that the body can recover prior to going into the next pen or the next outing.   If I can get my players to do a heavy lift the day of pitching, and the player is up for it both mentally and physically, it's a great opportunity to develop them even more.  Now, in the chart, you will see it as optional, because pitching or playing a tennis or volleyball match, is absolutely mentally and physically exhausting and some don't have anything left in the tank.  But some people really like the post-outing lift. So we'll make that player dependent. 

We're also going to also do our local arm care.  Remember, we have to restore that tissue quality.  It takes four days to do it.  What can we do to accelerate it and what can we do to develop it?  One of the best ways to develop capacity and to restore tissue quality is through eccentric training.  Manual eccentrics are amazing at this point in time. So day of pitching, I want to be sure to do manual eccentrics. If the player doesn't have someone to work with them directly, we're going to do that through tubing or isometrics. Additionally, we will use the Turkish get up after a match or outing.  

So let's go dive into a little bit more detail. We're trying to give you as much detail. We have a two-day course on this, so if we seem like we're covering a lot, it's because we're just hitting a little bit of the highlights here in this article.  So if we think about it, day zero, the day of pitching post-care, what does that look like? Well, you would think Phil Plisky here, "the movement guy" is going to say, we need to work on movement. And that's going to be our primary focus. Movement is very important, don't get me wrong, but our primary focus is hydration, sleep and nutrition.  This is a key thing. We need to be talking about this with our athletes because that restoration needs to occur and the only time that restoration occurs, it's not by slapping a Mark Pro on or do an e-stim or cupping, those can be helpful, but sleep, nutrition and hydration is really important.

Our secondary focus is going to be increasing blood flow to the tissue, restoring tissue quality, restoring range of motion.  And we're going to do that in a few ways.  We can do that through massage guns, lacrosse balls, muscle contraction, foam rolls. However, rather though than passive activities, I like to be doing things where if I'm going to be working on a trigger point, I want active muscle contraction while working that trigger point out.  This can be best accomplished through manual resistance.

I also love Indian clubs here for restoring range of motion. You can see we can start off slow. This is great because we're getting great rotator cuff activation along with full movement patterns, restoring that good posture, that upright posture.  We have to have that good posture with those clubs.  I can't emphasize if there's something that if there's one piece of equipment to buy for my pitchers, it's go after Indian clubs because that investment there is going to pay off as both we do it both in a pre-pitch routine, a pre-workout routine, as well as development in developing power and developing speed. 

That other thing that we're going to do is we're going to do Turkish get up.  Turkish get up takes us through all the movement patterns, takes us through all the different ranges of motion and muscle tensioning in all these different range of motions.  And that is a key thing.  We want to see that we can get that motion. A lot of times we lose shoulder extension.  You can see here that getting that shoulder extension, we don't do that a lot.  This is great because it's in that weight bearing position.  We're getting a lot of good stability with the mobility and then we're taking that movement through and a lot of times we'll see a lot of rectus femoris tightness and that tissue tension in there and we're going to get into that lunge position while we're tensioning and it just works so great. And again, remember, we're going to look at advanced other energy system development, strength aerobic development in this day zero. 

Now let's move on to day one. This is the day after pitching.  We're going to continue with our tissue restoration techniques, we're going to continue with our tissue recovery techniques and our Indian clubs to restore that range of motion.  Now again, we're going to go to body weight strengthening or full on weightlifting that day after pitching.  Not because, it is restorative, which is really cool, but it's also developmental. And that's one of the things I really want you to know as a professional working with overhead athletes.  The ability to develop that strength and conditioning program is an essential component to this.  So if you can't do that, get that knowledge for that or get them to a person or a professional who can do that for them.  This is also now where I'm going to be doing that six position carry. That six position carry, we're going to do overhead, rack position and at the suitcase position.  That's going to combine great mobility, stability, syncing with the core and the hips.  You wouldn't believe the number of player's cores that I see that tend to become dysfunctional after an outing just because of the stress that's given to the body.  And then again, we're going to continue this process through day two, through day three, depending on when we're throwing a bullpen.  And having that detailed plan, basing it on the person's age and understanding all that, is key to being the professional, the best professional we can be for our overhead athletes.


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