Recently on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, an episode aired about a pitcher named Steve Delabar that was enjoying life as an A league ball pitcher with hopes of making the big leagues when he blew his elbow out. After giving up his dream of pitching, he went back to school and became a teacher and baseball coach.
He was always interested in a pitching program that he had heard about to help pitchers improve speed, and so he started learning it to use it in his coaching. Testing it out on himself, he began measuring his own speed with a radar gun. To his surprise, he was throwing 85 mph! Shortly thereafter it was up into the 90s! After hitting 95 and 96 mph he decided to call up some scouts to come out and take a look. This story has a great ending…he’s called to the big leagues! Not bad for a guy who never made it out of Minor A ball!
He dedicates all of his success to the pitching program developed by two guys that noticed how baseball players constantly blew out their shoulders but tennis players never did. Serving a tennis ball puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint, but yet they never seem to get injured. The key to the program’s success lies in the fact that tennis players never let go of the racket when serving (at least not on purpose), while pitchers always let go of the ball. This ultimately results in a muscle imbalance between the anterior and posterior portions of the shoulder. The anterior is over active, while the posterior is under active, and therefore grows weak. The key in balancing the opposing muscle groups is practicing throwing without releasing.
As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I thought this was a really inspiring story that spelled out the importance of equality amongst opposing muscle groups perfectly.
Your friendly health & fitness expert,