The Baseball Zone Blog

Ryan Armstrong | Aug 6, 2015 11:02:49 AM

My Thoughts on Cressey Sports Performance's Elite Baseball Mentorship

I was fortunate enough to have attended Cressey Sports Performance's Elite Baseball Mentorship program this past June in the Boston area along with fellow team members here at The Baseball Zone / SST Mississauga, Courtney Plewes and Rick Johnston (pictured L to R with Eric Cressey). This program has provided me with insight that gave me a better understanding of how the body works from a biomechanical perspective. This particular workshop was focused on the upper extremities, especially the elbow and shoulder, two areas that go without saying are extremely important to pitchers - and all throwers - in terms of performance, injury prevention & rehabilitation.

Here is a brief outline of the program and some of my own thoughts:

Day 1: We examined how the shoulder complex should function by looking at movement and symmetry with various athletes. Later that day we went onto the floor and watched assessments performed by Eric Cressey and Eric Schoenberg. Although this may not be my particular area of expertise I learned more about how the body moves so I can better serve our throwers here at The Baseball Zone as well as share this information with our staff.

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Topics: baseball coaching, rehab, pitching, elbow injury, shoulder injury, pitching injuries, injury prevention, elbow strength, baseball warm up, weighted balls, shoulder strength, biomechanics, pitching preparation, sports performance, notre dame, elite baseball mentorship, cressey sports performance, eric cressey, eric schoenberg, matt blake, athlete assessments, boston college, oklahoma state, cape cod league

Rick Boutilier | May 14, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "External Rotation w/ Elbow Away"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Elbow Away from the body from our Rotator Cuff Series. 

Using a relatively light dumbbell, the athlete sets their elbow on the inside of the knee and slowly lowers the weight for 3-4 seconds. It is important to try and maintain good posture ( chest out and shoulders back). Raise the weight back up in a controlled manner for 1 second without using momentum or swinging the weight. We'd often place it at the beginning of a lifting program, especially for baseball players and athletes with shoulder issues, and keep the rep range from 8-12 reps and 2-3 sets. As with all lifts, tempo and grip and repetitions can be varied depending upon purpose, timing, experience, variability, etc.

In the second part of the video we abduct the arm to shoulder height and keep the elbow bent at 90 degrees for a slight variation.

In the video we have Jamie Richmond and Coach Boots (@tbzboots) demonstrating this baseball strength training exercise. Jamie coached and trained with us in the Winter and spent several years with orgranizations such as Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals.

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Topics: strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, shoulder injury, rotator cuff, throwing deceleration, shoulder strength

Rick Boutilier | May 7, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "External Rotation w/ Pulleys"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Pulley from our Rotator Cuff Series. 

Using a pulley system with relatively light weight, the athlete locks the elbow of their pulling arm at the same hip and externally rotates the pulley away from the body. It is important to try and keep that elbow as close to the body as possible throughout the movement to maintain focus on the Teres Minor. We'd often place it at the beginning of a lifting program, especially for baseball players and athletes with shoulder issues, and keep the rep range from 8-12 reps with a tempo of 1 second out (away from the body) and 3-4 seconds back to the body. As with all lifts, tempo and grip and repetitions can be varied depending upon purpose, timing, experience, variability, etc.

In the video we have John Mariotti demostrating the exercise. At the time, John was training with us in preparation for his representing Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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Topics: in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, pitching velocity, shoulder injury, rotator cuff, throwing velocity, glenohumeral joint

Graeme Lehman | Feb 25, 2014 8:53:00 AM

Throwing with Over the Top Arm Slot Is Faster But More Dangerous Pt. 2

This post comes from our colleague, Graeme Lehman, in Kelowna, BC. Graeme has a great blog which you can find at lehmansbaseball.wordpress.com. If you are from the area, make sure you see Graeme.

Quick recap of Part 1 since I wrote it 3+ months ago. This article talked about a study which reported that pitchers who threw with excessive contralateral tilt could produce more velocity than those who didn’t tilt as much. This extra velocity came with a price which was more joint forces at the elbow and shoulder which could lead to an injury. The amount that each pitcher tilt’s is going to dictate which arm slot they use since the arm should always be at 90-100 degree angle from the trunk in order to maximize force and minimize injuries.

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Topics: baseball injury, pitching, elbow injury, shoulder injury, pitching injuries, pitching skills, pitching mechanics, contralateral tilt, Arm slot

Graeme Lehman | Nov 6, 2013 1:44:00 PM

Throwing with an Over the Top Arm Slot is Faster But More Dangerous!!

This post comes from our colleague, Graeme Lehman, in Vancouver. Graeme has a great blog which you can find at lehmansbaseball.wordpress.com and currently works at Inside Performance in North Vancouver. If you are from the area, make sure you see Graeme.

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Topics: baseball injury, pitching, elbow injury, shoulder injury, pitching injuries, pitching skills, pitching mechanics, contralateral tilt

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