How to Strengthen Your Throw From the Outfield in Softball
Although the ball is larger and the bases are closer together, arm strength in playing softball is no less important than in playing baseball. Ironically, because everything involved with a softball field is smaller than the regular baseball field, arm strength for quickness is possibly of greater importance.
These four exercises will help build the muscle mass required to increase strength in the primary throwing muscles. This is in no way a total strength conditioning program, as the lower body, legs, also play a pivotal role in the overall process.
To perform this exercise, stand with feet shoulder width apart, raise both arms to shoulder level height, begin rotating your arms forward in small circles for 15 seconds, then reverse your circles for 15 seconds. Drop your arms to your side and shake it out.
Perform 10 reps of arm circles daily, increasing your time duration 5 seconds daily until you reach maximum endurance, as with all exercises properly performed, the will let you know maximum performance.
This exercise will increase flexibility, balance and stamina and endurance of the rotator cuff muscles.
Exercise, Resistance or Surgical Bands
Any one of the above training aids will suffice for this exercise.
Attach the band to a stationary object, door, install a hook or whatever, as long as it’s attached at least a foot above, and preferably higher, than your height.
Grasping the unattached end of the band, come to your plant position, left foot forward if right handed, right foot forward for lefties, your arm will be at shoulder height in the L position, hand close to ear.
From this position, using your arm and shoulders, pull the band forward as if you were completing your pitching motion, finishing with your hand at your opposite hip.
This exercised is named after Frank Jobe, Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Team Physician, and was originally created as a rehab exercise from an arm injury, but Nolan Ryan began using it as a regular strength exercise, and as they say, the rest is history.
To perform this exercise, stand feet shoulder width apart, hold a 1 – 3 Lb. weight in each hand, which are at your side. Slowly raise your arms straight out sideways, until your arms are at shoulder level, then slowly lower them back to your side.
Perform 3 sets of 10 reps each. As you gain strength you can either increase the number of reps you perform, or increase the amounts of the weight, but Do Not Exceed 5 Lb weights as it then begins to stress instead of strengthen the muscles.
Long Toss Exercise
Just as the name indicates, it involves playing catch and throwing the baseball farther distances as your strength increases. Begin this exercise throwing @ 50 ‘apart, increasing in 10’ intervals until reaching 100 to 110 feet apart.
It’s important to realize and remember, although the drill is Long Toss the number of throws and frequency also has an impact on the drill. You’re better off making less throws per session and throw greater distances and more sessions.
*** Be sure to always stretch and warm the muscles before beginning the long toss or your risk of injury will skyrocket. ***