Why Do Pitchers Work Out Their Legs?
When you are trying to make it as a pitcher in the MLB, you have to have the power and velocity behind your pitches that are going to strike a batter out. What many might not think about is that sometimes your legs can grow tired even before your arm and shoulder do. If you do not have enough muscle in your legs to keep that power consistent, then it is possible you can find yourself getting pulled out of games a lot sooner than you would have liked. Focusing on gaining muscle in your legs can ensure you are throwing pitches that seem almost impossible for some batters to hit and you can even find yourself going late into the game consistently pitching accurately inning after inning.
Why Is It Important For Pitchers To Work Out Their Legs?
Working out your legs can prevent an injury from happening and causing you to be pulled from the game. If you keep trying to force power from a part of your body that simply can’t keep up then it will become fatigued very quickly and then your body will be forced to take this power from your arm and shoulder. Having this extra stress put onto your arm can cause it to become injured and you will have no choice but to sit out of a few games or even a season while it heals.
Workouts You Can Do To Strengthen Your Legs
Squats are one of the basic compound exercises that are essential in any lower body routine. A compound exercise is one that can work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Squats are so important because they can work out your quads, glutes, and calves. Doing this exercise can ensure that a pitcher is working out various muscles in their legs to obtain high overall leg strength.
In order to properly do a squat, you need to first stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes facing forward. Push your hips back and bend at your knees and ankles as you begin to lower your body. It is important to remember to keep your heels and toes flat on the ground as well as keep your chest up and shoulders back. Lower down as if you are about to sit in an invisible chair while also tightening your abdominal muscles to help keep your balance. When you are lowering your body down the goal is to end with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Lastly, push on your heels and straighten your legs back up so you are standing back up normally, and repeat this motion for as many reps and sets you choose to do.
Lunges are also important to work on lower body strength and are a staple in many workout programs. They can strengthen your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
To do a lunge, step forward with one of your feet until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your rear knee should stay parallel to the ground and your front knee should not extend over your front foot. Push through your front foot and lift yourself back up into the starting position. It can also help to tighten your abdominal muscles to help keep your balance. Repeat this exercise as needed.
Romanian deadlifts are another example of an essential compound exercise you will find in almost any workout program. Leg focused deadlifts work out your glutes and hamstrings and you have the options to use a kettlebell, a barbell, or dumbbells.
To do this exercise, start with the weights or bar in your hands and lower the weight slowly towards the ground with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back straight and keep going until you can feel a stretch in your hamstrings. You do not have to go all the way to the ground, if you force yourself to go further than needed then the position of your lower back will not stay straight and this can lead to lower back pain and even injury. You should start to feel the stretch when the weight is slightly past your knees, when this happens slowly push your hips forward and start to stand back up. Repeat as needed.
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift:
Lastly, the single-leg Romanian deadlift is about the same as the basic Romanian deadlift. For this one, you have the two options of using a dumbbell or a kettlebell. Also, you can do it without either when you are first learning it in order to work on your balance. Doing a single exercise can help even out if one leg is stronger than the other. When you are doing an exercise that moves both at the same time, it can be hard to pinpoint if one is stronger than the other because they will be working together to get the job done. Doing one leg at a time can help you avoid your leg strength being off balanced.
To do a single-leg Romanian deadlift, have your feet shoulder-width apart and then slowly move onto one leg with the other bent at the knee slightly. Lower your body until it is parallel to the floor, make sure your knee is still bent slightly and your back is kept neutral. Keep in mind the weight does not have to touch the floor and once you have reached as far as you think you can go, slowly rise back up while squeezing your glutes and you should be back in your start position. Repeat as needed.
Resources To Help Strengthen Your Legs
All of this information at once can seem a bit overwhelming, but with Ryan Weiss’ three-month weight lifting program, you will have a step-by-step guide to help you achieve your goals. When you sign up all you have to do is fill out a survey and a personal program will be set up specifically for you. If you find yourself needing more muscle mass in your legs, these programs can help you build it as long as you stay consistent and put the work in. These weight lifting programs can help you increase your velocity and the power that you need to up your pitching game. When you’re a successful pitcher, you can be seen by teams in the MLB and even find yourself playing for them one day, and if you are already playing in the MLB then it is always important to keep working on yourself and to keep your pitching stats sharp and your opponent’s striking out.
There is also a three-month throwing program that you can purchase that is centered around increasing velocity while pitching. This runs the exact same as the other program, you fill out a survey and a guide is put together just for you to help you achieve your goals. This program can help strengthen your throwing foundation and find any specific weaknesses that you may have. You will also learn the anatomy of throwing, a throwing schedule, conditioning work, important key understanding points, and mobility work. Like any of the other programs Ryan has to offer, you have to put the work in to see any kind of results so come prepared and ready to put the work in.
Taking care of your body while you are putting this amount of stress on it can be overwhelming at first and you want to make sure that you are doing everything correctly. Pulling research from various different websites and programs can get confusing, and sometimes it is hard to know if the research you have found is legit. If you choose to find information for yourself with outside resources, always go the extra step to make sure this information is accurate to ensure you’re able to take proper care of yourself and avoid injuries. You can also avoid this confusion by signing up for Ryan Weiss’ throwing and weight lifting programs because you can confidently know that the guides you will be given are accurate and can truly give you results.
If you follow these exercises consistently and sign up for Ryan Weiss’ programs, over time you can find your velocity and power begin to increase. However, it is important to note, these things do take time and not everyone’s bodies are built the same. It may take you longer than others to achieve the goal that you want. Do not let this sway you from working towards this goal, if you put your mind to something and you keep working at it, just about anything can be possible.
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