Core Training for Pitchers, Part 1

One of my favorite core strength and activation exercises for pitchers or other athletes for whom powerful rotation and good anti-rotation stability is important.

Brian (rear) is giving us a look at the “Serape Effect,” which describes the muscular actions of an anterior and posterior crossover involving both deep core stabilization muscles and superficial, movement system muscles. In this case, he’s activating the posterior portion of the “Serape” in this particular movement.

The Serape Effect, first written about in a paper by GA Logan and WC McKinney in 1970, refers to a criss-cross design of core muscles as they relate to the anterior and posterior stabilization and movement systems in the body.

When shoulders and hips rotate in opposing directions, like during a pitch, the ventral muscles of the trunk begin a pre-stretch in a diagonal pattern. The muscles involved are the rhomboids, serratus anterior, internal and external obliques.

The attachments and layout of these muscles provides an excellent mechanism for force production between the shoulder and opposite hip. The functional connection between the working leg and hip produces force via the rapid lengthening and subsequent shortening of the muscles in the loaded hip and throwing shoulder.

This Serape Effect provides an ideal length-tension relationship for force production during rotational movements. The core muscles provide a strong, stable foundation on which this can take place.

A strong foundation creates a great environment for powerful movement. Want to throw 90+ MPH fastballs (like Reds prospect Jose Lopez and Twins prospect Brian Gilbert?) Then you need a strong, readily-activated core to provide a solid, injury-proof base.

The off-season is the time to get in the gym and get yourself ready for next season. The best athletes know that success is built in the training room more than on the field.

Where you train matters. Who you train with matters even more.

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