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Why Squatting Will Not Help You Throw Harder From The Mound

Let me take you on a journey through the biomechanics of pitching. Most people understand that power comes from the lower half when throwing a baseball. So, what workouts do you do for the lower half — Squats, deadlifts or leg presses? Many would argue that these exercises are unnecessary if you are trying to gain velocity when throwing a baseball. What if you have chronic neck and back pain? What do you do then? With this being said, these exercises are very important for overall function and hormonal response, however, they are not going to make you throw harder.

Let’s start with the leg kick. The point of a leg kick is to allow time to pass as forward momentum is being built. Arm separation has had time to occur while the leg has come down. As the front leg extends toward home, this is where the most important pitching motion happens. Most of your power comes from how quickly you can rotate your pelvis toward home plate. As your front leg comes down, you create external rotation of both legs. Just before the front foot hits the ground, relative internal rotation occurs in both legs. The front leg uses internal rotation to rotate the pelvis toward home plate, while the back leg maintains internal rotation to translate centripetal force toward home plate.

Let’s move up the chain.

This quick and powerful rotation of the pelvis induces a stretch on the anterior oblique muscular sling. This is comprised of internal obliques on the glove side, and external obliques on the throwing arm side. Pectoralis major, biceps long head and flexor digitorum superficialis on the throwing arm side has induced stretch through the centripetal force as well. Picture a slingshot being cocked back. Just like the sling, the muscles are now being stretched.

The key to understanding biomechanics is that simple leg workouts will not help you or your athlete gain velocity. The questions you need to be asking are: How do I train power and speed behind hip internal rotation? How do I train comfortably in internal rotation on the stance leg? How do I train my core to be able to transfer load from my lower extremity to my upper extremity?

The dissonance between training and games needs to be closed. At Rehab Docs, we take a special interest in biomechanics of athletes because we understand how devastating injuries can be, especially those that could have been avoided.

The Rehab Docs understand how important it is to build strength, power and speed off of foundational movements of each sport. Don’t waste your time and energy training inefficiently. Different sports require different types of training to make sure you are maximizing your potential and limiting your risk of injury.

Give us a call today to discover your tailored chiropractic treatment plan!


What to Look for in a Chiropractor

It’s safe to say that chiropractors as a whole get a bad wrap. The typical perception of a chiropractor is that your going to get your “back-cracked” and have to keep coming back for life. Listen there are good and bad people in every profession. So what makes a chiropractor good at what they do? How do you know you are getting the best conservative chiropractic care possible? And what makes a chiropractor different from a physical therapist?

Let’s start by discussing what to avoid.

When you go to a chiropractor or physical therapist understand that you do not need x-rays to see the curvature of your spine. Of course if you have acute trauma or suspect to progressive nerve compression get imaging. My point is that the curvature of your spine does not need to be seen on an image because at the end of the day, does is matter? Unless you have severe degeneration, fracture or pathology, your curvature of your spine has no influence on spine pain and function (you know Usain Bolt has scoliosis right!?).

You have heard me say this in the past but bones only move when a muscle influences the movement. This is no different in your spine. You usually see an abnormal curvature only if the muscles pulling on the spine are asymmetrical. So what do you do, rely on adjustments? NO. Rely on soft tissue work? NO. Influence symmetrical muscle pull by teaching the brain to control the muscles around the spine correctly? Yes.

Avoid soley band-aid care! Band-aid care is an adjustment, soft tissue work, dry needling and single joint exercises that don’t fix the root cause of the issue. We preach on this all the time. Look for someone that is working on changing the way you move so you do not have to rely on band-aid care the rest of your life. Band-aid care is nice to relieve painful symptoms but does not fix the overall problem. Yes I know, band-aid care feels good, but at some point your going to get tired paying for the same issue over and over.

Avoid being another protocol! Be wary if someone spells out your whole treatment plan from start to finish. I remember doing rehab after my elbow surgery when I was younger and every visit they would go to the computer, type in my “issue”, and out came a list of exercises that we did that day. Every person has different strategies to move AND has a different ideal pattern that they should be moving in. Treatment should vary in response to how your body chooses to adapt to the new movement strategies.

The goal of every practitioner should be to fix a problem long term. The best physical therapists and best chiropractors practice the same — they are going to use the best possible treatment strategies to help their patients. The problem is that the best is hard to find. In your search for chiropractors in charleston, sc, keep in mind that you are looking for someone who takes a look at the whole kinetic chain, someone who tailors treatment to your body and goals and someone who wants to fix the cause of your pain long term.

Here at The Rehab Docs, we understand how confusing it is when choosing a healthcare professional. We would love to help you make that decision by answering any questions you may have and to help you find the best chiropractic care possible.