I figured since last week I wrote about the importance of lower extremity strength I would head to the opposite part of the body and write about forearm and grip strength this week. Much like how important strong feet and ankles are to athletes, forearm and grip strength is similarly crucial. I discussed how the feet are an athletes only connection with the ground and significantly effect performance, well the same is true for grip strength in many athletic activities. There are numerous sports which require specific movements in which the hands are the final connection or link within that movement.
I spoke with Ron Wolforth of Pitching Central and the Baseball Ranch yesterday and we began talking about his summer workout program. As usual with Coach Wolforth, there are a number of new innovative aspects to his 2010 summer program. However, the aspect which really captured my attention was the amount of barefoot activities the athletes out at the Ranch are being asked to do. The plyometric warm ups, including the rugby's, are all done without shoes in a sand pit. The sand pit is also utilized for running sprints and other conditioning exercises. On top of this, Coach Wolforth has his athletes perform hitting drills barefoot.
Last week I wrote about the routine I followed during the season to help keep my arm healthy and feeling fresh. However, there is more to arm care than in-season work aimed to help a player recover between games and stay off the disabled list. As many players and coaches finish up their seasons I wanted to address some off-season exercises that specifically focus on strengthening the arm and shoulder.
My father and I returned from a two week trip to Taiwan and China this past Sunday after attending the TaiSpo and Canton Fair sports manufacturer conventions. We had a number of memorable experiences during our trip to Asia including climbing the Great Wall of China, but one thing that has stood out in my mind since we returned home was our night watching a flying acrobatic show in Beijing. During the hour and a half show, we witnessed 9 girls riding one bike, male acrobats jumping and flipping through different sized rings at different heights, a number of juggling acts, and acrobats holding one another in gravity defying positions.
Injuries have become a prevalent part of the game of baseball in today's day and age as is evident by the increasing number of Major Leaguers who spend time on the disabled list during the course of a season. This trend is alarming enough for the grown men on big league rosters but what is even more distressing is the growing number of injuries to adolescent baseball players.
Because my focus is on baseball players, both pitchers and hitters, the ATP energy system is the one of greatest interest and importance. However, if you are involved in any sport which requires explosive movements then this should be the system of greatest interest to you as well. As I said before, it is possible to specifically train the ATP system by engaging in short, high intensity repetitive bouts with proper rest intervals. Remember the ATP system provides energy during the first 12-15 seconds of activity and has the highest potential for power output. Using this knowledge, lets look at how it is possible to incorporate different areas of training with the goal of improving the ATP energy system (and as a result your explosiveness as an athlete)
Oates Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Since starting the company in 2003 with baseball as its primary focus, Robert and Gloria Oates, along with their son Brian, have worked diligently to develop a line of quality athletic conditioning tools that is unparalleled. We hope you enjoy our product line, videos, and blog. Contact us if we can help you in any way!