Softball requires you to pitch a softball as a pitcher, hit it with great strength as a batter and then throw it perfectly as a fielder. What’s common in all these actions is the need of a strong arm. If you are a softball player then you are aware of the importance of arm strength in softball hitting and pitching.
The importance of arm strength in softball hitting and pitching
While hitting or pitching, your arms and shoulder muscles play a crucial role. If your arm is not strong enough to use all its muscles efficiently then you will not be able to produce enough motion throughout your arm.
This results in a slower swing as well as a slower pitch. Hitting fast and with full strength is very important to the game of softball.
In case of pitching, the arm action is generated using triceps, deltoids, pectoralis major, biceps and latissimus dorsi. Did you know that almost all of the throwing action, while pitching the softball, comes from the shoulder joint.
Interesting hitting a softball bat is quite similar to pitching or throwing a softball. When you swing your bat, muscles located in both your rear arm and front arm undergo contractions. Namely, anconeus muscles, pronator muscles and supinator muscles help in generating the swinging motion.
There are specific exercises that target each one of these muscles separately. Performing them properly can allow you to have a stronger arm.
How to make it stronger
With a little bit of hard work and persistence you can make your arm stronger. We have put together 5 important exercises that will help you in making your arms stronger.
To start your exercise regime we would suggest you to go for the simplest exercise first. Interestingly, even though Push Ups are quite simple and easy, they are known to be one of the most effective exercises for increasing arm strength.
Put your palms on the floor with a width equivalent to that of your shoulder. Straighten up your body and let your toes touch the ground. Your feet should be perpendicular to the ground and your head should be in line with your spine.
Once you are in the position, use your arm strength to raise yourself up. Do this slowly and after reaching the maximum height, slowly come back to your initial position.
3 reps of this exercise will let you improve your arm strength in no time.
One of the most exceptional arm strength builder is the bench-press exercise. It allows you to make your triceps stronger – the muscles that play an important role in softball hitting and pitching.
If done properly, your triceps feel stronger after a few weeks of doing the bench press.
First you need to set your feet and then position yourself under the bar. Although feet aren’t that important in this exercise yet their proper placement can help you in getting full strength from head to toe. We suggest you to keep your feet towards your hip.
You should then tightly grip the bar, breathe out and unrack the bar. Make sure to put all your energy in lifting the bar. Next, breathe in and bring down the bar. You should touch the bar on your chest.
Initially, don’t try to add a lot of weight on your bar. Take your time and add more weights gradually. Do these exercises 3 – 5 times a day in order to achieve stronger triceps.
You can easily find a bench press in your nearest gym. You can also use other gym machines that allow you to strengthen your arms including super pullover machine, cable crossovers and seated triceps extension machines.
Dumbbell swings are great for toning your shoulder muscles. For this exercise, you should hold a reasonably sized dumbbell that doesn’t have a lot of weight and swing it back and forth.
Throughout the swing you should have a flat back with a tight grip. Make sure to breathe in when you swing the dumbbell in the downward direction.
Other exercises like sumo deadlift and lateral lunges using dumbbells can be performed in the form of 3 to 5 reps per day.
Quick and Long Distance Tossing to a Partner
Tossing exercises give you a feel of the real game. These require a partner with whom you can toss the ball backward and forward.
Toss the ball as fast as you can. Use all your power! Do these throws every day. It might hurt initially for a couple of days but eventually your muscles will get the hang of it.
While playing the game of softball, you will be required to throw the softball at distances as large as 30 to 40 feet. In order to perfect your throw, you should practice throw at long distances every day.
Also, try to look for throwing exercises that only use wrists. These help in making your wrists stronger which eventually contributes in strengthening your throw as a pitcher. In addition to these exercises, you should focus on maintaining a good healthy diet. A healthy diet allows you to stay energetic throughout the day. You should also visit a dietician who can provide you with the right supplements and a proper diet plan which you can follow.
Consult your trainer for an exercise regime that is most suitable for your age and your body. Be sure to stay regular with your strength exercises.
You should complement these arm strengthening exercises with the rest of your body exercises. Keep in mind that for a perfect pitch or a perfect hit, you require total body movement. From your legs to your hips to your shoulders, all your body parts should coordinate with each other smoothly.