Gain Arm Strength with Better Training
Softball players can throw harder with less pain if they take care of their shoulders and rotator cuff. But, it seems that arm strengthening exercises are overlooked in softball (compared to baseball, for instance).
We need to start looking at arm strengthening for softball players not just as injury prevention, but as performance enhancement. It’s easy to tap into a few extra miles per hour when we get the muscles that accelerate and decelerate the ball strong, stable and in great condition.
Whether its softball windmill pitching or overhand throwing, these four exercises will pay off.
First: The Best Band To Use: Theraband CLX
In my academy we really like the Theraband CLX. We like them so much that we bought 100 yards of it, and cut a 4-foot strip for each of the players in our travel organization.
Note: If you purchase a product through links on this page, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use and love.
Theraband CLX (affiliate link) is versatile, durable, lightweight and can roll up to fit in the back pocket. It’s latex-free, which is also a plus for those with allergies. I recommend the GREEN resistance for anyone starting out.
You can use them for much more than just shoulder strengthening exercises–they’re versatile and can be used for hip exercises and much more.
Where to Get One
You CAN do these exercises with a regular ribbon Theraband or equivalent, but they’re not as easy.
I recommend grabbing a Theraband CLX single for yourself (about $10), or buying a roll for your team (ends up being about $10 per player but you’ll cut about 20 bands from a full roll, so you’ll have extras or could split with another team). They’re found on Amazon and in therapy supply stores.
Softball Arm Strength Exercise #1: The No Money
This is one of the best, simplest exercises for external rotation strength, which is crucial in decelerating the arm on a throw.
Softball Arm Strength Exercise #2: Pull Apart T
This exercise is great for strengthening the rear deltoids, rotator cuff and mid-back muscles that control our posture.
Softball Arm Strength Exercise #3: Sword Pull
The sword pull is basically a reverse throw. Thus, it strengthens the arm in the deceleration pattern, helping it slow itself down.
Softball Arm Strength Exercise #4: External Rotation
For softball players, the external rotators are often weak, causing an unstable shoulder that struggles to accelerate and decelerate the arm. This exercise is crucial in throwing harder and keeping the arm healthy.
Ready to Try them But Need a Band?
I buy mine through Amazon (it’s easy), and if you do too, you can jump to the Theraband listing through the button below.
Sets and Reps
For the sake of simplicity and motivation, I recommend the following:
- 8 minutes per day
- For all four exercises, perform one one-minute timed sets
- Focus on going slow, and in one minute between 12-15 reps will be performed. Don’t count, just use the timer and go SLOW.
- Repeat the whole circuit of exercises twice
- Shoot for 3-5 workouts per week
- Perform one set as a warmup before all practices, and one set after as a recovery/cool-down session
BONUS VIDEO: Factors Involved in Throwing Harder
There’s more velocity in any softball player’s arm, especially if she has never done arm care exercises before.
A stronger arm means more power, more endurance and less pain, whether throwing in the field or pitching. Just a few minutes a week can make a huge difference. Learn the Factors behind throwing harder in this video below:
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Good luck this season! – Coach Dan