Baseball Magazine

Other Options for Arm Bands

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

In yesterday’s post I explained the importance of using an exercise band routine for baseball players, especially pitchers.  The video I added also gave some tips regarding exercises that are terrific for building and maintaining arm strength.

Today’s post is meant to show players, coaches, and parents that the (somewhat) expensive option of buying baseball exercise bands can be avoided by using some creativity.

The purpose of using exercise bands is to create light resistance so that the smaller muscles in the shoulder can be targeted.  If too much weight is used (often any weight about five lbs. for an adult), larger muscles kick in to handle the extra weight.  Using the larger muscles defeats the purpose of targeting the smaller ones important to the throwing motion.  Arm bands are great because the resistance is light enough for the little muscles (rotator cuff, etc.) to be targeted.  But there are other options to create the same effect.  Here are three.

Buy surgical tubing in bulk.  On various medical online shopping sites you can buy surgical tubing at long lengths pretty inexpensively.  The benefit to this, beyond cost, is that you can cut the tubing to various lengths.  If you are a coach, you can cut many bands and provide one to every player for use at practice and/or at home.  Another benefit to buying in bulk is that you get more choice in the diameter of the bands.  More narrow bands create less resistance.  Thicker bands create more.  Buying several diameters allow players to take one that matches their strength level.  Like weight training, they can move up to more resistance as they get stronger.  If you cut your own, be sure to tie loops at the ends (photo below) so they can be held easily and hooked onto door knobs or fences for use.

Tie one of these at each end of the tubing

Tie one of these at each end of the tubing

Pilates balls.  As shown in the photo below, Pilates balls are light weight balls that are easily held in the hand that can be used the same way exercise bands are.  Any exercise band drill you see can be done with a Pilates ball.  They are pretty cheap too.  I always see them on the clearance rack at stores like Marshalls, Ross, and Walmart. 

Pilates balls

Pilates balls

Tennis ball can.  When I was a high school player, my coach recommended this.  Take an empty tennis ball can (metal ones work better) and fill it with dirt and small rocks.  Put the cap back on and duct tape over it so it stays sealed.  You now have a perfect light weight to do all the exercises with.  Make two and have one for each hand!  

Whether you use brand name exercise bands or make your own, the point is, all baseball players should be using something as part of their daily strengthening and maintenance routines for their arms.

Next  (Video!) post:  Pickoff throws to first base: Part 1 – The mistakes

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