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Discussion: How To Improve One's Arm?

Posted Discussion
Aug. 24, 2011
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
How To Improve One's Arm?
I usually play outfield. In 2005 I had major surgery on my throwing shoulder. The surgeon said that I probably wouldn't be able to throw again. He was almost right. LOL At 65 I would like to improve my throwing ability.

Is there anyone who can offer some suggestions? It's like starting over, grip, exercises,etc.?

Please don't hijack this thread with the usual mind numbing juvenile back and forth about balls, bats and testosterone.

Thanks, Hombre
Aug. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1983 posts
Hombre-a guy on my team had rotator surgery that got infected and basically turned his muscles to mush and he was told he wouldn't throw again. That was over a year ago. He did not believe the doctor. He is out every chance he can get throwing as much as he can. He is back playing outfield, and if not where it once was-he is getting stronger and stronger. His recipe-throw, throw, throw.
Good Luck!
Aug. 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
do easy long toss to help build your arm back up,and use 52 balls...sorry couldn't resist....most have said the long toss is the best way to rebuild strength in your arm,stay away from weighted balls at the moment.when i do my batting tee work on a field(instead of a net)i go collect the balls by throwing them back into 2b or 3b with long easy tosses.
Aug. 24, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
I've seen and used a weighted softball. Try this sight.

http://www.softball.com/catalog/product.jsp?productStyleNumber=CSB7SET
Aug. 24, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
Dam, Hombre you are OLD!!!!!!!
Missed you this past weekend.

I suggest you get a set of the weighted balls (9 to 12oz) and work starting with the 9oz and working up to the 12oz and throw as much as you can. Don't try to overthrow to start with, just lobbing them will start to give your arm strength. When you switch to the normal playing ball it will feel like a feather since they weigh 6.5ozs and I'll bet you throw the normal one after the weighted ones into the ground or very low. We have at least a dozen people in our league that use these and one of them could only throw underhand but is now playing SS with at least a better than average arm.
If you need info on where to buy let me know and I'll get you the cheapest suppliers info.

The Hitman
Aug. 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
the weighted balls stress the shoulder tho,be careful.long tossing has been the recommended method from what i have read up on.
Aug. 24, 2011
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
420 posts
Agree with Mad Dog. Stay away from the weighted balls until you have significantly improved your arm strength (and then maybe stay away from them anyway).

You didn't specifically say this was rotator cuff surgery, but assuming it was, the rotator cuff muscles are very short and tear easily if you stress them too much. They must be brought along slowly. If it's been 6 years since your surgery, you probably need some serious strengthening and stretching.

Even though you probably had some physical therapy after the surgery, I would suggest trying to get a new referral, or if you are live in a state that has direct access to physical therapists, schedule some time directly, and have them set you up with a strengthening plan.

We are about the same age. My experience has been that I have to challenge the therapist a little to let him/her know that I am serious about getting back to the sport. They see a lot of people our age who are basically sedentary and who are just trying to get some minimum mobility back.

Good Luck!
Aug. 24, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
mad dog is 100% correct in all he said.

My son played at a D-1 JUCO, and had friends/acquaintenances over the years who played up to MLB, and we NEVER saw a weighted ball. Just a lot of properly done long toss.
Aug. 24, 2011
olie04
Men's 50
46 posts
When looking at improving an area of the body that has had injury or muscle degeneration, it is best to focus on strengthening the muscle and tendons/ligaments first. Remember, the weakest link is the one that is going to give you problems(i.e. tendons attach muscle to bone, Ligaments attach bone to bone). Basic exercise for the shoulder girth are advised with very close attention to range of motion. Resistance bands are good for allowing you to closely mimic the natural movement of throwing without an increased risk of injury. Specific exercises for stregthening the rotator are recommended. Visit any web site for "Rotator rehabilitation" for examples. Resistance training with weights will help with strengthening the tendons and ligaments. Shoulder training at your age(not meant to be demeaning)should be done with light weight and progress in minimal poundages. Once the shoulder area is strengthened sufficiently,begin the regular throwing regimene. Good luck my friend.
Aug. 24, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
I've played with and against Hombre and he already has an above average arm and I agree with light weight training but have 100% percent success with the weighted balls. I wouldn't suggest them for someone who is doing rehab after surgery but to strentghen lobbing them works. Shouldn't be trying to throw them hard, just like long toss. Remember it's been 6 years since he had the surgery.
Aug. 24, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
I've played with and against Hombre and he already has an above average arm and I agree with light weight training but have 100% percent success with the weighted balls. I wouldn't suggest them for someone who is doing rehab after surgery but to strentghen lobbing them works. Shouldn't be trying to throw them hard, just like long toss. Remember it's been 6 years since he had the surgery.
Aug. 24, 2011
stick8
1298 posts
Despite what some may say there is no weight lifting exercise that will improve ones throwing arm. A weighted ball might cause undo strain on your shoulder, elbow or your wrist. The best use for a weighted ball is breaking in a new glove. The only way to possibly improve your arm is long toss and even then it's not a guarantee. Throwing arm strength is like speed. Either you have a good arm and can run fast or you don't.
Aug. 24, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, all you say is very true. Though long toss can help you to reach your potential, whatever that might be, just like any training enables you to be the best you can be.
Aug. 24, 2011
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
I use Cable Machines at the gym. Get one with a tall adjustable arm so the pivit point if high then select the lightest weight slot and mimick the throwing motion slowly.

If this seems to work for you, then, over time select the next weight up. This helps me. go slowly & lite
Aug. 24, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
I would contact Ed Andrews and ask him about his Sport stretching equipment. If you dont know him he is one of the Reebok reps based out of Colorado.
To find his email addy type in Reebok Melee in you search browser.
Aug. 24, 2011
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
Fellas, I really appreciate the information. I'm going to try several of the suggestions.
The surgery removed 1" of the collar bone and ground down the top of the joint due to arthritis. An impingement was removed. The labrum was reattached and a significant amount of damaged tissue was removed. I don't recall them saying anything about the rotator cuff.

Again, thanks
Aug. 24, 2011
olie04
Men's 50
46 posts
hombre, Don't be fooled by people who have no proven knowledge and medical training regarding how to improve your throwing arm. Basic Anatomy and physiology/kinesiology need to be employed. Don't take the word of some "I have a friend who said" stuff. These people have all the best intentions in mind but are underqualified to give out pertinent information. I have been training people with sports specific injuries for over 30 years, mostly the 30-75 year old range.Stick8 is right in saying "Either you have a good arm and can run fast or you don't". but realize you are trying to overcome something that has taken away your normal abilities because of injury. Resistance training will strengthen the areas that will give you the best chance at full recovery, not only for your throwing, but endurance and strength. "Whatever you do, do something and be consistant".
Aug. 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
ollie your are so correct,it is the reason i will only tell someone about doing easy long toss,i went thru the rotator cuff surgery(complete tear)and it was better than a year for complete recovery(and really isn't complete as i don't have the full range of motion i used to have).resistance bands is what i was told to use(they even gave a couple of different ones)to rehab with.


now could you suggest something for a complete body makeover...LOL.....being 61 is crappy,mind thinks i can do it,but the body says pack sand buddy....lol.....
Aug. 24, 2011
stick8
1298 posts
Gary19 your correct in that it'll help reach yoour potential. I should have been more specific in writing if you don't have a good arm no weight exercise will lend itself for you to be able to throw like Clemente or Dwight Evans. I met a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks a few years ago who told me when they look at prospects the very first two things they look for are speed and arm strength. Coaches can teach prospects hitting and fielding. They can't teach speed or arm strength.
Aug. 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
yep stick,had a guy i knew that went to az for tryouts,and he was good to go until he ran,came up a tenth or 2 to slow for what they were looking for.
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