I’ve seen over the last couple of years, kids doing reverse chaining with weighted balls to strengthen the backside muscles. It seems like they would help strengthen or increase range of motion of the arm. It does neither of those.
You can’t train decelerators reverse chaining, or with resistance training.
The reason for this is throwing is concentric, or shorting of the muscle. Concentric is accelerating your arm. The back of the shoulder, or decelerators is eccentric. Which means the lengthening of the muscle.
It is impossible replicate the speed of muscle strength, the amount the muscle is stretched, or time delay involved in throwing or striking. I know it may sound confusing, but this is how our body works.
Why is Reverse Chaining is Counter Intuitive
Our muscles shorten then lengthen when throwing; so reverse chaining is counter intuitive. It’s also very hard to find your exact arm angle when reverse chaining. The most effective way of training and balancing both decelerators and accelerators is doing the towel drill with a ball 20% heavier and 20% lighter. This will build parity in the pitcher’s arm while also working on his timing, kinematic sequencing, and mechanics. This has been documented and researched by biomechanics. This will also be skill specific. You can do it on the mound or on flat ground.
Another great strengthening exercise is the Wonderweight. You can see all the info on my web site. It’s a great tool for almost any age and is safer then tubing. Studies have shown that it gets up to 20% more strengthening than tubing. Also, you can use it at different angles and weights. So go check it out, my students all love it and even some of the parents use them with frozen shoulders.
Our summer camp is going great — If you are interested in attending please email me at Redheadsox@aol.com or call 281.773.6769.
Thanks and feel free to ask any questions and leave comments on my blog.
Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
©Kevin Beirne 07/2012
p.s. Please share our article on Reverse Chaining.