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Olympic lifting increases throwing speed

To understand the effects of Olympic lifting on pitchers, you must first understand how velocity is measured. I will use Newton’s second law of motion, along with the catapult theory, to explain pitching velocity.

Second law of Newton:

It states that the acceleration (speed) of a moving object depends on two variables: the net force acting on the object and the object’s mass. As the propulsive force acting on the object increases, the acceleration of the object increases. As the mass of the object increases, the acceleration of the object decreases.

Newton’s second law of motion

a = f / m (f = force, m = mass, a = acceleration)

Let’s put this in baseball terms. Newton’s second law of motion would state that throwing a baseball at 90 mph would require 6.5 pounds of pressure applied to a baseball, with a mass of 5 ounces, for two tenths of a second (.20).

6.5 pp applied to a 5 ounce baseball for .20 seconds = 90 mph fastball

Therefore, to increase a fastball from 80 mph to 90 mph, you must increase the force applied or the time of application. The application time is the time that the ball maintains once the force is applied. Subtracting 25% from the application time forces the caster to increase the applied force by 33%. Increasing the application time by 10%, increased to 0.22 seconds, would add 10 mph to an 80 mph fastball.

80 mph fastball + 10% more application time = 90 mph fastball

Catapult theory:

The Catapult is made up of three components: the pivot, the coil, and the arm. Let’s add a ball to the end of the arm to represent a baseball. To measure the velocity of the baseball, after the arm is released and the ball is in motion, we use Newton’s second law as described above. The importance of the Catapult is its relationship to a pitcher in its full range of motion before the ball is thrown (see Nolan Ryan’s picture below). If the Catapult pivot is not stable and moves forward during arm release, then this will decrease the force applied to the ball at launch. In return, slow speed. Now, if we stabilize the pivot, that is, there is no movement, and we continue to apply the same force to the ball. When the arm is released and the ball is thrown, it will reach its potential speed. To keep the force applied to the ball constant, the coil must maintain pressure on the arm throughout the delivery process.

How does the Olympic lifting fit into this equation?

First reason, it is the only type of lift in the weight room that trains the triple extension.

What is the triple extension? This is not something new in the world of sports. Olympic lifters have been using the term “Triple Extension” for a long time. Triple extension occurs when the ankle joint is extended, the knee joint is extended along with the extension of the hip flexor. Visualize a long jump in the air as above (note the left leg in triple extension). Also notice that in the image to the right of Nolan Ryan, his right leg is triple extended. You can see your ankle, knee, and hip flexors in full extension. There is no weightlifting that trains the body to push off the ground as a single unit better than Olympic lifts. Triple extension is played in all sports that involve pushing off the ground.

Second reason, notice that the lifter makes a split pull on the top of the item. This is a movement very similar to pitching. More similar than any other weight training exercise. Studies have shown that athletes improve when they train within their sport. This is called sports specific training.

This lifter uses a triple extension to increase the weight. Like the pitcher who drives the ball to the plate. The only difference here is the consequence of the error. If the lifter loses momentum in the hips, they will drop the weight. If the pitcher loses momentum in the hips, he will hit a home run to some lucky hitter.

Now, how does triple extension increase speed?

Of all the ways outlined in Catapult’s theory above and Newton’s Second Law, add both the time of application and the force applied to the ball.

First, let’s explain how application time increases, which is the most efficient way to increase speed. The maximum application time comes from a full range of motion. For example, Nolan Ryan has a 180 degree range of motion in the image above. This is the maximum possible. This means that the Catapult is configured to its potential, armed to the end. For this to happen with a pitcher, the hips must be pushed under the shoulders. The only way to push the hips below the shoulders is by extending the rear leg ankle, knee flexor, and hip, also called Triple Extension, at the perfect time. With the hips fully below the shoulders, the pitcher has now reached his full range of motion, increasing application time to build or maintain force on the ball.

If the hips are set back, the chest leans forward, and the arm guides the body, then there has been minimal application time. Less range of motion, therefore less potential to create more speed.

The triple extension adds force to the ball by assisting in the momentum originally generated by the lifting leg in conjunction with gravity. This only helps momentum, if triple extension occurs, just before the front foot strike. If it happens too soon and the hips have not moved down the mound, then the hips open too soon. This kills the purpose of a good momentum and kills the full range of motion as well.

With the chest out and the hips below the shoulders, the chest and chin should remain up until the ball is thrown to keep the pivot stable throughout the pitch.

More benefits of Olympic lifting!

These lifts not only train the Triple Extension better than any other lifting style, but they specifically train the fast-twitch muscle fiber. This is what makes an athlete explosive. For pitchers and baseball players, getting stronger in the weight room has been banned, until the steroid area materializes. Now everyone is lifting. This is not a trend. This is because it works!

The last benefit of the Olympic lift for delivery of the throw occurs during stabilization of the front leg. As described in the catapult theory, stabilization must occur to avoid the decrease in force applied to the ball. Therefore, if the pitcher’s landing leg moves forward or gives way, then the force is reduced to the ball. In return, little speed. Check out Nolan Ryan in the picture here. His front leg is extended almost three times. This means that you are avoiding instability in your front leg by holding it and even extending it back at your hips. That’s why it reached its maximum speed.

So how do I get started?

In the weight room, but first find a professionally certified Olympic Lifting Coach. These lifts require a lot of training to function properly to prevent injury. I do not recommend performing these lifts without a proper trainer to support you. Check with your doctor before performing these lifts and remember that weight is not important. His form in the weight room and on the field is all that matters. Always sacrifice weight for good mechanics.

If you have any questions about this information, please post your questions on the discussion board.

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