JUST LIKE EATING YOUR GREENS. IT'S NOT SEXY, BUT IT IS A NECESSITY.
In order to best prepare your body for the demands of throwing, you first have to realize what it's trying to do each time you throw a baseball. It actually has nothing to do with throwing, and everything to do with preventing your arm from getting ripped off. The more soldiers (muscle fibers) you have working for you at a high level, the more efficiently it will prevent this from happening, and the less wear-and-tear the the joints, ligaments, and other soft tissues within the arm and body will undergo.
"It's not the mountain that wears you down..it's the tiny pebble in your shoe"
Train your ENTIRE 'ARM'Y
Unfortunately, most arm care programs in existence, if not all of them, fail to appropriately target a player's ENTIRE fleet of soldiers. Which ones primarily get left behind? The Recon Team. Why is this a problem? If your body isn't receiving the correct information in a timely manner, it's going to be inefficient at executing the throw. In other words, if your Recon Team isn't functioning at capacity, your Enforcer Team won't receive the proper information to "GO." This leads to greater wear-and-tear on your arm, so it's in your best interest as a player to make sure your Recon Team stays up to speed.
This is where a basic understanding of how your neuromuscular system works becomes extremely valuable. Once you become aware that you actually have certain muscle fibers in your body designed specifically to provide information to your central nervous system, you now need to know how to strengthen them. By doing this, you will not only enhance your system's ability to produce and absorb force, but your Recon Team also has a large influence on flexibility and muscle tone (stiffness characteristics); all of which are desirable, advantageous, and necessary for the throwing athlete.
The information below gives you a more in-depth look at how a Thrower's Isometric exercise within our program specifically targets and strengthens your Recon Team (Intrafusal Fibers), thereby enhancing your muscles' overall function
As you can see in the video and the picture above, this is an exercise that targets a muscle in your back called Middle Trapezius (Mid Trap). Whether you know what the muscle is called or not isn't a huge deal, but you should know the intent of every exercise you do, and how it's affecting you at the only level that really matters (muscle) so you can maximize its purpose. This is also important because even though an exercise may seem irrelevant to what you need on the outside, it may be exactly what you need on the inside. Therefore, without this awareness, you will likely neglect and fail to strengthen extremely important muscle fibers inside your body.
These muscle fibers being referred to are part of your Recon Team, and are known as Intrafusal Fibers. Their overall role in how your muscles contract has been previously outlined on the Your "ARM"Y page, but the illustration below provides further detail so you can have a greater understanding of how the Thrower's Isometrics actually work. In summary, the BEST way to target and enhance these muscle fibers, thus improve your overall Functionality, is through low-intensity (low resistance), isometric holds conducted at your end-range-of-motion as a muscle is placed in a shortened position. Although this may seem overly complicated, too in-depth, or even irrelevant, it's actually fairly simple, and absolutely fundamental in order to maximize the capabilities of your muscular system.
"Many times it's the things that are mundane, tedious, and seemingly totally unrelated to your actual goals that end up helping the most..."
Raise your set-point
The graph shown on the right is another way to look at how the DVS Arm Care System can help improve your overall Functionality by appropriately targeting and strengthening your Recon Team. As you can see, the black dotted line on top represents the maximal amount of stress that your Enforcer Team can endure before dysfunction or injury occurs. The red dotted line below it represents the maximal threshold of your Recon Team, or Intrafusal Fibers. If your Recon Team has a reduced capacity to tolerate stress or isn't performing up-to-par with the Enforcer Team (as shown in the graph), then your neuromuscular system won't send a "GO" signal to the corresponding Enforcer Team. This results in your body compensating and finding less than optimal soldiers to complete the throw, which causes inefficiency and increased wear-and-tear on the joint and surrounding tissue. On the contrary, if you raise the Set-Point by enhancing your Recon Team, you widen the operating window that a muscle can work within and improve its capacity to tolerate stress. The end result: the muscle contracts better, which will lead to greater efficiency and better performance while limiting the amount of overall stress endured.