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Bench Press For Pitchers - Good or Bad?
Bench Press For Pitchers Is the bench press bad for pitchers? Well, you would think that at this point and time there is enough evidence to say outright that the bench press is bad for pitchers, baseball players, or really any overhand throwing athletes, but there’s not. It is still being debated. So, all I am left to do is give my personal opinion on whether or not I think the bench press is bad for pitchers. That answer to that question is yes. I do think that performing the bench press with the traditional barbell is bad for pitchers. What does the amount of weight that someone can bench press have to do with pitching? There are no real benefits that I have noticed from lifting heavy weights in a bench press form. In fact, I always feel tight and bulky in the front of my shoulders whenever I would bench press (before I knew any better). What made me shy away from the bench press as a pitcher is that I started pitching slower one year in high school when I was bench pressing a lot. I linked the two together and never really did it again after that. If that is what caused the decrease in velocity, I don’t really know. I do however believe that there are many safe alternatives to the traditional barbell bench press that I would wish to practice instead. The first would be a dumbbell bench press. The dumbbell bench press is what I now use instead of the traditional bench press. I use very light weights for this exercise. In fact, one of my teammates once made a joke as he saw me pick up the weights and asked if I was going to do curls with it. I proceeded to lay on the bench with my 25 lbs dumbbells and do my bench press. I guess it’s just funny to see a 6’4, 250 lbs pitcher lifting 25 lbs dumbbells as a bench press. It shouldn’t be funny, it should be normal for pitchers. I guess that is just how much the bench press has been engraved in our heads. What I have been doing lately with the dumbbell bench press is doing a 1 arm alternating dumbbell bench press. This is good for pitchers because it frees up some of the scapula movement that regular bench press and even the dumbbell bench press can’t. This exercise is done with the pitcher leaving one arm up as he bench presses the other arm down and then back up again. The pitcher then leaves that arm up and bench presses the other arm down and up. Check out the dumbbells we used when I played at Auburn. Another little addition to this same exercise is to perform it on a physio ball. It adds extra core stability to the work out and frees up the scaps even more. Take away the weights and use a thera band or jobes band held down by something, and you’re putting even less stress on the shoulder joints. Get your bands here. Of course another alternative would be the push up. The push up is better for pitchers than the bench press because when the pitcher is benching, they push their shoulder blades into the bench to get a better push on the weight. For the push up, the pitcher’s back is free and able to move naturally. Try this out. So there are a bunch of alternatives to the traditional bench press because I really think that it is bad for pitchers. Try some of the other exercises and let me know what you think. I have recently been doing some really light (even lighter than the dumbbell bench press I do) chest flies laying on the bench. I like them so far, but haven’t done much research on them and haven’t done them long enough to give an accurate review, so be on the lookout for that article. Anyone have experience with that, please leave a comment. Good luck to all my pitchers out there.