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Softball Pitchers have developed a unique technique, different from baseball or cricket. The speed and power transferred into the softball in the upper body is derived from the flexors and to lesser degree internal rotators of the elbow. While this is far from the major component of the pitch, (lower body initiated mass transfer plays a large role), having optimum flexibility in the shoulder allows for stronger, faster and safer delivery.
Trainers often use the same stretching techniques for softball, as they do for baseball and other throwing sports. However a javelin throw would resemble a baseball pitching, much more closely than does softball. While flexibility of shoulder extensors such as Lattissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Sternal Pectoralis Major is important, shoulder flexors flexibility takes over as the primary concern.
Another unique demand of the throw is the strength in hyper extension, which allows the flexors of the shoulders to be loaded into the spring. That strength comes primarily from the posterior deltoid, in combination with triceps, assisted by pectoralis minor. We take care to develop the correct strength application in the proper range.
Unlike standard stretches, which if held long enough for flexibility effect, slow down the muscle, kinesiological stretches do totally opposite. Muscles are stretched without the pain of the stretch reflex, while actually adding speed and strength of contraction to muscle fibers.
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