Strength Trainer, Former Pro Pitcher Unveil New Pitching Workout to Condition or Rehabilitate Throwing Arms

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The slightest tenderness or weakness in even the smallest muscle, tendon or ligament can hinder or hamper any baseball or softball player's ability to throw well, especially pitchers. Yet, conditioning a player's throwing arm to avoid injury or rehabilitate one after an injury has never been easy. That's why certified strength and conditioning coach Steve Zawrotny and former LA Dodgers pitcher Jim Haller have introduced a new pitching workout and training tool for conditioning and rehabilitating baseball and softball throwing arms.

Pitching injuries generally are related to either improper mechanics, overuse, inadequate conditioning or some combination of the above

It seems odd that someone would create a ball for any purpose other than throwing or kicking. Yet that is exactly what strength coach Steve Zawrotny and former LA Dodgers pitcher Jim Haller had in mind when they created their new pitching workout and training tool.

A baseball or softball pitcher's throwing arm requires a high level of muscular fitness and flexibility. The slightest tenderness or weakness in even the smallest muscle, tendon or ligament can hinder or hamper a pitcher's ability to throw well.

While more research into arm injuries is needed, there are a number of studies published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showing that the risk of injury to a pitcher increases with age and level of competition. In fact, the most serious pitching injuries, those requiring surgery or rehabilitation, usually crop up at the collegiate and professional level.

"Pitching injuries generally are related to either improper mechanics, overuse, inadequate conditioning or some combination of the above," says Zawrotny, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength & Conditioning Association and author of several baseball-specific training books. "For purposes of improving on-field performance and reducing chance of injury, appropriate total-body conditioning is key for any athlete, of course. It is equally important that any overhead thrower properly train all of the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the throwing arm from the shoulder down to the fingers."

The lack of a convenient and effective training tool, combined with a specific thrower's or pitching workout program is what led them to create TheHeavyBall®, a 3.2 lb cast iron, powder coated, baseball-shaped training weight that is not meant for throwing. It is designed for a very specific throwing and pitching workout that includes a series of strength training and flexibility exercises.

Unlike bands/cords and other baseball pitching training equipment, TheHeavyBall® allows for a consistent level of resistance throughout the entire range of motion. It can be used anywhere and, because TheHeavyBall® is the same size as a regulation baseball, players also get a familiar, kinesthetic sense and feel of a baseball. Plus, players can work the entire arm from the shoulder down to the fingers.

TheHeavyBall® is not just for pitchers, however. Any athlete who performs overhead activities can benefit from training with TheHeavyBall®. Adds Haller, a former L.A. Dodgers first round draft pick and co-inventor of the TheHeavyBall®, "Whether your goal is to improve throwing performance or recover from an injury to get back into the lineup, your workout needs to include both strength and flexibility exercises. And, that is just what you get with TheHeavyBall® pitching workout."

For a free pitching workout or to order TheHeavyBall®, contact Big Z Sports at 11204 Dover Ct. Yukon, OK 73099, call (405) 373-3253 or visit http://www.pitchingpractice.com/theheavyball. TheHeavyBall® is a registered trademark of Big Z Sports.

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