Throwing also involves trunk rotation, making oblique exercises a great choice to improve throwing.
The distance that a football can be thrown is dependent upon the amount of power that can be generated by the muscles involved in the movement. Weightlifting can affect the maximum distance a football can be thrown by strengthening the muscles involved in the movement. Since throwing a football is a movement focused on power rather than endurance, a focused mix of weightlifting and power exercises will help a player to improve throwing distance.
Muscle tissue is composed of a few different types of muscle fibers. Type I muscle fibers are called slow-twitch muscle fibers and have slower contractile speeds and lower force output. Type II fibers are called fast-twitch fibers. These types of muscle fibers, as the name implies, contract more quickly and also produce greater force. These fast twitch muscle fibers are the type of muscle fiber incorporated when throwing a football.
Muscles Involved in Throwing
Throwing is a multi-joint, rotational movement. The main muscles involved in throwing a football are those that act at the shoulder. These muscles include the pectoralis major and the rotator cuff muscles. Other muscles involved are those of the upper arm, the triceps and biceps; the muscles of the forearm and wrist; and the latissimus dorsi to a lesser extent. Throwing also involves trunk rotation, which incorporates the abdominal muscles, especially the obliques. All of these muscles make up the kinetic chain of the upper body. Strengthening these muscles through weightlifting and sport-specific exercises can increase a player's throwing performance.
Weightlifting affects the nervous system and the muscular system. Gains in strength are made first by the nervous system adapting to the demands made on the body by strength training. Next, the muscle tissue itself responds by growing. When a player lifts weights, tiny tears damage the muscle tissue. When this tissue is repaired, new muscle fibers are produced and muscle fibers also increase in size. This physical growth of muscle tissue is called muscle hypertrophy and is responsible for gains in strength. The muscle fibers that are most affected by weightlifting are the type II muscle fibers which are used in powerful movements like throwing a football. A combination of compound movements followed by isolation movements will create neurological muscle memory for the movement, then strengthen the individual muscles.
Sports-Specific Training Routine
Do a routine a few times a week to focus on improving throwing power. First, warm your muscles with five to 10 minutes of light cardio, like walking. Then to continue your warm-up, do three sets of 12 to 15 reps of internal and external shoulder rotation on a cable machine using a light weight. Follow this by three sets of 12 to 15 reps of lateral raises with 5-pound plates and three sets of 12 to 15 arm circles. Warming up the shoulder muscles thoroughly will help prevent injuries. Next, do three sets of 8 to 12 reps of clean and presses, bench presses, wide-grip lat pulldowns, hammer curls and overhead triceps extensions. Finally, end the workout with a few plyometric exercises. With your feet secure in a decline ab bench, hold a medicine ball and do three sets of 20 twists. Complete three sets of 8 to 12 plyometric clap pushups. Hold a plyometric or small medicine ball in the throwing hand. Practice wall throws with the weighted ball, paying special attention to proper form. Do several repetitions and stop if form begins to suffer.