Ever wonder why we start with the arm behind position, instead of the L-Drill? Well here’s the reason…
The Stability Ball Arm Behind Drill teaches an athlete scapular upward rotation, proper elbow movement through external rotation AND the hip to trunk relationship (resistance between the hips/pelvis and trunk/torso).
Sitting on a stability ball can help you feel your hips moving forward as your trunk/torso turns back. At the same time, the arm will also move back into external rotation. However, if you don’t have a stability ball, you can sit on a bucket or chair and still feel your hips shifting forward as the trunk/torso turns back!
There is an element of resistance between the two structures (hips and trunk). Some call this “separation”, but never actually explain how to do it. Here is an awesome way to begin to understand what separation means and how to actually feel it.
Notice the elbow getting “through” as the arm starts its path into external rotation. The elbow is leading the throw and the ball dropping down. Starting with the arm behind position, helps athletes understand scapular upward rotation throughout this movement…an integral component of throwing!
Also notice that there is minimal trunk/torso rotation after ball release. There is no “spinning” effect or “dart” throw which is usually what happens. This is the body’s ability to resist motion in the transverse plane. Core training really means the ability to resist motion in specific planes of movement.
Does This Cause Wrapping?
As per the comment on the bottom, Doesn’t this cause wrapping of the ball around the head? No it does not.The drill is meant for athletes to feel scapular upward rotation AND the distal humerus (elbow) elevate above the shoulder as the trunk turns to throw.
Most athletes will bring the arm through to throw with the distal humerus (elbow) below the shoulder, creating a pushing motion or “dart” throw.
When this happens, the scapular does not efficiently or effectively move into upward rotation along the ribcage, so the lat and serratus musculature never become fully activated.
Resistance between the hips and trunk is not created. This drill is one of the staples in High Level Throwing Patterns!
Sets & Reps
Depending on the athlete and how efficient they are in their throwing motion, will dictate how many sets and reps they do. We usually do 2-3 sets of 20-30 throws.
For athletes who really need work on their mechanics, we will increase the throws per set. This motion takes time and you need to understand that it is a process! It won’t change overnight, so work on it everyday!