What is pronation, you ask?
Well thats a great question and Im glad you brought it up!!
Pronation Is what your elbow does after you throw something.
Basically, what we are doing with with our wrist is, “turning a doorknob” Counter clockwise.
If you look at these four images, you can see, how many little muscles are asked to move much bigger bones. Compare these muscles, to muscles in your shoulders and legs.
The muscles in our shoulders and elbows are very small, unprotected and complicated. They are much more prone to tears and injury’s then our legs for example.
Throwing motions in our shoulder and elbow are complex and NOT intended to be used in the manner we use them for. Our body was not built to throw a baseball, its unnatural. So when we ask all those little muscles to perform at their maximum, we better do it with, the least amount of stress as possible.
Now if you look at any picture of a pitcher at ball release, you will see how his wrist is “turning a doorknob”, that is pronation.
That will always happen. What we need to do is “prepare” for it and allow all those little muscles to share the “stress” we are putting them under.
How do we do that? Glad you asked!!!
We need to learn ho to pronate EARLY vs LATE.
Learning how to do this is part of learning how the Kinectic Chain works. We need to learn how to transfer all the power from one muscle to the next, as it moves from our toes, to the tips of our fingers.
To get our muscles to perform at their maximum, we need to find the “sweet spot” in every movement. Meaning, every movement needs to be performed at the perfect time. Now to break down the timing and the science behind it, is a great article form Chris Oleary.
A good drill for pronation is throwing a football. the football should be a small one. Youth if your a mid teen or adult and a mini if your under 13-14. Not to get a nice tight spiral you will have to use pronation. The tighter and nicer the spiral, the better you are pronating.
When we are out using the football drill to practice pronation, what are we using for? Correct!! PITCHING!!
This means we arent throwing deep bombs, slants and button hooks. We are standing on a mound and practicing our pitching mechanics.
You will see too many athletes doing so called drills, that dont mimic what we are trying to work on. Extreme long toss is a great example but another post. What ever we are practicing MUST mimic what we are trying to work on.