Dana Sorensen and Jono Green demonstrate over 30 foundational exercises for pitchers to develop strength, mobility, and stability they need to compete on the field.
The Symbiotic Program is broken down into three, 3-week programs. Each program has two workouts a week for that 3-week cycle. All nine weeks will feature various breathing exercises that start simple and move to complex. Breathing is a big priority for our program since the diaphragm is a very important core muscle that helps control posture and alignment in the spine and ribs.
The first 3-week cycle is designed to focus on teaching foundational movement patterns that will be used in more complex lifts in the next cycles. The emphasis on these first weeks is to learn how to hinge the hips, activate the glutes, activate the anterior core, find rotary stability, learn scapular rhythm, and work on gaining some mobility in ankles, thoracic spine, and shoulders.
Overall these 3 weeks will focus on stabilizing and controlling sagittal plane and frontal plane movements. This 3-week cycle is great for both in season and off-season training. It can be performed by any level athlete and repeated multiple times a week.
Weeks 4 -6 are going to build on those foundational movement patterns by progressing through a difficult variety of methods; we will begin to add load (resistance) to those initial movement patterns, as well as add difficulty by moving to single leg and single arm work.
Additionally, we will also begin to add rotational movement patterns, utilizing equipment such as medicine balls and RMT Club to learn to rotate the shoulders, thoracic spine, and hips. This 3 – week cycle will feature increased load in sagittal and frontal plane movements and an introduction to transverse plane movements with moderate speed. Weeks 4 – 6 can be performed in both in season and off season and is only recommended for athletes that have a high proficiency in the exercises performed in weeks 1 – 3.
Weeks 7-10 are a continued progression in load and intensity of movement patterns. This cycle is ideal for off-season training because it will incorporate high-speed movements. Since pitching is already intense because of how fast the movement is we don’t want to overkill it in our training.
During the offseason is a great time to add dynamic higher intensity speed work with various training implements (medicine balls, RMT clubs, resistance bands). Movements will also begin to get more complex, adding barbell and trap bar work to the program. Utilizing barbells, safety squat bars, and trap bars allow us to push and pull heavier loads pushing our CNS system a bit further.
Shoulder exercises in this program will also get more difficult as we seek to target more rotator cuff and lower trap activation. The PREP portion of the workout will remain focused on gaining mobility with more advanced hip rotation exercises, more advanced shoulder blade sequencing, and a shoulder warm-up that can be used prior to pitching in a bullpen or game. Weeks 7 – 10 should only be performed after completing at weeks 4 – 6, attempting to start on week 7 is not recommended.