A majority of baseball injuries occur during the deceleration phase of a throw. After the ball is released, arm deceleration forces are estimated to be twice that of acceleration forces while acting over a period of time that is twice as long.
Conditioning of the decelerator muscles - Teres Minor (rotator cuff), Infraspinatus (rotator cuff) and the Posterior head of the deltoid should help reduce the likelihood of injuries of these muscles.
Athletic Republic's Warm-Up Cord™ is designed to train the accelerator and decelerator muscles used in throwing and are suitable for every field position or any sport such as baseball, softball, football, water polo, volleyball and tennis, which involve a throwing motion.
When teaching the training drills stress the importance of keeping the arm stretched or fully extended during the recovery phase in order to fully engage the decelerators. The athlete should concentrate on keeping the palm of the hand open with the little finger leading the way as they complete the arm's recovery on a 1-2-3 count. Should the athlete not keep the arm straight and complete the return phase in slow motion, the goal of conditioning the decelerators is lost. You'll also need to ensure that when the arm comes back it's in the same plane as when it went through the acceleration phase.
Another key aspect of decelerator muscle training is the use of contrast training. Anyone who uses the Warm-Up Cord knows that when you remove it, your arm feels like a "whip." It's very important to execute a throwing motion with a ball after the cord is off. Since the arm is moving at a higher velocity the decelerators will have to work harder in a natural throwing motion. It's vital that this contrast training approach is executed since it works the muscles eccentrically, which is how they work during the throwing motion. The 1-2-3 count works the decelerators concentrically so the progression produces the type of stimulus that is hallmark of most Athletic Republic training programs.