What The Steroid Era Taught Us
The often-missed reason that performance enhancement supplements were abused in professional sports is the plain and simple fact that it let the best athletes in the world recover better than anybody else. Yes, bigger, faster, stronger for sure. However, when it comes to baseball players, particularly pitchers, performance-enhancing drugs allowed them to return to a high level, after performing at a high level each appearance.
One thing we can certainly learn from this is that recovery is key, especially when it comes to pitchers. Recovery used to mean, and still does in many circles, ice the arm. However we have come to develop significantly better and more efficient ways to recover and improve performance.
After throwing at any level, the entire body is in a state of fatigue, depletion, and breakdown. The 3 main goals should be to flush, fuel, and restore. The body needs a chance to flush the system of the breakdown it just went through during activity. Running a few foul poles after the game (4-6 times), body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, swings/RDL's, and planks are good to get the body re-engaged. Use mid range reps such as 8-10 and perform as a circuit of 2-3 sets. I would also include light band work such as follow throughs and internal/external rotation in the same rep range.
Then make sure to hydrate and eat! Electrolytes are going to be depleted along with calories. A balanced meal within 2 hours post game is crucial. If you want to get super big league, look for low inflammatory foods. If your arm is more than just tired and fatigued, then ice would be a good thing. If not, a compression sleeve (not one that just looks cool, but one that is difficult to pull on) will do wonders in assisting the body with clearing out waste and inflammation.
These are just suggestions but as young arms are being developed, just adding one of these suggestions will go a long way in making a young career, a long career.
If you have more questions be sure to seek out a professional such as one from PMR or the Fischer Institute.
Recover Better, Be Better
Trent Rincon PT, MPT, CSCS, Cert DN, Cert ASTYM, Cert FRC
Physical Therapist at the Fischer Institute
Owner of Keep It Tight Recovery Systems