Brian Wilson is the unconventional closer for the San Francisco Giants. You can say, without lying, that he was a very big reason the Giants won it all last year. His approach to the game is lighthearted, but very dedicated. Quick with a quip or a joke, he’s the ultimate teammate.
The bad news is that he’s going to start the 2011 season on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. For a pitcher this is a serious, nagging injury that takes some time to recover from. We’ve discussed treating a pulled oblique muscle in the past.
How is the oblique muscle used in pitching? If you look at the picture to the right, the arrows points out where the oblique muscle is located. In the pitching motion the oblique muscle is used to stabilize the pitch and add power. The motion of moving the arm across the body in the follow-through will affect the oblique muscle as well.
Can you prevent oblique muscle strains and pulls when pitching? There are three primary things you can do to improve your chances of not suffering an oblique strain:
- Stretching – A light stretching routine incorporating elasticity movement.
- Resistance training – Adding resistance training through the use of bands or dumbbells helps build up oblique muscle strength.
- Defensive drills – Some of the strained obliques happen when the pitcher assumes the defensive position. Practicing the form after the follow-through would help.
How long does it take to recover from a strained oblique muscle? It depends on the severity, but most people recover completely within two weeks.
Here is a great interview that shows off Brian Wilson’s great personality: