Weightlifting & Exercise/Baseball strength training
Growing up as a baseball player all I used to hear was build up your pecks, biceps, and other muscles in the front of the body to where you can pull the arm through faster. However, here recently, I have stumbled upon a pitching coach who says that building those muscles up is okay, but your main focus when lifting should be the "slow down" muscles in the back. What are your thoughts on this and are there any specific workouts to do to specifically strengthen those muscles?
The answer is "neither"
your body works as a unit, strengthen it as a unit.
I once trained a girl for softball, it was one of those high intensity leagues, the girls pitched underhanded at 70 miles an hour or so....
I developed specific exercises that got very good results.
the weight exercises were: alternating dumbbell muscle-snatches, barbell muscle-snatches, and the task specific exercises were: weighted bat swings, and Indian club-type exercises with the weighted bat, (kettle-bells will work miracles in this endeavor also) and then "shoulder rotations" ... which is done initially just with a broom handle, you just hold a broom handle with a wide grip and take it from your waist to the middle of the back keeping your arms straight. everyone thinks that's easy, then they end up dropping the broom handle and freaking out, it's a real stretch and works the very small muscles in the full range of shoulder rotation, Olympic weightlifters know this exercise as it preps the shoulder for heavy snatches, and it preps your shoulders for throwing or batting as well. the apex of this exercise is being able to do it with an Olympic bar, not very many humans can do that, I have a few times. the trick in making it effective is doing the rotation slowly and getting the stretch, and working up to a hundred or so repetitions. then find weighted bars, anyone using 10-20 pounds in this is doing a lot.
I'd structure a workout like this:
barbell muscle-snatch, 9 sets of 3 reps.
shoulder rotations, 1-3 sets of 100 rotations.
alternating dumbbell muscle-snatches, 9 sets of 3 each arm
weighted bat swings & Indian club exercises (lots of reps.)
shoulder rotations, 3-5 sets of 100 reps
dumbbell muscle-snatch, single lifts for 20-30 sets each arm.
The girl I trained started winning awards and her team won her league.
remember to rest and recover and don't try adding exercises, these will tax the shoulders more than you might at first think, be careful, adjust this program to fit your needs and abilities.
hope this helps you... good luck.