Tag Archives: throwing velocity

Strengthen Your Core and Legs to Throw Harder

31 Aug

It may seem counter-intuitive, but ball speed relies on lower-body power, according to an Ohio State study.

There’s nothing new about this information, and the rationale is pretty simple:  Pitchers who throw hardest put more force into the ground.

“A strong, stable core helps transfer energy through your hips and up your trunk to your arm,” says lead study author, Mike McNally, CSCS.

Lower-body exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, glute-ham raises, and Romanian Deadlifts are great for strengthening your hips and legs; while plyometric training can add explosive power.

A recent Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research article also supports medicine ball training — throws and slams — as another effective way to improve throwing velocity.

Since medicine ball throws and slams, performed properly, require considerable core and lower-body engagement and activation, these exercises are an ideal complement for athletes wanting to improve throwing velocity.


Your thoughts?

Use a Lightweight Baseball to Improve Throwing/Arm Swing Velocity

27 Jan

pitcher in controlWhen my son played youth baseball, weighted baseballs were all the rage.  Just a few ounces heavier than a regulation-weight baseball — and available in a few different weights — these balls supposedly helped players to improve arm strength and throwing velocity.

A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared the effects of lightweight (4.4 oz.) baseballs with regulation-weight baseballs (which weigh between 5.0 and 5.25 ounces) on throwing accuracy, throwing velocity, arm swing velocity, and minimum shoulder external rotation, in adolescent players.

Study authors found that “pitching training with an appropriate lightweight baseball substantially enhanced the arm swing velocity and throwing velocity of the adolescent baseball players,” and can “reduce the risk of injury without altering pitching patterns.” (Yang, et.al.)

“Compared with regulation-weight baseballs, lightweight baseballs generate lower torque on the shoulder and elbow joints without altering the pitching movement and timing.”

Using a lightweight baseball “teaches” faster throwing motion muscle memory, whereas using a weighted baseball slows down pitching motion and, subsequently, muscle memory.  Similar studies have been conducted — with similar results seen — using a lightweight bat instead of a weighted bat, as it relates to the development of bat swing velocity.


Your thoughts?

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