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-   -   Training to throw a baseball harder (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5419)

Ryan Smith 05-08-2010 11:43 PM

Training to throw a baseball harder
So my youngest brother is graduating high school in a couple weeks and making the jump up to college ball. He's an outstanding and talented player and a great athlete. He's a big kid (both naturally and from working out) and really strong. His weakest point however is his throwing. He's not a pitcher or anything, but he needs to simply start throwing harder. Obviously he practices a lot, does long toss, is working on his mechanics, etc; BUT I'm curious - what are your experiences and suggestions from a training perspective as to what he can do in the weight room to specifically improve his throwing?

His college coach (he's already committed to a school) has suggested my brother quit pressing and going overhead with lifts to loosen up his arm a little bit more (he said having overly muscular shoulders wasn't beneficial for ball players - I strongly disagree). I was thinking about just adding an enhanced shoulder routine in his warmup (maybe something like Diesel Crew's) and still have him train as usual (I still have him in a linear SS type progression on PL and Oly lifts - he does sprints and an occasional GPP type workout too).

Suggestions for helping him throw harder? I'd love to hear any other sport specific considerations/training ideas you have too.

Júlíus G. Magnússon 05-09-2010 12:12 AM

Let me just say that I don't know ANYTHING about throwing and don't know if this has any relevance to throwing a ball but I used to train with (more like train around) a couple of track and field throwers and for them it seemed to be all about power cleans and bench presses.

They would power clean weights for reps that I couldn't even deadlift at the time and bench press ridiculous amounts.

Júlíus G. Magnússon 05-09-2010 12:13 AM

Also, if DeFranco doesn't know his stuff when it comes to preparing athletes for sports, I don't know who does.

Check out myth #9:

Derek Simonds 05-09-2010 04:50 AM

When it comes to baseball players Eric Cressey is the guy to read. For pitchers he allows them to press with DB's in a neutral hand position (if there is no reason not to) I think but go check out his blog and website. Mucho information there.


Steven Low 05-09-2010 05:14 AM

Strong shoulders, especially posterior shoulders, help stave off the dreaded shoulder injuries... like SLAP lesions.

There is no way you should drop overhead strengthening, as long as proper shoulder mobility is maintained and proper attention is paid to the posterior shoulder especially external rotator cuff muscles.

That said, most of throwing power comes from using the hips, and the arm like a whip much like you would use a catapult or trebuchet.

Strengthening the hips and making sure he has correct technique is all important. Tim Lincecum on the Giants is a perfect example of a kid who throws extremely hard whos not heavy. Watch his throwing mechanics.

Jay Ashman 05-09-2010 06:26 AM

strengthen his shoulders using neutral grip presses, work on rotational strength as well as the posterior shoulder as Steven said.

Invest in a device called the shoulder horn as well, it works.

I give my pitchers lots of squats and jumps to build up lower body strength and power because that hip drive is so important for a strong throw and will save the arm later.

I wouldn't bench press, and I never give my pitchers the bench to do. There are other, safer ways to increase upper body strength for a pitcher that has less negative effects on the shoulder.

Allen Yeh 05-09-2010 09:12 AM


Originally Posted by Derek Simonds (Post 75507)
When it comes to baseball players Eric Cressey is the guy to read. For pitchers he allows them to press with DB's in a neutral hand position (if there is no reason not to) I think but go check out his blog and website. Mucho information there.


I second the Eric Cressey recommendation.

Blair Lowe 05-09-2010 09:30 PM

Yep, there is actually a HS kid on my IM/FB through GB who is going to Cressey soon. I can't wait to hear what he starts doing. He actually knows Tim Lincecum's dad and is hoping to hit high 80's/low 90's after Cressey besides putting on some mass as he is only about 145 now.

Ryan Smith 05-09-2010 10:07 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I'll definitely be tweaking his programming a bit so it's more in line with what some of you have observed/experienced.

I checked out Cressey's site and am going to try to study up on some the stuff he has on there - maybe buy a book or two that might apply to this type of situation and learn the stuff (any recommendations from people that have any of them?). For some reason I never really got into Cressey much in the past, but after reading some of his baseball articles - he really knows his stuff and has some great insight (his long term development in baseball articles were particularly good I thought).

Steven Low 05-10-2010 10:10 AM

Cressey and Robertson are two of the best guys when it comes to rehab/prehab for injuries/mobility/etc. for sports.

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