Pitchers train to improve the muscles used to throw a baseball…we all know that. What I’m interested in is what exercises would a weekend warrior baseball player do to improve his throwing ability (distance). I’m a good player but for some reason I can’t throw the damn ball any significant distance anymore. Any strength coaches out there have any ideas?? Thanx.
Generally, concentrating on your internal and external rotators (rotator cuff) will yield the most results. Check out Don Alessi’s Booming Biceps and Bone Crackin’ Bench articles for some excellent exercises for both muscle groups. The article recommneds an external rotator strength of 66% of internal rotator strength, but for Ball players, to avoid injury, aim for a strength level equal to the internal rotators. Rotator cuff tears happen in the external rotators due to the extreme eccentric contractions that occur in the follow through of a throw or pitch.
Also be diligent to maintain balance between both arms. Because you use your right arm to play with, you may need to do extra work on the left to keep strength levels even in each arm.
I played pro ball for several years. If you are looking to improve arm strength you must incorporate long toss into your throwing program in addition to a good training and nutrition program. After you get loose you must play long toss. Twice a week should help increase your arm strength. If you don’t know what long toss is, post here or ask someone on your team. Take care.