T Nation

Pitcher's Workout

I am a college pitcher. I had a successful year but am looking to to be much greater. I have put together a summer plan for myself using my own knowledge and some information from Mike Robertson’s “designer athlete’s” article.

I have very limited lower body power (we test in the vertical and 60 yd. dash, and i was last in both), but my strength is relatively good.

I am curious if this is an effective program for:

a) Increased hip power (running, jumping, lateral movement- all to aid in my leg drive off the mound)
b) limiting upperbody hypertrophy to a degree, but still making strength gains (I want to keep a good ROM)
c) Injury prevention

Here’s what I’ve started:

AM: Power Snatch 4x3
Lateral hammer jumps 3x10 (holding a weight in front of my body and jumping to my left leg and back to my right)
Squat 3x5
1-legged squat 3x8
Glute-ham raises 4x6
Calf raises 4x10
PM: Bullpen and skill work

AM: plyo pushup onto MB 3x6
Bench Press 3x5
Bent over row 3x6
Straight arm lat pulldown 3x8
Front Raise 3x8
Tricep Extension 3x6
cable pull abdominal rotation 3x10
External Rotation circuit (3x15 of 3 exercises)
PM: Sprints
3x3 15 yds
6-12 40 yds (progressing the volume each week)

AM: Snatch Pull 3x3
Jump Squats 3x6 (50-55%)
RDL 3x6-8
Front Lunge 3x8 (emphasise stride)
Reverse Hyperextensions 3x10
Hip/groin circuit (3 exercises of prehab)
PM: Bullpen and skill work

AM: Weighted Pullups 3x8
DB Bench 3x8
1-arm DB row 3x6
Hammer Curls 3x10 (emphasis on eccentric strength)
Lateral Raise 3x10
Scapula Stability Circuit 3x8-10 (3 exercises for scap.)
Forearm circuit 2x15 (extension, flexion, pronation, supination)
Hanging Straight Leg Raises
PM: Footspeed work-
Stairs 3x3 (about 20 steps per rep)
dot drill (x-pattern)

As the fall draws near I plan to begin with more medicine ball and rotational work for my upper body/midsection.

Any input or suggestions on how to improve this format?

what college do you play @

Stay away from anything Dick Mills. Maybe go look at setpro.com

I would do some searches on how the Rocket trains, Nolan Ryan & put together what you think will help you the most. Your program looked great though.

Listen to anything Badass Mentality says, he is very strong.

bench pressing is stupid as a pitcher. i am also a college baseball player (outfielder) and when i cut bench presses out and switched to olympic lifting my arm strength improved greatly. you need to focus on leg and back strength (energy is produced from the ground up in pitching) to transfer energy efficiently.

you then should try to get comfortable in the overhead position with overhead squats even if it isnt much weight. this will develop both shoulder flexibilty and stability that bench pressing wont give you.

the power snatches are very good if you have good form but dont waste your time if you dont know what you are doing. try posting a video of your snatches on here for critique if you are having trouble.

another problem you have is not enough squatting. squatting once a week wont cut it if this is out of season lifting. you should at minimum backsquat once a week and frontsquat once a week (deep) to develop leg strength and flexibility.

the scapular work is very good and that will also help your arm strength and allow you to stay healthier long and pitch deeper into the season. also, remember to static stretch after every workout. keeping your flexiblity is a must.

Have you researched pro workouts, and ask your college strength trainer?

I know at least 2 of the exercises dont’ seem like great workouts for a pitcher. The bench press can really destroy the shoulds, Even more so when pitching right after. The power snatch some may say are good, but I’ve seen alot of people develop problem shoulders because of them.

Maybe they were doing them improperly I don’t know, but why risk it? My first advice would be to check with a Sports Rehab facility for their programs for pitchers recovering from variuos injuries. Even though you don’t have an injury, alot of the programs that they have pitchers go through get them stronger than they were in the first place.

Then I would say look up a particular baseball training book, then compare notes with what your school S&C coach says. You can’t always trust S&C coaches because sometimes they are new, or just been trained on some new method. However, if what they say makes sense then use it.


thanks for all the responses.
bomber I agree with mixing in some other squat variations during the week. I’ve done OH squats in the past and would like to add them back in.

I’ve been doing snatches for a few years and i find them to help my shoulder stability quite a bit, as long as i’m careful with scheduling it around heavy throwing days and strict with form and weights.

I have talked with my S&C coach, but with many pitching injuries the last few years he is reluctant to add much beyond general strengthening exercises during the offseason. Nonetheless he’s offered some good advice, and I’m trying to take bits and pieces from a lot of sources to address my specific needs.
Thanks for the all the responses!

thanks airtruth, your right, health is always #1. i’ll research some of the riskier exercises, like the bench, more.

[quote]dstat wrote:
thanks airtruth, your right, health is always #1. i’ll research some of the riskier exercises, like the bench, more. [/quote]

If you can’t stay away from it, you can try floor presses, go partially down, or keep your elbows in and tight which will help with tri’s more. It’s really when your elbows go below your body that it begins to stress the shoulder joint.

Rotator Cuff exercises like the one payton manning does(through every angle) as well as medicine ball tosses work pretty well also.

For the legs all varieties of the squats are pretty good. Also great for leg/Hip Development, Marching in place.