Any pitcher in baseball wants to increase his/her throwing velocity. Fortunately, this is not a god gifted talent and there are methods to increase it. What pitchers need to do is perform full body explosive exercises to energize as many muscles of the body as possible.
Throwing the ball properly itself will increase the speed. Apply direct force to the back of the baseball. The pitcher's fingers should always be behind the ball. To stay behind the ball and increase straight line strength, use weighted baseballs and stretch cord.
Use available force from the wrist during the pitching motion. Studies have shown that wrist flexion and strength are significant contributors for increasing the throwing velocity. The wrist makes up 10% of the force applied to the baseball during the pitching delivery.
The following exercises will help promote strength and speed of wrist motion:
- Weighted balls
- Shot put flips
- Wrist rolls
The forearm is important to achieve high speed in the pitching delivery. Following exercises will help muscle development in the forearm:
- Forearm curls with bar
- Reverse forearm curls with bar
- Hammer curls with dumbbell
The rotator cuff joint is a vital contributor to the overhand throw. Pitchers must have a strong and healthy rotator cuff since the pitching motion needs straight and curved finger action. Strengthening the shoulder and corresponding tendons should build the pitching velocity. For that do:
- Arm swings
- Jobe exercises with 2 lb. dumbbells
- Football throws
Elbow extension is one of the four important elements. Elbow extension occurs during the acceleration phase of the delivery, right before the release of the ball. The following exercises will help add strength and speed of extension:
- Shot put
- Shoulder press
- Triceps pull down
The scapular muscle is often underutilized by new pitchers. This muscle is not developed because many believe weight training, specifically, upper body resistance training may promote injuries.
The following exercises will help develop strength in the scapular muscle and provide general upper body resistance training:
- Bench press
- Seated row
- Lat pulldown
- Push-ups and Dumbbell flies
The speed and strength of a pitcher's torso affects the pitching power too. The speed of the trunk is not the only aspect of the torso that needs to be worked upon. Late trunk rotation is a movement that can help improve force applied to the ball along with keeping the arm safe and healthy.
These exercises mentioned will prove beneficial:
- Exercises using the medicine ball
- Total Abdominal workout
- Leg lifts
Hence, full body exercises including upper and lower body plyometrics, is the right way for pitchers to get in shape. These workouts help improve velocity and also the body is conditioned to prevent injuries while pitching.
Increasing the flexibility of the body through yoga or stretching exercises is another suggestion. Incorporating these exercises in your workout routine can surely enhance your throwing power.