Arm Strength

Has anyone heard of a strength and conditioning workout involving the use of footballs. Specifically, pitchers throwing a football “end over end” to strenghten wrist and forearm. I have heard this takes stress off of the elbow and improves curveball mechanics.

we use tennis cans.
Baseball taped to the top of the tube that tennis balls come in.

One of the best ways to build up arm strength is to throw every day. That’s what quite a number of pitching coaches, like Ed Lopat and Johnny Sain, advocated—“Throw every day”. Even if it’s just fifteen or twenty minutes, just throw. And it’s more than just playing catch; as you’re doing this you have a good opportunity to work on new pitches or refine existing once. I used to relieve between starts, and I would count that as “throwing every day”, and for the two decades that I pitched I never had any arm troubles. (What helped was that I was a natural sidearmer, and believe me, there’s no delivery that’s easier on the arm and shoulder.) :slight_smile:

Wait Zita… Your saying that sidearm is actually good for your arm? I have been told for years and years to not throw side arm because it will ruin your arm… I am a natural sidearmer too… I know because if i dont think about it I throw straight side arm, and if I start to get tired I throw sidearm… But over the years I have tried to stay a little more over the top to prevent my arm from getting so called ruined… But I have found that I have also had more arm trouble over those years that I used to… Do you think its wrong to change a natural arm angle? Cause when I throw Side arm my arm feels absolutely fantastic, but when I throw more over the top I feel stress on my shoulder…

Also as for the football input… I cant even throw a football, it for some reason hurts whenever I do… I like that tennis ball can idea tho.

DON’T—I repeat, DON’T—change your arm angle!
Whoever has been telling you that throwing sidearm is bad for the arm and shoulder has been feeding you a crock of bull----. As I said, the sidearm delivery is the most natural, the easiest on the arm and shoulder, and you have noticed it yourself, that the arm feels fantastic when you throw that way. I may have mentioned that from the beginning I was a natural sidearmer; I threw long-arm, and later on my incredible pitching coach showed me how to adapt the short-arm version to my delivery, all with no stress or strain. And you can throw any pitch sidearm—not to mention that there’s a neat little move called the crossfire, which works only with the sidearm delivery and which will work with any pitch.
Someone once said that arm troubles result not from a particular delivery but from lousy mechanics and overuse and just plain not being in shape…not to mention changing an arm angle just because somebody told you to. Have you noticed that a lot of pitchers with arm and shoulder problems, difficulties with control and command and all the other things pitchers fall victim to, all changed from their natural deliveries to throwing “over the top” because of either misguided coaching or some know-it-all having an agenda…perhaps a sinister one.
Don’t listen to them! My pitching coach of long ago—he was an active member of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation of the late 40s to the mid-50s—firmly believed that every pitcher has a natural motion, and so what he would do was show said pitcher how to make the most of it. You’re doing fine with the sidearm, so stay with it and make the most of it. 8) :slight_smile:

Thanks for the possitive reinforcement for that… As far as short arm and long arm goes… What do you mean by that? I think i sorta get what you mean, but what would be the point of short arm? Are there certain benefits to this? Wouldnt you get more velocity with long arm?

Velocity has nothing to do with it. The purpose of the short-arm motion (as you deliver the pitch you pull your arm in closer to your body) is to enable you to get the pitch up in the strike zone. Sidearmers usually keep the ball down in the zone, and that’s fine, but every now and then you’ll find yourself facing a very good low-ball hitter, and you’ll want to elevate your pitches in hopes of seeing the guy chase after a pitch up or even out of the zone. The short-arm will enable you to do that—I remember when Ed Lopat showed me how to do this. He also told me that this would give me twice as many pitches! 8) :baseballpitcher:

Thanks alot man! I will definitely take this into account when im throwing from now on.

Sidearm throwing will not hurt your arm, though some who do throw sidearm do it wrong in my opinion. I think there has to be separation of the throwing hand from the body or you can hurt yourself. Also, there is a tendency to open early in sidearm that can hurt a person’s arm as well. The front glove side will want to open early and put more pressure on the throwing shoulder. There is a need for pitchers to have equal and opposite motion with their glove side. This means if you are sidearming the ball, you drop and tuck the glove to the side, and not down. Sidearmers also have a tendency to drop their leg out of line and open that way as well. There are exercises that can be done for this as well as overhand or 3/4 pitchers.

No arm slot is better then another. A guy throwing overhand is just as likely to injure himself as a sidearmer.