"Dead Arm" Cause for Concern?

Anyone familiar with the “dead arm”? I believe there were older posts on here before but wanted to start a more current one and more direct to my sons situation. So my son took 2 months off from throwing after his season ended. We were working out strength and conditioning during that time as we are now. He started throwing about 2 and a half weeks ago. The first week he just did short to medium toss, the second week he stretched it out a little more, and this week the third week he got out to 240 feet of long toss on Monday witch is the farthest he’s ever long tossed (just turned 16). Tuesday we long tossed on knees but just to about 120 feet, and Wednesday we went out to try and long toss again and when we started a few throws in he said that he just wasn’t feeling it. He tried to throw a few more to see if he could “get it going” he was still able to get out to about 180 feet but he said that his arm just felt like dead arm, somewhere around his biceps, and triceps and a little sore around his shoulder later that night. So thoughts on is this something we should be worried about, I suggested he take a few days off without throwing to rest but I’m not sure i want to have him not throw for another long period of time and then start over BUT if thats necessary than we will. Im thinking we will still condition and lift weights but just no throwing for 2-4 days or so. Thoughts??

I would take a couple of days off.
My son throws a full longtoss (extending it out as far as he feels that day) every other day and an abbreviated toss the other days. So, six days a week of throwing, but, three “full” long toss sessions. He does arm car work every day. Foam rolling, bands, shoulder tube, isometric holds, plyo care ball tosses…there are a bunch of things that can be done. He mixes up the arm care stuff but arm care is every day. There are natural plateaus that happen long tossing of course. Some days the arm is just feeling better than others. Using this sort of program he has been able to throw 100 + pitches and have no significant arm soreness to speak of.

1 Like

Dead arm is a deficit situation so lightening the workload is appropriate. Trading throwing for other conditioning work is not lightening the load.

Proper sleep and nutrition are also called for.


That sounds like a pretty rigorous routine. If you don’t mind me asking how old is your son, what grade is he in, how big is he and what’s his velocity at?

I’m not sure if that comment was for me but we’re not “trading” throwing for “other conditioning”. We’ve been conditioning for two months now but my topic was wondering if he has this feeling should we stop ALL activity that he uses his arm for or just stop throwing and continue strength and conditioning.

He is older than your boy, 19. In college. 6’ 2" 165 lbs. A bean pole still.
Although he has gotten much stronger in the last year.
He is mid 80s.
You said your son was throwing, it sounds like throwing pretty seriously, 3 days in a row. The reason I brought up what my kid does is does throw 6 days a week, but, on those “in between” long toss days he is just playing a light catch mostly. Arm care is really the main thing in his program and is done every day. I consider long toss basically part of arm care.
Long tossing, as I am sure you know, can have an ebb and flow to it, just like any exercise. Max distance one day and not the next time, that is normal. It can vary.
As to what Roger said, he is correct. If his arm was just tired that day taking a quick break while doing other things should be fine. If he really has “dead arm” and has overtrained or just way over extended himself with all the gym work, throwing ect., that is a more serious thing and can take some time to get past.
He is also correct in that proper sleep and nutrition and proper hydration are often lacking in young guys that are working out a lot. They want to do everything, hang out with friends, train, play games or multiple sports at the same time. For every thing that is done there is a recovery that is needed.

Roger offers some excellent advice. I got dead arm to varying degrees just about every year in high school and the first few years on college. Going from school ball to summer ball to fall ball to offseason workouts is intense. When I started following a more periodized approach to conditioning/throwing my junior year in college I never dealt with it again.

1 Like