How to increase my pitching speed


I am 16 and a junior in high school. I am 5’9" and 180 lbs. I have topped out at 85mph on my fastball and really want to reach 90 before my senior season which is 2 years away. Are there any exercises or routines that could increase my pitching speed a little quicker? By the way I throw from a low 3/4 arm slot… Nearly sidearm and many exercises hurt my arm because of my arm slot.



What do you mean by many exercises hurt my arm? Where does it hurt? What exercises cause it to hurt? 85 is solid for a 16 year old. Good work.



Well coaches have tried to instruct me to go over the top and that causes it to hurt so I’ve stopped trying to go over the top. I can’t long toss; when you long toss the further you go you’re suppose to arc the ball a bit as a way of strengthing your arm, all I can do is throw it straight and flat or else it will hurt. Off of the top of my head I can’t really think of the other excercises that have hurt my are but I would love to hear some excercises for pitchers that throw from the 3/4-sidearm slot


When looking at exercises to improve pitching velocity it helps to think of these exercises as a pyramid where, at the bottom of the period, the exercises look nothing like the throwing and, as you go up the pyramid, the exercises become more and more similar to the throwing motion until you get to the pitching motion itself.

Throwing exercises that are not pitching but closely resemble pitching. E.g., long toss, weighted balls, various other throwing drills, etc.
Exercises that train the muscles involved in throwing in a similar way to how they are trained during throwing but might use different loads and are NOT the throwing (pitching) motion itself. E.g., medicine ball throws. (You could also argue weighted balls go here.)
Exercises the work the same muscle groups as the throwing motion but in a different way than they are worked during the throwing motion. E.g., squats, split squats, lunges, deadlifts, good mornings, shoulder external rotations, push-ups, pull-ups/rows, etc.
Exercises that increase strength, power, endurance but don’t necessarily use the same muscles and/or systems that pitching uses. E.g., jogging.

Now, in general, the closer an exercise is to the top of the pyramid, the biggest carry-over that exercise is going to have to pitching. However, if you’ve spent a long time focusing on one part of the pyramid, it makes sense to bring up other parts.

If, for example, you’ve never done any consistent weightlifting, it might make sense to use exercises from level 2 and 3 of the pyramid as this is a component of the pyramid that has been neglected. Your throwing sessions will benefit from both the general and specific increase in maximal strength and/or power.


Your arm should not be hurting. Because it is, you need to address and resolve that problem before you concern yourself with increasing velocity. Go see an orthopedic doctor trained in sports medicine and follow his advice. Minor injuries can turn into major injuries when left untreated.


Excellent breakdown Tavisbruce…

A lot of times guys don’t understand the benefit of say a deadlift or medal throws related to pitching. There is still a school of thought that says the only thing that helps throwing is throwing…you also have the school that olympic lifting is the best thing to do. Like most thing, in my opinion, it is a balance.
Your breakdown gives a good, easy to digest thumbnail sketch of how it works.


You need to make sure that arm is right before you go throwing any harder. Your initial post indicates you have real talent. Get and orthopedic to give you the green light before you go much further. You already have good velocity from a arm slot that can be very hard to hit. Give yourself the chance to get better by making sure your arm is ready.

Does your arm hurt when you pitch from the low slot? If so where?

Good luck,