Long toss programs for increasing velocity

neat article that just came out here on long toss.

Take a look at the comment section when you’re done and let me know what you think. Both Mills and Blewett provide some pretty strong and polar opposite points of view that should help spur some conversation here.

I believe Mills make a weak arguement. Not saying that he is wrong, but from a ‘rhetorical analysis’ standpoint, I found his arugment weak.

Rhetorical analysis is basically just examing an arugment. Got to love English Comp. I actually learned something. :lol:

I feel like long toss indirectly leads to velocity gains. I think by going out far and pulling down you can add velocity. Long toss can add confidence that you can throw faster, you can work on having powerful, efficient mechanics, and you can feel what it’s like to throw faster.

I don’t think there’s a good enough reason to not long toss. Long toss and mechanical work can be two keys to gaining velocity.

I feel like after you have good mechanics from far away, translate them up close, and then on the mound you will find out what your max mph is.

I also believe that weighted balls can help aid velocity. I have direct experience with their benefits. But I feel like they should be used only after you have what you personally consider as good mechanics as you can possibly have.

Hopefully this made some sense. I’m writing this at 1am(don’t worry I don’t have school tomorrow) and I’m extremely tired. I apologize in advance for anything that doesn’t make any sense.

I dont see how long toss is still a controversial topic. Mr. Blewett makes an important point in regards to long toss, at least Jaegers program, being broken down into two parts. The pulldown phase is key. Developing arm speed to throw greater distances is one of the key benefits to long toss. A key sentence in the article was this one: "But as pitching injuries began to multiply, and as the economic consequences grew, long toss virtually disappeared for healthy pro pitchers."
Economic consequences. MLB scouts, trainers and coaches have to be able to justify anything they are doing. If a trainer was doing something that looked different that what has become the norm and a pitcher with heavy monitary investment went down, that trainer is gonna get canned. It is not surprising that teams tightly controlling and limiting what their pitchers do coincides pretty closely time line wise with increasing salaries. My grandfather who played in the Cardinals organization way back when, talked about longtossing and using weighted balls (baseballs soaked in water) all the time to get soreness out and to “get the arm back in shape”. MLBs approach to pitchers, because of the money invested in pitchers, has become fear based. I dont think people striving for greatness and a fear based training model can exist well in the same space. Also, the argument that something can be done for rehab (see the quote from the article above) but is not good for healthy arms is non sensical.
Mills statements that because it doesnt work for everyone it doesnt work is silly. I think Mills has some good things to say in terms of mechanics ect., but, I have never heard him say anything other than (in not exactly these terms) he is the sole dispenser of truth. His arguments in the comments section, to me, are weak as usual. His approach that only pitching and pitching mechanics work will benefit pitchers is akin to a sprinter not lifting weights or sqauting heavy because it doesnt directly relate to the motion of running.
MLBs approach of “Ive tried nothing and Im all out of ideas…” with pitchers is weak and tired, fear based job protection by coaches and front office guys more concerned with saving their jobs than trying to help pitchers (just my opinion of course). Mills, frankly, should stick to trying to find a classier way of selling his product, his approach, again in just my opinion, is just as tired and weak.

Interesting stuff thanks for sharing lanky

Mills is a businessman and his speciality is mechanics. This is what sets him apart. If he was a supporter of long toss, he would probably lose business. Whenever he posts a big sign of his website that states “I will not accept any pitcher that does , has or plans to long toss” he does not believe what he argues.

“I threw 78 miles per hour in high school. I hit 92 miles per hour during my freshman year in college, and today I can throw 98. If I can name one thing that contributed most to my increase in velocity, it would be long toss.” - Billy Wagner

im quite surpised no one has mentioned ASMIs report on long toss and the torques placed on the arm joints.

people go attempt to do this long toss at 300+ feet to be like bauer however most dont realize this kid has been chucking water soaked balls since he was 7. he has developed the soft tissues in the arm to be extremely strong

in other words, finding what works for you is important… personally i lost interest in blewett when he said pitchers pull off the rubber, not push.

on a side note, throwers with more forward trunk tilt at release (can be done with good mechanics like bauer) illustrate less arm joint velocities.

[quote=“Drewski”]im quite surpised no one has mentioned ASMIs report on long toss and the torques placed on the arm joints.

people go attempt to do this long toss at 300+ feet to be like bauer however most dont realize this kid has been chucking water soaked balls since he was 7. he has developed the soft tissues in the arm to be extremely strong

in other words, finding what works for you is important… personally i lost interest in blewett when he said pitchers pull off the rubber, not push.

on a side note, throwers with more forward trunk tilt at release (can be done with good mechanics like bauer) illustrate less arm joint velocities.[/quote]

you contradict yourself a lot here. You argue that long toss alters mechanics and place an extreme amount of stress on the arm, but then say Bauer has great mechanics despite long tossing. Your argument is also weak because Bauer is not the only one who has had success with long toss, and plenty of people have used it as late as when they got to college and still achieved great benefits from it. Then again there are people who don’t see much benefit from it. Me personally, I have been on both sides of the issue - once i found a footwork that worked for me and figured out how to maintain the same arm action etc. in my long toss as in my pitching, there was a lot more carryover. The biggest thing for me is that max long tossing gets everything synced up, in a way that throwing out to 120 feet cannot. My delivery always feels better and more explosive, with all the parts working together once I’ve pulled down from max long toss. I think weighted balls can have the same effect, as they help iron out inefficiencies and sync everything up in the delivery.

How exactly do you expect to throw a 90 mph fastball from the mound if you are too afraid to train your arm to handle similar torques as you’re going to see once you reach elite velocities? How would dylan bundy’s arm handle a 102 mph fastball if he hadn’t trained it to handle that kind of stress?

Also, I’m going to have to agree with Blewett that “pulling off the rubber” is a much more accurate description of what high level throwers do. I’ve been on both sides of the bubble, and saw a significant increase in velocity when I stopped pushing linearly with my back leg and let it relax more (can be described as pulling, where the back leg does a lot less of the work). Not sure why you would immediately let your own personal biases shut you off to somebody who has a lot more knowledge and experience than you, and certainly than most players and coaches out there.

Lanky, IMO you are wise beyond your years.

From what I can tell, 300+ ft long toss gives pitchers a tangible and immediate feeling of confidence–positive feedback that, yes, my ability to put raw, animal power behind the ball is right up there with the good ones.

One obviously doesn’t attempt long toss at this kind of distance without lots of conditioning/training to work up to it…that is hopefully a given. There is clearly no shortcut to throwing a baseball 300+ ft—but for those who have worked up to it, it’s a powerful affirmation of the work they put in to get there, if nothing else.

You also caught my attention with your discussion of ‘push’ vs ‘pull’ off of the mound. You do see some pitchers attempt to ‘push’ off the mound; they are recognizable because there is a distinct consequence of actively pushing with the post leg…first, early on it must be bent in proportion to the propulsive ‘push’ that is hoped for because, second, the act of pushing off of the post-leg must straighten it. If that is done with sufficient force to make any difference, the pitcher will be seen to lunge upward and forward, maybe even score a little air-time.

However, when the pitcher asymmetrically distributes his weight–that is, when he lifts his stride leg and thus moves the center of gravity out in front of his post foot, he must begin moving forward. The ‘pull’ of gravity certainly guarantees that and the pitcher’s body would continue to accelerate to the ground if he didn’t plant his stride-foot and initiate the kinetic chain.

Randy Johnson was a pretty hard thrower, I see nothing reminiscent of a ‘push’ in his delivery:

you throw 96?? bauer does have great mechanics, look how many complete games he’s had, he also has a working routine for himself

yes Lanky, bauer is one of the few to warm up throwing 350+ feet before a start. show me some video

yes lanky, everyone has different needs and weaknesses sometimes long toss doesnt fix an issue.

long toss works for others (it helped me ease into upper 80s) and other dont need it, they need power.

well nolan ryan only threw as far as he could keep it on a line, look up youtube.com

you talk about YOU alot Lanky, doesnt seem very humble

this wil get you caught up on what your bones are called in their respective locations and how they move, specifically the pelvis and thoracic (trunk) cage

this will tell L.L. Cool J that there is PLENTY of leg musculature activity before, during, and after throwing an object (a baseball in this case, ha imagine trying to have a relaxed leg, you’d be throwing off your landing leg)

is a simple explanation of where forces are being directed to move the body into the ball (lol) in an explosive manner; not much relaxation in a delivery… no dont turn it around (this site does that alot and they call it a COUNTER ARGUMENT), throwers dont muscle up, but they dont lay in a lawn chair either.

hopefully this will open your minds up a little bit so i can have some good conversations on here unlike the past. i stopped talking to blewett after he said he was focused on money making and cliental rather than helping athletes.

@laflipping, you need to do your homework. not many 6’10 athletes except basketball lmao… btw if you want to throw like randy get some tall shoes lol

Push vs. Pull. I don’t think this has been debated much. Lol.

This is where cues can muddy the water. IMO, if Blewett is the guy that had a video on Insidepitching.com then I would disagree with his video of the lower body action, not sure if it was him or not.

My favorite cue was found on set pro and someone mentioned here as well and that was projecting the center mass. To me, push would describe that better and I definitely think high level throwers have intent to get the hips rotating and open. Do they get there by pulling the hips? I don’t think so. It all boils down to the degree of “push”. Too much and it’s a bad thing be ause its too linear and we cant capture the momentum and too little we don’t get away from the rubber and in a position to throw (hips open/lower body stable). I think there is a push present.

Guys that “pull” seem to be more linear IMO but that’s based on my view of “pull”.

The video I saw was one with a lower body crashing for the sake of a longer stride. After reviewing the video, he was describing setting and leading with the hip.

I can see how the cue could be confusing. By getting the lead hip moving it would lead the COG down the mound and gravity is the primary mover but to get the hips open I believe their is a slight push. Just my opinion.

[quote=“Baseballthinktank.com”]Push vs. Pull. I don’t think this has been debated much. Lol.

This is where cues can muddy the water. IMO, if Blewett is the guy that had a video on Insidepitching.com then I would disagree with his video of the lower body action, not sure if it was him or not.

My favorite cue was found on set pro and someone mentioned here as well and that was projecting the center mass. To me, push would describe that better and I definitely think high level throwers have intent to get the hips rotating and open. Do they get there by pulling the hips? I don’t think so. It all boils down to the degree of “push”. Too much and it’s a bad thing be ause its too linear and we cant capture the momentum and too little we don’t get away from the rubber and in a position to throw (hips open/lower body stable). I think there is a push present.

Guys that “pull” seem to be more linear IMO but that’s based on my view of “pull”.

The video I saw was one with a lower body crashing for the sake of a longer stride. After reviewing the video, he was describing setting and leading with the hip.

I can see how the cue could be confusing. By getting the lead hip moving it would lead the COG down the mound and gravity is the primary mover but to get the hips open I believe their is a slight push. Just my opinion.[/quote]

These cues could be debated forever, because they are completely open to interpretation. Push means different things to different people. Some see it as forceable knee extension (primarily quadriceps), others see it as applying just enough lateral force to the rubber to get the center of mass going (primarily via the hip abductors, glutes). Both of these actions could be considered a “push.” And I’m sure there are other interpretations as well. Point being this debate is inconclusive at best.

[quote=“Drewski”]you throw 96?? bauer does have great mechanics, look how many complete games he’s had, he also has a working routine for himself

yes Lanky, bauer is one of the few to warm up throwing 350+ feet before a start. show me some video
[/quote]

I never claimed he didn’t have great mechanics, or that he wasn’t a good pitcher, or that his routine didn’t work for him. The above is irrelevant.

[quote=“Drewski”]yes lanky, everyone has different needs and weaknesses sometimes long toss doesnt fix an issue.

long toss works for others (it helped me ease into upper 80s) and other dont need it, they need power. [/quote]

Your point reinforces what I said, that long toss may not work for everybody. For me, it didn’t work until I learned how to use it properly to sync up my delivery. Glad to hear it worked for you as well. Never said this was the only way to improve velocity or mechanics, as it certainly is not.

  1. Nolan Ryan was reported to have been able to throw a softball 330 feet at age 16. I’ve heard this from a couple of sources, don’t know how credible it is.

  2. One specific player’s routine and success is not enough to prove or disprove any one training method. There are too many variables. Just because Nolan Ryan may or may not have thrown on a line doesn’t mean that is what works for everybody or that max long tossing is a waste of time. None of this contradicts what I’ve already said.

[quote=“Drewski”]you talk about YOU alot Lanky, doesnt seem very humble
[/quote]

  1. by this logic, none of us on this entire website are humble. We all create accounts so we can go share our own thoughts, opinions, questions and experiences with a online community. If that makes me vain so be it.

  2. again, this is an irrelevant comment to the debate

[quote=“Drewski”]

this wil get you caught up on what your bones are called in their respective locations and how they move, specifically the pelvis and thoracic (trunk) cage [/quote]

  1. interesting study, although it is irrelevant to this debate. Would be happy to discuss hip mobility on another thread.
  2. No need to be condescending. This is about discussing ideas not talking down to people you know nothing about.

the abstract is too vague to help your case much. I would be interested in reading the entire study. Some questions

  1. 23-170% of MVIC is way too broad of a range to draw conclusions from. This essentially tells us nothing. It says that from max leg lift to follow through, there is anywhere from a minimal activation to a moderate activation of some of the lower body musculature. It doesn’t specify which muscles, which phases, etc. Which is why I would like to see the full study because the abstract does not provide any useful conclusions at all.

  2. let’s say, for example, that they found extremely high muscle activation in all 5 tested lower extremity muscles. What does this tell us? All it says is that in these 11 “highly skilled baseball pitchers” there was high muscle activation. Plenty of these studies use collegiate pitchers that throw 80 mph or less (i.e. demonstrating horribly inefficient mechanics). I would be hesitant to draw any conclusions from studies like this that don’t look at pitchers throwing at least 90 mph because otherwise you’re looking at less than efficient mechanics.

I’ve seen how muscling up with the lower body (i.e. aggressive knee extension with the posting leg, hard, jolting landing with the stride leg) significantly hurt my velocity, and how relaxing the lower half, for me, led to my hips getting more open into landing, as well as a softer front foot landing as most if not all high level throwers exhibit.

Again, I’d be interested to see where these numbers come from. But here’s something to think about. “Landing from a jump can involve forces that are 2 to 12 times the body weight,19,23,28,34 whereas heel-toe running at 4.5 m/s produces forces that are 2.8 times the body weight18,35;”

That is, even if these numbers are accurate for high level throwers, they are still not incredibly high in relation to other activities in sports. How much strength is really required in the lower half for a high level delivery? This is a question that I’m very interested in, and hasn’t yet been answered to my knowledge.

[quote=“Drewski”]
hopefully this will open your minds up a little bit so i can have some good conversations on here unlike the past. i stopped talking to blewett after he said he was focused on money making and cliental rather than helping athletes.

@laflipping, you need to do your homework. not many 6’10 athletes except basketball lmao… btw if you want to throw like randy get some tall shoes lol[/quote]

  1. your attitude is what has almost gotten you banned on this site before. Don’t be condescending and maybe people will “open their minds” to you.

  2. Blewett hasn’t said this, there is no need to try to muddy his reputation because you disagree with his “push-pull” ideas.

  3. Just because an athlete is 6’10" does not invalidate laflippin’s point, but if I was him I would have chosen somebody a little more normal sized to make a case for the “pull.” Bob Gibson perhaps?

:lol:

re: "… but if I was him I would have chosen somebody a little more normal sized to make a case for the “pull.” Bob Gibson perhaps? "

-------Sure, no problem switching to another outstanding pitcher who apparently didn’t “push” off the mound.

I am also kind of sick at the seemingly endless debate about what people mean when they say “push” off the rubber…whether that simply is a psychological description of intent, or a ‘feeling’ the pitcher has, or whether it is a correct physical description of something that really happens during a delivery.

The only reason to get it straight, perhaps, is in case coaches who may have mixed up ideas about what is actually meant, physically, by “push off the rubber” are training pitchers in their charge to do things that don’t work for them. That is, a coach may not have it in mind that a pitcher literally should ‘push off’ with his post leg, and consequently jump into the air, perhaps he only means that the pitcher should activate musculature in his hips and let gravity do it’s work…but, not everyone is a mind-reader, the pitcher’s interpretation of what a coach tells him needs to be accounted for as well, especially on the internet where careful analysis/feedback of what a pitcher actually does, versus what he says, or what a coach says, is not always possible.

So, why doesn’t Gibson “push off” the mound…well, geez, if the video ain’t lyin’ Gibson doesn’t straighten his post leg to propel himself early in his stride forward…in fact, look at the video with your focus only on the post-leg…doesn’t his post-leg bend (down) at the knee a little, in the exact opposite sense of “push”?

[quote=“laflippin”]re: "… but if I was him I would have chosen somebody a little more normal sized to make a case for the “pull.” Bob Gibson perhaps? "

-------Sure, no problem switching to another outstanding pitcher who apparently didn’t “push” off the mound.

I am also kind of sick at the seemingly endless debate about what people mean when they say “push” off the rubber…whether that simply is a psychological description of intent, or a ‘feeling’ the pitcher has, or whether it is a correct physical description of something that really happens during a delivery.

The only reason to get it straight, perhaps, is in case coaches who may have mixed up ideas about what is actually meant, physically, by “push off the rubber” are training pitchers in their charge to do things that don’t work for them. That is, a coach may not have it in mind that a pitcher literally should ‘push off’ with his post leg, and consequently jump into the air, perhaps he only means that the pitcher should activate musculature in his hips and let gravity do it’s work…but, not everyone is a mind-reader, the pitcher’s interpretation of what a coach tells him needs to be accounted for as well, especially on the internet where careful analysis/feedback of what a pitcher actually does, versus what he says, or what a coach says, is not always possible.

So, why doesn’t Gibson “push off” the mound…well, geez, if the video ain’t lyin’ Gibson doesn’t straighten his post leg to propel himself early in his stride forward…in fact, look at the video with your focus only on the post-leg…doesn’t his post-leg bend (down) at the knee a little, in the exact opposite sense of “push”?[/quote]

I sense the frustration Lee. How about we call it driving the post leg down. My eyes don’t see a pull with that GIF. I see intent with the back knee to “crush” the hips together and get away from the rubber. I see Gibson pushing down into the ground, which projects that center mass.

I see what your definition of a push is and that would mean more of a hop or forward lunge?

Frustration is probably too strong of a word, bbtt, but I do think it’s usually important for people working in any field, baseball or otherwise (and no pun intended…), should all strive toward a common jargon. I mean, in the extreme, if I say ‘black’ and you interpret this as ‘white’,…we may be in big trouble when we try to communicate, no?

As far as “pushing down into the ground”, or “driving the post leg down”…I confess that I don’t understand it that way…as a simplistic model, stand with your legs apart and lift your front leg off the ground. As you start to fall forward, which of course you must, let your back leg bend a little at the knee…is that really “pushing down into the ground”?

If you’re standing tall, you are isometrically pushing against the Earth’s gravitational force in order to remain in that position. Jellyfish can’t do this because they don’t have muscles that allow them to work against the force of gravity. But, if you relax the tension in your musculature so that your knees bend, you will of course drop down a little, because you are being pulled toward the Earth by its gravitational force. It’s a matter of degree…for instance, if you had a little too much vino to drink and not enough lasagna to mitigate its effects, you might completely relax the tension in your leg muscles and fall completely to the ground. Is that also being ‘driven or pushed to the ground’?

That Gibson video is cool.

Lee, very interesting thoughts!

To me I just see it differently. I think there is such a synergistic relationship with the transporting and loading effect of the hips and lower body. I think the musculature of the lower body has to be active to do both.

I see Gibson "driving’ the back hip into the front to get the hips open. I don’t see a pulling effect. Pulling IMO would be a very passive representation of the back hip and lower body.

To drive the hips together (loading) would require both sides. Obviously with Gibson, Inertia, plays a role as well. However, when I watch the action of the back knee and hip I see him actively getting the hips open (unloading) by driving back hip into front.

BBTT,

I’m with you completely on this: "…the transporting and loading effect of the hips and lower body. I think the musculature of the lower body has to be active to do both. "

I think it may have been DM59 who I first remember putting things in a more-or-less similar perspective…the pitcher’s forward motion is initiated by a series of push/pull interactions of the musculature around the hips…

After leg-lift, the hips opening in the stride also requires lots of internal push-and-pull from the muscles, maybe that’s what everybody believes is “the push”.

Even so, don’t fail to give some due credit to the gravitational pull of Mother Earth…in zero gravity, a pitcher starting his delivery from the rubber would not be able to get his stride foot planted on the ground. I suppose that gravitational pull is one of those factors that everyone takes for granted, because it’s the same magnitude of force for all pitchers–elite, average, or below average.

When baseball is played on the moon, it’s gonna be a whole new ballgame!

[quote=“laflippin”]re: "… but if I was him I would have chosen somebody a little more normal sized to make a case for the “pull.” Bob Gibson perhaps? "

-------Sure, no problem switching to another outstanding pitcher who apparently didn’t “push” off the mound.

I am also kind of sick at the seemingly endless debate about what people mean when they say “push” off the rubber…whether that simply is a psychological description of intent, or a ‘feeling’ the pitcher has, or whether it is a correct physical description of something that really happens during a delivery.

The only reason to get it straight, perhaps, is in case coaches who may have mixed up ideas about what is actually meant, physically, by “push off the rubber” are training pitchers in their charge to do things that don’t work for them. That is, a coach may not have it in mind that a pitcher literally should ‘push off’ with his post leg, and consequently jump into the air, perhaps he only means that the pitcher should activate musculature in his hips and let gravity do it’s work…but, not everyone is a mind-reader, the pitcher’s interpretation of what a coach tells him needs to be accounted for as well, especially on the internet where careful analysis/feedback of what a pitcher actually does, versus what he says, or what a coach says, is not always possible.

So, why doesn’t Gibson “push off” the mound…well, geez, if the video ain’t lyin’ Gibson doesn’t straighten his post leg to propel himself early in his stride forward…in fact, look at the video with your focus only on the post-leg…doesn’t his post-leg bend (down) at the knee a little, in the exact opposite sense of “push”?[/quote]

the extension of the leg is what a push is, its how the body puts force into the ground so you can move

extending the leg also means extending the hips, this movement of back leg extension to front leg extension (im not going to explain other parts of the power production until you realize that throwers push off the ground to generate force, the hips dont move themselves. )

also, feel free laflipper to post some credibility to your opinions

in fact after reading your post, why cant you just admit you learned something today? or do you have sources you read from that jusitify your pull reasoning, i mean everyone breathes oxygen sir dont put gravitional forces into your argument and call it valid