Offseason Weight Training/Pitching

Highschool and summer league ball are over, and I have six months to train. Fortunately I have a place to pitch during the winter, my chruch’s gym. I was wondering what kind of drills, and weight training I should do. Any suggestions are welcome and would be much appreciated. These are just some current stats in case you are wondering.
Age: 16
Height: 6’0
Weight: 160

I’m also working very hard too, work alot on legs, legs are key, and also, keep that rotator cuff well oiled, do shoulder excercies. Also, run a mile atleast 4-5 times a week on a treadmill or something, and do alot of sprints. I highly recommend the book “the act of pitching” It is a great book and the author talks alot about offseason excercises and programs.

do you guys think plyometrics will increase that increase my vertical leap will help me increase pitching velocity?

Well, I’m not exactly sure that it would help you directly increase your pitching velocity, but I’m pretty sure it would help you with stamina and endurance. When you said plyomertics, I had to look it up just to be sure of what it was. I thought of a rubber band. Don’t ask me why, but it reminded me of some exercises our pitching staff, and alot of the other players did during the regular season to increase and maintain arm strength. We would attach one end of the surgical tubing to a solid structure, and take the other in your pitching hand. We would then proceed to do some pretty tough exercises. Alot of them will strengthen your rotar cuff, I highly recommend those. (If you want to know the exercises, send me a PM.)

Yes and no. I threw 93-94 mph and I couldn’t dunk. However, I religiously performed ploymetric-type exercises for my core, upper mid-section and arms on a regular basis (as did all of the Chicago Cubs pitchers throughout the entire organization).

So those strength-shoes likely wouldn’t work, but my experience has shown that med ball exercises, physio-ball exercises, active (movement) stretching, and anaerobic multi-directional movements do likely increase pitching velocity.

In response to what steve ellis said, I, too, am also doing those kind of exercises, and so far, my mechanics are becoming sharper in the process and my velocity is increasing due to the fact that my pitching coach is making sure I throw with authority and accuracy every pitch. He is actually going to tape me today to show certain movements that I do that effect my accuracy and velocity, as well as arm angle ( my velocity may just be increasing because i’m learning how to use my trunks and back leg more, although, I have noticed more explosiveness while using thera bands and doing specific medicine ball work).

I’ve begun to stray away from heavy weightlifting and do more med. ball work, band work, and just going over my windup in front of a mirror. I do the weightlifting to gain weight since I have a very high metabolism. Although, if you’re looking to gain strength, you could start doing squats, just make sure you spend some time on getting the form right. Forward, backward lunges, deadlift. Having the biggest arms in the world may not necessarily mean that you can throw 90 plus. With that in mind, just focus on strengthening up your back muscles, legs, core muscles, shoulder (rotator cup), forearm, triceps, etc… Also, do plenty of sprints, and occasionally, long distance runs.

Some good exercises to do with the medicine ball could be, stretch out like you would throw, but hold the med. ball real loose, and just relax your arms so that your holding the ball about where your waist is, or a little bit higher then that, then use your trunks to quickly rotate to apply force to the ball, this should enable the ball to come out and your hands should swing out. The goal here is to explode with your hips, and not use your arms too much, maybe just a little, you’re not throwing the ball, just letting your hips guide the ball out. I hope that makes sense, sort of hard to explain.

Some other ones could be, doing a soccer pass with the medicine ball against the wall, goal here, explosiveness, about 12 reps, umm, sitting against the wall so that your legs are bent and your using your upper back to rest on the wall. Hold the med. ball next to your head, then follow through, do this on both sides for about a 30 seconds to a minute, goal, explosiveness. If you like to know about any more just feel free to ask, sry for the long message.

Strength training is great for pitchers and now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. Plyometrics and medicine ball exercises are great but they aren’t a replacement for weight lifting. They should be added to weight lifting.

I’m not an advocate of long distance running for baseball players but even if you are, now is not the time to be doing it. Now is the time to gain your strength and power. Weight lifting, plyometrics, and sprints should be the bulk of your training at this time of year (unless you are in fall ball).

I just sent out a newsletter from my website about periodization, which explains why you do certain types of exercises during each time of the year. Click on the newsletter link to find the newsletter.

yuo can take a look at our offseason program on our website under handouts. its seperated into speed/quickness and strength/conditioning. there is alot of good programs out there and like everything else in baseball there is disagreements. thats what is great about baseball. its been good to us but that doesnt mean its right for everybody else.
thanks - steve