Should pitchers work out arms?


Is it okay for pitchers to work out biceps, triceps, or forearms? Heard you want loose arms

*when i say “work out” i’m talking about weight lifting


Yes lift weights! Biggest misconception about pitching is lifting weights. But you have to be smart. No pushes over head, just pulls, pull ups chin-ups pull downs etc. Any type of push should be done with dumb bells or just a variation of push-ups. Forearms are big in staying healthy, a strong forearm helps to protect the ligaments in the elbow. Don’t go crazy on bi’s and tri’s, beach body workouts only help aesthetics and not performance.


James Buffi released a paper last year that showed the triceps contributes significantly to stabilizing the elbow and decreasing the load on the ulnar collateral ligament during throwing. There was also substantial contribution from a forearm muscle called flexor digitorum superficialis, it just occurred later in the delivery.

Yes, it’s based on computer simulation but that – when combined with traditional in vivo biomechanics research – is the closest thing we have to determining what’s really going on inside the arm at this time.

So, training the arms – even directly – is probably a great idea. Just make sure it doesn’t impede recovery from your main lifts.


You keep asking variations of the same question…I get it, you are trying to gain information and that is great. Most guys your age don’t care enough to try and gain information.
A quick question…in what sport would being weak be better than being strong? None of course.
To put it another way, the average MLB pitcher checks in at about 210-220 lbs. With rare exception how many of these guys look fat? Hardly any. Translation is they are strong as hell.
Here is a few quotes from a Mark Rippetoe (if you don’t know who he is, look him up) article from T Nation:

“Not every force application involves maximum force production, but the stronger you are, the better you’re able to produce force in situations where your strength must be used repeatedly, quickly, slowly, irregularly, or differently, in positions of balance or imbalance, while fresh or fatigued, recovered or sore, distracted or focused, for a few seconds or a few hours or days…”


"But the most efficient way to get strong is to lift heavy weights in a bilaterally symmetrical position, which allows the most weight to be lifted and therefore the most strength to be built.

This is why baseball players should all be squatting, pressing, and deadlifting correctly with very heavy weights: it makes you strong – like steroids, only much, much better – and doesn’t involve a Senate hearing."

So, yes, strength matters.
I think many young players get confused because they see the Throwers 10 exercises for the cuff and think all upper body lifting should be light. The cuff exercises are very important and need to stay below 5 lbs. Bands are great and again are not heavy weights. But, other upper body work…Zottman Curls, Tricpes, Rows, Pulls Ups (body weight and weighted), Pushups, Dumb bell Bench press ect should be done to gain strength.
Foam rolling, stretching and mobility work are important as well of course. If you recover and lift correctly you should not become “muscle bound”. Something like executing a proper dead lift or squat with heavy weight is doing more to work the core of the body than crunches for example. Lifting weights has carry over to many areas of performance.
I have seen guys who throw hard (88 +) who are relatively thin, I have seen hard throwers with quirky mechanics I have never seen one or known one that was functionally weak.
Make sure technique is great. Be smart with your lifting. It takes time to build up to big numbers. Recover well.


I love Zottman Curls vs regular curls.
Forearms are ignored too often in lifting for pitchers. The forearms help stabilize the elbow through the pitching motion.
I do like tricep work though. About a 1 1/2 to 1 back side (arms and upper back) to front side mix.


thanks for the reply. i guess i should’v worded it differently. what i’m really trying to know is if pitchers should be curling the 45s on arm day


As I have said before I prefer Zottman Curls for pitchers.
Curls are fine, but, again its about working the whole “system”. Triceps, Forearms, chest, back, upper back in particular, core ect., all the way down to grip strength.
One thing to keep in mind is strength is the goal, not bulk or size. Lifting for size can be very different than lifting for strength. Free weights are better than machines for example.


ok gotcha. my brother does “body building” and he says i should stay away from it until i’m done playing baseball.


The only thing I would stay away from are exercises that force you into particular movement patterns, particularly, extreme joint ranges.

A good example would be a Straight Barbell Curl.

For a lot of guys, this is going to force them into an excessively supinated position (palms turned out) which can potentially put unnecessary stress on the medial elbow.

That’s why I prefer cables and dumbbells over barbells – they give you more “wiggle room” to allow the wrists to supinate/pronate and the shoulders to internally/externally rotate.

It’s a similar argument as to why dumbbell pressing is probably “safer” (for lack of a better word) than barbell pressing. That’s not to say that the bench press is inherently dangerous. (It’s not.) It’s just that it doesn’t give your brain/nervous system much “wiggle room” to work around sensitive joint ranges.

TL;DR: Direct arm work is probably fine when performed with proper technique and loading parameters and as long as they don’t create discomfort or impede recovery from the big lifts. Opt for dumbbells and rotating cables over barbells and other bars that fix your grip into one orientation.


You should stay away from body building, not weight lifting.
Tavisbruce gives some good info about using dumb bells or cables ect.