What are sure fire ways of increasing pitching velocity and strengthening your arm? I know long toss is one, but what is the best way to play it? Are there any workouts that can help this?
A progressive long toss, speed, and strength program.
There’s a ton of variations out there, but your long toss program could start with max-effort throws from 90-120 feet for weeks 1 & 2. Then build up to 2 workouts by week 3 (one max distance workouts and one max throws at a set distance workout). Then every week thereafter aim to increase distance & reps for the duration of your program.
Most ballplayers don’t realize, but sprinting involves your entire body. Nothing in the weight room can replicate the training stress of an all-out, max-effort sprint. After you throw, pump out some sprints. A simple program could be week 1-3: 5-7 yard sprints x 10-20 reps from a variety of stances (outfield stance/base stealing/hitting/off the ground). Week 4-6: 10-20 yard sprints, etc.
Explosive lifts (check out our facebook fan page and see how we made a vertimax with $10 bands and heavy dumbbells), compound lifts (deadlifts, pull-ups, etc.), single-leg (step-ups, rear-foot elevated split squats, TRX variations), horizontal pulls (inverted rows, DB rows, etc.), shoulder prehab, core, etc…
I’ve seen the discussion that strength training doesn’t help velocity, but from my experience I’ve seen it do wonders. Last year we helped a senior from Cocoa H.S. increase his velocity from 87 to 92-mph (clocked at Perfect Game in Atlanta) in 6-weeks. He maintained his regular throwing routine at school, and the only adjustment was his workout regimen (training 5 days per week). He signed with High Point University (NCAA-Div 1) out of Perfect Game. I think it’s more about implementing the “right program” then throwing out the whole “strength training doesn’t work” argument.
Haha, pay a pitching coach to teach you big league mechanics!
Long Toss will definately help. I suggest you study up on this website:
Make sure you get in a good warmup.
You ashould also look into weighted balls.
Throw every day.
My pitching coach of many moons ago—he was an active major league pitcher—told me that throwing every day was just about the best way to keep the arm loose and flexible and prevent injury. What I used to do was alternate between just playing catch one day and doing a bullpen session the next, and in that bullpen session I would either work on a new pitch, refine an existing one, or work on some aspect of mechanics. And when working on a pitch I would have my catcher position his mitt in various places so I could work on location at the same time. And I was a starting pitcher who would relieve between starts from time to time, so if I had to come into the game in the seventh or eighth inning that would constitute throwing every day. And I never had a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else!