The facts behind long toss

Keep in mind…Glenn is deeply involved with the medical community…not ones for pushing the envelope…I am with Kyle, he gets a bit on the “protect everyone” bent and so his equivocation of stress and injury.

Kyle and JD,

Good points. My son does not ELT. He has eliminated the “going out” phase and utilizes another routine to warmup the arm that reinforces his mechanics. He then stays within the 120 foot distance and throws on a line with power and proper mechanics.IMO, that is the better approach.

I don’t want to get into a whole ELT debate, as I think most people have their minds made up on the topic. But I watched the clip and have seen several interviews with Alan Jaeger that his ELT program increases velocity, improves arm strength, and improves arm safety. I have yet to see any of those claims to be substantiated by any independent study.

So for me, I intend to excercise caution and follow the ASMI guidelines and Dr Fleisig. Again I am not anti LT (120 feet is LT) but I do not find the claims of ELT to be compelling at this point.

Again read Jeager’s article. Dr. Fleisig is either not understanding Jeager’s concept or he has never investigated the concept. There is so much more to the program than LT. The phase of the program that is LT is done progressively and care, maintaining.

Jeager uses checkpoints with LT
[b]For example, I will often give players three major check points:

  1. let the arm stretch itself out with loose arm action
  2. allow your arm to throw as far as it wants to throw provided that it “feels good”, like a massage
  3. be aware of keeping sound mechanics (for consistency and arm support)[/b]

All three points seem like sound advice to protect the arm while getting stronger. And again, using LT as one of five phases phase of a program. It’s the whole program used to build strength.

I think Dr. Fleisig understands Jaeger’s program fairly well. He is a very intelligent person.

When I spoke to him, he told me “For better or worse, ASMI stands for American Sports MEDICINE Institute. We’re primarily concerned not with performance improvement but pitcher arm health. That’s just what we study.”

And he’s totally right. His views on long toss via his study are totally valid. I just don’t agree with his opinion about stress. Though his points about mechanics being less efficient (more stress but same velocity at extreme distances) are definitely worth investigating.

[quote]He is a very intelligent person.

When I spoke to him, he told me “For better or worse, ASMI stands for American Sports MEDICINE Institute. We’re primarily concerned not with performance improvement but pitcher arm health. That’s just what we study.[/quote]”

He’s said very similar things to me and yes he is very intelligent. His place has to be manned and defended and he does it like a gentleman.

I woud say that Dr. Fleisig had and continues to have a very good understanding of Mr. Jaegar’s concepts. I do understand that you and others may take issue with the ASMI study. But, at some point, doesn’t the onus shift to Alan Jaeger to prove that his ELT program does increase arm strength, arm health, and velocity? I just don’t see any compelling evidence to back up these claims.

BR:

I think a study to prove all three of those things (arm strength, health and velocity) would be tough. The good ol human element. That said, arm strength and velocity are two different things. My son has gone from maxing out at 50 yards to longtossing 90-95 yards now. So, certainly arm strength has improved. His velocity has had a slow increase over that same time frame. Is that tied directly to extending out longtoss? I have no idea.
The only pitching coach he ever took lessons with doesnt go beyond 120 himself. Although, he finally did admit that limiting it to 120 feet is just as arbitrary as extending to 300 feet. So, the crux of it is, is there anything giving a 100% that go out to “extreme” (I dont know what that means) long toss prevents injury (or causes it), no…is there anything proving that staying at a certain shorter distance prevents injuries, no. The reason is, of course, people are different and respond to different stimulations differently. In reality I like mixing the two different approaches.
I prefer the Jaeger approach, does that mean it is “right” or the only way? Heck no.

BR,
You continue to characterize Jaeger’s program as ELT(extreme long toss). Yet you fail to mention the other four phases of the program. How can a program be assessed without looking at the whole picture or program?

This is the only problem I have with Dr. Fleisig’s article that was posted. Nothing is mentioned of the drills before LT nor the pull down phase to build strength.

[quote=“Turn 22”]BR,
You continue to characterize Jaeger’s program as ELT(extreme long toss). Yet you fail to mention the other four phases of the program. How can a program be assessed without looking at the whole picture or program?

This is the only problem I have with Dr. Fleisig’s article that was posted. Nothing is mentioned of the drills before LT nor the pull down phase to build strength.[/quote]

I am referring to the entire program of ELT, pulldowns, arm circles, and band work. I would be more than happy to look at any independent study that analyzes the entire program and not just one element. The ASMI study does look at the pulldown and going out phase however. Don’t misconstrue that I am somehow anti long toss. As I stated earlier, I think going out to 120 is fine, I think power throws are fine, I think arms circles are fine, I think band work is fine. I think shoulder tubes are fine. I am simply a skeptic about ELT and don’t feel the claims made have been substantiated. And that a key element of the program has come under legitimate criticism by and acclaimed and well respected medical professional and organization.

[quote=“fearsomefour”]BR:

I think a study to prove all three of those things (arm strength, health and velocity) would be tough. The good ol human element. That said, arm strength and velocity are two different things. My son has gone from maxing out at 50 yards to longtossing 90-95 yards now. So, certainly arm strength has improved. His velocity has had a slow increase over that same time frame. Is that tied directly to extending out longtoss? I have no idea.
The only pitching coach he ever took lessons with doesnt go beyond 120 himself. Although, he finally did admit that limiting it to 120 feet is just as arbitrary as extending to 300 feet. So, the crux of it is, is there anything giving a 100% that go out to “extreme” (I dont know what that means) long toss prevents injury (or causes it), no…is there anything proving that staying at a certain shorter distance prevents injuries, no. The reason is, of course, people are different and respond to different stimulations differently. In reality I like mixing the two different approaches.
I prefer the Jaeger approach, does that mean it is “right” or the only way? Heck no.[/quote]

I tend to agree. My concern is simply going out and pulling down at extreme distances. The medical science at this time seems to have some legitimate points that people should recogonize. I am open and welcome any other legitimate study that would support a differing view. And I do consider 120 feet to be LT (even though AJ has characterized it as “short toss”-another issue) and have no issue with it.
And I do consider myself to be quite progressive in my view on training. I believe in conditioning with a heavy emphasis on sprint work. I believe in strength training be it powerlifting or Olympic lifting. I believe in mechanics and what the NPA has to say about H/S separation. I just tend to look at the research on an issue.

BR,
I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this topic, and that’s fine. I simply do not have the studies you seek. I know only from what I’ve seen with my son and other guys I’ve worked with.

The one question I do have is, How much benefit do you feel there is by limiting a pitcher to a 120 foot maximum distance? And… wouldn’t this limitation be the same as limiting a guy to certain weights, say a 135lb bench press, when training?

That’s 2 questions!:wink:

There’s no way to PROVE anything in either situation because there’s no way for any player to “do it over” to see how the results would be different. How do you know how much of what you see as benefit comes from the training and how much comes from just maturing physically and mentally?

Wow, that was two questions, wasn’t it. :lol:

I’m sure alot comes from maturity. But I’ve also seen the results of training

I saw my son, for example, go from 5’10, 160, as a 14 year old to 6’2, 190, as a current 16 year old. During this period his velocity increased nicely as his mechanics developed.
However, he made real gains in velo after strength and conditioning, which along with weight training, he used Jaeger’s long toss program along with two cycles of Kyle’s weighted ball program.

As a freshman last year his FB sat at 80 to 82. This year as a sophomore he is entering the season with a FB at 86 touching 88 at times.

This I credit to strength training, including Jaeger’s program and Kyle’s program. Do I have studies to back up the causes for the increases? No. The only thing I do have for certainty is a pitcher who feels stronger and performs stronger after using these programs as they were designed.

Turn,

You don’t think growing 4”, putting on 30lbs, and improving his mechanics had much to do with his improved numbers? Remember, I’m not at all saying the training didn’t help. I’m just questioning how much of the improvement was from the training.

This is a question that likely will never be answered with real proof because like I said, we don’t get “do overs” to check stuff like that.

Scorekeeper,
I’m not really sure what percentages are attributal to growing and which to training. I honestly wish I did.

  I do know that along with height and weight changes, he gained a good bit of muscle and it shows. What I also know is that he feels better with a stronger looser arm, his words, following Jaeger and Kyle's program. 

  During the fall and winter he chose not to play the fall season and strength train instead. For training he used Maximum Strength with adaptations for pitchers, and threw three times a week using the above programs. During this period he gained 5 to 6 mph on his fastball. 

 He is continuing to grow and trains really hard, so until he stops growing, it will probably be difficult to gauge percentages. Some of the velo may have come from simply growing, but I feel and more importantly, he feels that the majority of it came from his offseason training.

I’m sure you aren’t alone in that. I know I’d sure like to know.

I’m certainly not trying to say there’s no value in training, nor am I saying all anyone has to do is get older to improve. But I know as in most things, there’s some optimal middle ground between the extremes of doing nothing and training constantly.

And , there’s a lot to being comfortable with whatever choice is made, otherwise the effort would way too much to contend with.

I absolutely agree.

Further I believe there is a difference player to player. Where some will excel with more weight training. Just as there are pitchers who can throw more with less rest and others who require more.

[quote=“Turn 22”]BR,
I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this topic, and that’s fine. I simply do not have the studies you seek. I know only from what I’ve seen with my son and other guys I’ve worked with.

The one question I do have is, How much benefit do you feel there is by limiting a pitcher to a 120 foot maximum distance? And… wouldn’t this limitation be the same as limiting a guy to certain weights, say a 135lb bench press, when training?[/quote]

Thats fine, nothing wrong with dissenting views.

1- If the point is to warmup, increase blood flow, and stretch out the arm- I think you can accomplish that goal out to 120 feet. There really doesn’t seem to be much point to going out further given the ASMI study. I do see benefit to power throws or pulldowns inside that range where you put less stress on the elbow and maintain proper mechanics. I just find Jaegars claims about going to extreme distances to have little validity or proof.

2- I don’t agree with your weight lifting analogy. The point is to build strength. As your muscles grow and get stronger they are able to handle heavier loads. There does not seem to be any evidence that ELT results in additional arm strength.

[quote=“Turn 22”]Wow, that was two questions, wasn’t it. :lol:

I’m sure alot comes from maturity. But I’ve also seen the results of training

I saw my son, for example, go from 5’10, 160, as a 14 year old to 6’2, 190, as a current 16 year old. During this period his velocity increased nicely as his mechanics developed.
However, he made real gains in velo after strength and conditioning, which along with weight training, he used Jaeger’s long toss program along with two cycles of Kyle’s weighted ball program.

As a freshman last year his FB sat at 80 to 82. This year as a sophomore he is entering the season with a FB at 86 touching 88 at times.

This I credit to strength training, including Jaeger’s program and Kyle’s program. Do I have studies to back up the causes for the increases? No. The only thing I do have for certainty is a pitcher who feels stronger and performs stronger after using these programs as they were designed.[/quote]

We are in similiar situations. My son went from a 14 year old 6’2 165lbs, to 6’6" 195lbs as a current 16 year old. As his mechanics improved he realized an immediate jump in velocity. Then he stagnated. As he has been doing the strength and conditioning program, his velocity has been steadily increasing. He is doing the top velo program. I can say that I too see a correlation between strength and velocity. He is still a little weak, so I think as he gets bigger, stronger, and grows into his frame he has a big upside velocity wise. Low to mid 80s now, but only started pitching at 14.

He did LT for HS, but it gave him a sore arm for quite a while. Since August he has been lifting 3 days a week, conditioning twice a week, mechanics and drills twice a week, and bullpens from a mound twice a week. Never even a twinge in the arm and he feels much stronger. I wish he had started lifting at 14, but the gyms in our area require you to be at least 16 to get into the weight area.

The age limit at the local gym is 14 unsupervised, and 13 supervised. My son lifted and worked out last summer with a trainer (we paid the hourly rate) and it was incredible the difference in strength, flexibility and stamina he had. He wants to work out again this summer at the gym.

[quote=“BR TROJANS1”][quote=“Turn 22”]Wow, that was two questions, wasn’t it. :lol:

I’m sure alot comes from maturity. But I’ve also seen the results of training

I saw my son, for example, go from 5’10, 160, as a 14 year old to 6’2, 190, as a current 16 year old. During this period his velocity increased nicely as his mechanics developed. However, he made real gains in velo after strength and conditioning, which along with weight training, he used Jaeger’s long toss program along with two cycles of Kyle’s weighted ball program.

As a freshman last year his FB sat at 80 to 82. This year as a sophomore he is entering the season with a FB at 86 touching 88 at times.

This I credit to strength training, including Jaeger’s program and Kyle’s program. Do I have studies to back up the causes for the increases? No. The only thing I do have for certainty is a pitcher who feels stronger and performs stronger after using these programs as they were designed.[/quote]

We are in similiar situations. My son went from a 14 year old 6’2 165lbs, to 6’6" 195lbs as a current 16 year old. As his mechanics improved he realized an immediate jump in velocity. Then he stagnated. As he has been doing the strength and conditioning program, his velocity has been steadily increasing. He is doing the top velo program. I can say that I too see a correlation between strength and velocity. He is still a little weak, so I think as he gets bigger, stronger, and grows into his frame he has a big upside velocity wise. Low to mid 80s now, but only started pitching at 14.

He did LT for HS, but it gave him a sore arm for quite a while. Since August he has been lifting 3 days a week, conditioning twice a week, mechanics and drills twice a week, and bullpens from a mound twice a week. Never even a twinge in the arm and he feels much stronger.[/quote]

I’m listening to both Turn 22 and BR TROJANS1, since my son is 13 - 6’ 180 lbs and still growing, and trying to discern which way to go. We did go out today to loosen up the arm. He hasn’t thrown since October and had no problem long tossing 220’. His arm felt loose from the beginning. He was throwing rockets at 180’ straight into home without any problems and didn’t see any reason to lob the ball 200+ feet, or for that matter, at any distance. He didn’t want to lob the ball and felt a little awkward.

Not sure what to do. He wants to stay at the gym working with a trainer, and then work with his pitching coach on mechanics and bullpen work. He loved airing the ball out, but didn’t seem to like the in bewtween stages.