The Risk Of Throwing Weighted Balls

I thought that those of you who are interested in the wisdom of weighted balls would find this thread on the Baseball Excellence website interesting…

It’s a post by a dad whose son threw weighted balls on a number of occasions and now is having shoulder problems. It seems like what pushed his son over the edge was the coach’s telling his son to throw a 2LB ball as hard as he could for 20 reps.

As I have said before, I think that weighted balls can be of some value when used properly (e.g. to condition the rotator cuff), but many people do not use them properly.

Anything can be dangerous when you are being led by someone that has no clue what they are doing. The coaches took this kid along way too fast at one time. 7, 10, 14 and a 2 pound ball(32 ounces!!!). No wonder the kid strained his shoulder.

I don’t think it is fair to lump all weighted ball programs in with this one instance however. There are plenty of kids that destroy their arms throwing regulation balls because their coaches have them doing stupid things (throwing on no rest, throwing too much, etc.). Throwing at your max speed with a ball weighted beyond anything you had thrown before is asking for trouble. You start at the lowest increment (6-7 oz.) and start short tossing for a few weeks.

I think the problem is crappy coaching, not weighted baseballs.

2 lbs!!! WOW!!! Thats insane.

4 oz, 5 oz (standard) and 6 oz weighted balls can get the job done. Anything over 8 oz and id be concerned about injury.

I agree here. Not all weighted baseball programs are created equal – or are healthy, for that matter. JMB33 nailed it: 4, 5, and 6 ounces are perfectly fine. The athlete must be conditioned (I typically advise at least a month of regular long toss before starting a WB program.) No more than 8 ounces at any time. And you’ve just got to be plain smart about the protocols. If an athlete is feeling twinges or pain. Then stop.

Good link, Chris O’Leary!