Throwing with a softball to warm up?


I’ve recently heard that after doing bands and such, if one warms up with a heavier ball, i.e. a softball, and then went to a baseball, one will throw harder, because your arm is used to generating more power. Is this true?


Technically speaking, the heavier weight may develop strength and it will probably make a baseball feel lighter (temporarily) but it will reduce arm speed so you’d be training your arm to move slower. Using a softball as an overweight ball as part of an overload/underload program might be ok. But I wouldn’t recommend it as part of your warm-ups.


I don’t think it would benefit you that day, but as @Roger explains, as part of overload/underload it may help over time.
When you watch MLB hitters in the on deck area, they may loosen up with heavy bats, weighted sleeves, or other implements, but you rarely see them taking full cuts with them wihile on deck. At the youth level, most kids use these same implements and try to swing from their shoes to increase their bat speed or make their bat feel lighter at the plate. This seems to generally result in being the conductor for their own timing train wreck.

I’m not sure I’d engage in much over/under load training on game day.


I’m a guy who loves to use weighted balls for arm conditioning/strengthening. although I’ve never heard of using a softball to warm up. I have noticed, however, that doing a full weighted ball routine on days I’m on the mound causes my control to suffer just a hair. I don’t really know if a softball would have the same effect but I wouldn’t do too much for fear of sacrificing control. sounds interesting though, so I’ll try it!


Can you provide details on the overload/under load program?


Just to be clear, I wasn’t saying it was ok to do overload/under load training on game day. I’m with CoachPaul on that. In fact, I consider overload/under load training for gain to be an off-season activity. Overload/under load training to maintain during the season is ok.


I wasn’t referring to any specific program - just weighted ball programs in general.


I remember working with some pro pitchers back when I was a kid and warming up with a few throws with a softball was more common than it is today. I remember doing it a little. 5-7 throws. It was less about overload/underload and more about making that 9 inch baseball feel like a bullet because it’s so much smaller that a softball.

Either way, just take it easy on game day. Don’t waste your arm in the bullpen.