weighted balls

Are weighted balls a good/the best option for increasing arm strength?

How about if I just say, they are an option and leave what place they hold on the increasing arm strength chart to someone else.

Answering this question is almost exactly like what I said in the long toss thread. http://www.letstalkpitching.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14294

In the long run, the thing that’s going to improve arm strength the most, is nature. I don’t know how old the person is who would be using the weighted balls, but unless they’re a fully matured adult, they will gain al lot of natural strength just by getting older. Of course that strength could easily be enhanced by nutrition and good general exercise.

One of the things that’s always bothered me about specific training such as this where its really focused on one thing rather than the entire body, is that I’m not at all sure in a less than physically and mentally mature person, there might be more “issues” created than what the improvement is worth. FI, without the core strength to support a hugely strong pitching arm, is it possible to create long term future problems?

i have a question. what are weighted balls :?:

i have heard of them. and also something called medicine balls. i never exactly got what they were and why do players use them. should i get some?

http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/weighted_baseball_program.htm

http://www.webball.com/cms/page1299.cfm

http://oatesspecialties.com/blog.php/?p=372?osCsid=0eeff300f084406830b7299c107e0c3a

http://pitchingprofessor.com/weighted_ball.html

http://www.webball.com/cms/page1498.cfm

As for medicine balls

http://ericcressey.com/newsletter143html

[quote=“dodgerfan3”]i have a question. what are weighted balls :?:

i have heard of them. and also something called medicine balls. i never exactly got what they were and why do players use them. should i get some?[/quote]

Weight and medicine balls are two different things. Weight balls are actual baseballs that vary in weight. I personally don’t use these too much but I know other people that swear by them to gain velocity and arm strength. My biggest tip for using weighted balls is to make sure you have a lighter ball too. It will not help you to throw a weighted ball with out throwing a lighter ball. The lighter ball helps your fast twitch muscles which is where you create a lot of velocity, if you just use weighted balls you will be teaching your arm to move slower.

As for medicine balls these are about the size of a basketball and can range from just a couple lbs to 16+. These are excellent for all athletes and have a ton of exercises for them. I use medicine balls religiously for abs and ploys.

KyleB has a good article on weighted balls on his blog.

The problem with velocity-increasing programs, especially in youth pitchers, is that they assume that because B follows A, then A caused B.

For instance, if a youth pitcher increases his velocity (B) after three months of weighted balls or long toss (A), then the assumption is made that the weighted balls or long toss (A) caused the velocity increase (B).

But that’s not necessarily so.

It’s entirely possible that the youth pitcher would have gained the same velocity increase (or more!) by doing nothing over those three months, simply from natural growth.

My son did absolutely no throwing of any kind this summer (late May to early September), and after the 3 1/2 months off his increase in velocity was substantial and immediately noticeable. It was all from growth.

The only way to know for sure, I guess, is to take two large samples of youth pitchers: one sample does weighted balls or long toss for a period of time, and the other sample does not. Then compare their velocity increases. Unfortunately, there probably is no such study.

Not only is there such a study, but there are multiple. Dr. Coop DeRenne has done them.

Do you have a link to an academic study, that is, a study published in an academic journal, that shows a link between long toss / weighted balls and a permanent increase in velocity?

I’ve seen Dr. Coop DeRenne’s name out there, but also criticism of him.

I’d like to see a statistically sound academic article on this issue.

Thanks.

http://www.maxxtraining.com/article1.htm

No no Slew, DeRenne is sited in the 2nd one…why he’s been CRITICIZED!! By some un-named critical person and obviously he has no standing at all.
You should stop posting immediately… :wink:
As a matter of fact you should immediately resign…
Leave America
Join the French Foriegn Legion
Herd Yaks… :shock:

[quote=“jdfromfla”]No no Slew, DeRenne is sited in the 2nd one…why he’s been CRITICIZED!! By some un-named critical person and obviously he has no standing at all.
You should stop posting immediately… :wink:[/quote]

Actually DeRenne’s conclusions have been criticised and challenged by more than one former professional pitcher/coach that I know of, one a certain Hall of Famer.

But since you have here already ignorantly dismissed them, in your ignorant bliss knowing nothing of them or what they say, there’s no need for me to identify them!

Thanks!

:roll:

Well in your demented control laden world they have no standing either because they didn’t produce a “peer reviewed controlled study” so they can’t possibly know what they are doing either, right genious? Matter of fact in your tortured mind, apparently the only people who know anything about baseball or pitching are academics who produce these studies…
Let me know if you find the quarter in the corner of that round room you’ve created there buddy.

Wrong as usual.

I have always given weight to what professional players and coaches say.

For instance, in this very forum I have cited multiple times what Glavin, Smoltz, Braves pitching coaches and doctors, and others in baseball have said about year round youth baseball.

And, that’s why I routinely consult my friend, who pitched on the Red Sox’s AAA, AA, and A teams, for his advice on developing my son as a pitcher.

What I don’t give weight to is what obvious baseball wannabes on the Internet say. People like you.

As such, I prefer to follow the advice of the medical doctors in the medical journal on youth pitching that we have discussed (which coincides precisely with the advice of Glavin, Smoltz, Braves pitching coaches and doctors, and others in baseball on youth pitching). Faced with such medical and professional advice and the advice of goons like you and Dino, I’ll take the medical and professional advice every time!

And that’s what really bothers people like you, isn’t it? That you’re not being treated as the final authority on pitching?

Lefty,

If possible pick up a copy of Tom House’s book “Fastball Fitness”. The last few chapters are dedicated to velocity enhancement by throwing weighted balls- 4oz., 5 oz., and 6 oz. The book outlines work House did with DeRenne in 85-86 and goes on to describe later work, tests and studies by others- some as recent as 2005-2006. While not a medical journal the studies are clearly presented and you can decide if the methodology and results make sense.

From what I understand about the overweight-underweight program it’s one thing to increase velocity but another to maintain it. Once the 9 or 10 week program is completed (which in itself could be an obstacle) evidently some form of the protocol needs to be performed at least on a weekly basis.

IMO the rapid physical changes and growth seen in kids, especially in the 12-14,15 age group would make it very difficult to design a study that isolated the effects of the weighted balls.

Thanks JP.

That was one of the questions I had: is the supposed increase permanent?

More, what strikes me as odd is this: “DeRenne reported … THE UNDERWEIGHTED BASEBALL TRAINING GROUP SHOWED A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THROWING VELOCITY THAT WAS TWICE AS GREAT AS THE OVERWEIGHTED BASEBALL GROUP.”

So throwing with a LIGHTER baseball GAINED TWICE AS MUCH VELOCITY as throwing with a HEAVIER baseball?

Huh?

Is this quack science?

[quote=“littlelefty”]Thanks JP.

That was one of the questions I had: is the supposed increase permanent?

More, what strikes me as odd is this: “DeRenne reported … THE UNDERWEIGHTED BASEBALL TRAINING GROUP SHOWED A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THROWING VELOCITY THAT WAS TWICE AS GREAT AS THE OVERWEIGHTED BASEBALL GROUP.”

So throwing with a LIGHTER baseball GAINED TWICE AS MUCH VELOCITY as throwing with a HEAVIER baseball?

Huh?

Is this quack science?[/quote]

not really. The idea is that the heavy balls help you apply more force in your throws while the lighter balls help by improving arm speed and increasing the workload on the decelerators.

In the end, overweight/underweight is the optimal combination. you have an arm that has learned to apply a lot more force AND an arm that has learned to move very quickly while decelerating properly.

Think sprinters running uphill AND downhill sprints in their training. One is more strength oriented one is more pure speed oriented.

be as skeptical as you want, nobody is forcing you to believe in their validity as a training tool.

littlelefty

I don’t consider any of these guys “quacks” or their science. Tom House is one of the most impressive baseball guys I’ve ever met and truly thinks “outside the box”. House recognizes and freely admits the difficulty of devising studies that prove or disprove anything in baseball using human subjects. There are just too many barriers and variables in kinesiology and physiology to creating studies that academics cannot find some fault with. Most pitchers are not in any hurry to test their UCL to failure for the sake of science.

There is more and more research being done into not only making muscles stronger but also the importance of making them move faster. The underweight training is supposed to do just that- teach the muscles to move faster. It is thought that while heavy work makes a muscle stronger it also may be teaching a slower movement. At some point there is a proper balance between speed and strength. I suppose that each individual would have a need to increase one, the other or both. This is one reason these studies are so difficult.

I am only guessing but perhaps Derenne’s subjects had focused so much on getting stronger that they had neglected moving faster. Using the lighter balls may have “unlocked” a neglected portion of their training. I guess the next step would be to see if the results could be replicated- tough to do with humans, kinesiology, physiology, etc.

This same slow-fast theory is being questioned in hitting as well. Does the weighted on-deck bat or doughnut actually slow the swing down and should a hitter really be swinging a lighter bat in the on-deck circle to promote more bat speed?

In baseball old ideas die hard.

littlelefty
Here are a couple of articles without DeRenne’s influence. If you dig through ASMI’s web site you may find more. If you’re really into it a call or email to Dr. Fleisig may prove beneficial as well.

Fleisig GS, Phillips R, Shatley A, Loftice J, Dun S, Drake S, Farris JW, Andrews JR. Kinematics and kinetics of youth baseball pitching with standard and lightweight balls. Sports Engineering 9:155-163, 2006.

Escamilla RF, Speer KP, Fleisig GS, Barrentine SW, Andrews JR. Effects of throwing overweight and underweight baseballs on throwing velocity and accuracy. Sports Medicine 29(4):259-272, 2000