100mph Pitcher's and Top Javelin Throwers

i wouldnt be surprised if baseball pitchers were much weaker than world class jav throwers because a baseball weighs 5 oz and a jav weighs six times that

Al Vermeil has some good stories about maximum strength/power and long drive champions in golf. All of the top long drivers have good scores in vertical jump, broad jump and med-ball max distance throws. And, they also do power cleans.

I believe the involvement of “rotational” training is overplayed by the lay trainers out there. Maximal strength and lower body power are critical in throwing events.

A few javelin weight training videos I have saved.

The technical execution of the lifts is a separate discussion; however, the strength of these men is incredible considering their long levers and lack of cross-section

Thorkildsen Bench

Thorkildsen Bench

Thorkildsen behind the neck jerk

Pitkamaki- bench is at 1:23

Great videos James!

I find it interesting in US, it’s nearly a sin to have baseball players bench, or do any overhead lifting. And here we see two current top throwers lifting heavy.

iron cross


Javelin Throwers throw after a long run up…pitchers throw from a stand.
So…not entirely comparable…plus…the strength and power of top javelin guys is amazing…top of the crop world class athletes.
a decade ago, MIck Hill, british javelin thrower ( 86 m)…at the end of his career, in a sporting festival threw a cricket ball 125m…

Agreed, the bench press has turned taboo for many throwing athletes in CONUS and I find it amusing.

The problem has nothing to do with the bench press and everything do to with inadequate training, therapy, stretching, etcetera to ensure that:

  • the shoulder internal rotators and pectoral minor do not become tight and short
  • shoulder external rotators and lateral abductors do not become lengthened and weak
  • seratus anterior is properly strengthened
  • overhead mobility and dynamic stability is addressed
  • scapular depression and downward rotation is regularly trained
  • overall mobility and dynamic stabilization of shoulder girdle is addressed
  • hip mobility is sufficient
  • training program as a whole is sound

I have integrated various drills that Thorkildsen performs as general preparatory training into the training of my quarterbacks. I met a throws coach in 2007 who had acquired these videos of Thorkildsen and I noticed that they have more recently been posted on Youtube:

Thorkildsen Gymnastics

Many fantastic drills for all throwing athletes.

Another great find. I can see the benefit of these, but i think the issue is how to progress to this point. With your quarterbacks, what type of progression do you have in place?

I’ve formulated a progression/introduction series that has been in place since 2007.

It’s more holistic, versus rigid, in terms of which drills and how much.

In short, my suggestion to you is to take the drills that are closest to what you already have your athletes performing, in addition to those which you know they can safely perform, and graduate their introduction in terms of volume and intensity.

They are placed at an auxiliary capacity in my programming and I should note that many of them are appropriate for nearly all American football playing positions due to the structural shoulder traumas that are common amongst everyone on the field except kickers/punters.

The key is to regulate the performance of the drills that require/generate more than needed mobility about the shoulder.

It is nearly as contraindicated to develop hyper mobility in non-throwing positions (for protection reasons) than it is indicated for throwing athletes to develop the necessary mobility for obvious reasons.

vertical and broad jumps? Assuming these golfers are athletes? Or did they leave out the guys like John Daily?

Perhaps Im ignorant, but you say golfers are doing power cleans!?:confused:

I saw the long rnage champ,…looked like mark McGwire…

Insane core strength.

Maybe. It will be intertwined…

But I still personally feel core & rotational strength is a greater benefit & obviously good technique.

So maybe you could outline what type of program you would provide for a thrower and maybe the percentage of rotational exercises and repetitions compared to traditional strength training exercises.

Also consider doing hundreds of reps of rotational work each week along with throws. At what point is it too much and traditional strength work must take over

Actullay, top european throwers don’i perform many rotational movements, except for actual throwing, or loaded implement, heavy ball and med ball training.
Usual exercises are pullovers, bench presses, snatch, squat, cleans.
Sprints and bounfs are also abundant.

Number 2 i agree. I am a competitive long driver. I got caught up in all the rotational stuff and all it resulted in a slower swing speed and a sore back. I have gone back to the classic lifts and have returned back to form. You can do barbell twists all day, but at the end of the day it doesn’t compare to an explosive overhead shot put throw and oly lifts

Hence “lots” of rotational training. Don’t forget to add all the “gymnastic” iso holds, tightening/activating of the MAJOR deep muscles of the core etc. Which carries over.

Where is the power generated?. Core.

Awesome core strength/speed of core rotation has too have the biggest impact, surely. Look at the position/direction of his body/bellybutton as he releases the javelin. Its almost straight left. There is a lot of of torque there in that part of the body.

Go back & do standing Russian twists with a 25lb-50lb plate. 4-5 sets x 20-30 reps.

Come back & tell me that hasn’t increased rotational speed (given you a even badder back :D) & generating more speed in your golf swing, club & clubhead speed.

<<< 1 handicap golfer here (when I was playing competitively) :).

Barbell twists? You boys are crazy. Probably damn heavy too.

The med ball stuff is usually…multithrows…rarely used side throws
No rotational lifts…actual throws…well…Its their job, not a supplemental lift.
Everything you steressed except med ball ( I’d say 95% front back heaves), is just a variation of competitive exercise…so…nothing fancy…rotational stuff.

can I take advantage of you research?
In the sense of some interesting links.

Svincenz, you can find some interesting articles on athleticscoaching.ca and on the fidal archives on CD of Atleticastudi.
Plenty of med ball work, both front and back heaves , but also overhead.( lateral rotational work usually limited)

There was some info on athletics canada somewhere, not sure where i spent so much time on it. Also read a DDR book on track and field on their training for throwing events. Along with scanning google searches for workout templates.