Pitcher Training

How would members of the forum go about training a pitcher. I know the whole thing about not putting undue stress on the shoulder, yet all the great throwers seem to hav a big emphasis on the bench press and oly lifts. What to do?

I would say that, with a baseball pitcher you have to take in to account greater stretches and external rotation than the field events, it would make sense to minimize any extra impact to the shoulder…

I saw in a book about training pitchers, an MRI image of nolan ryan’s shoulder after a ton of pitches, and it didn’t look good.

Also, pitchers throw so many more times than say a javelin or shotputter. (at least starters)

The act of throwing the baseball, as you know, incorporates completely different mechanics than throwing the shot, yet it is somewhat similar to the above the waist mechanics of throwing the javelin.

From a physiological standpoint, the very light resistance that the baseball presents indicates that power and speed of movement are the defining motor requirements much more so than max strength.

I do not know whether pitchers/coaches have experimented with the use of various weighted implements, slightly more or less than the baseball, to increase throwing power.

The same prehab/rehab protocol applies regardless of what type of thrower we are talking about (eg ext rotator). Because the speed of throwing a baseball is so great, the external rotators must work overtime to deccelerate the arm.

A logical standpoint would suggest that heavier loads may be utilized to strengthen the legs/hips/core, much like any ground based throwing/striking activity, as well as the lats as one of the functions of the lats is the internal rotation of the shoulder.

Charles Poliquin has commented on the efficacy of strengthening the lats in an effort to increase bat speed, slap shots, etc.

As with any other throwing event, the volume of throws must be factored in when devising/considering the volume of strength training to be initiated.

To me it seems that throwing is much like sprinting, in that force application is the determinant. IE how much foce you can apply into the ground with ur feet, and how much foce u can apply to the ball. Oly lifts are general force application exercises right? Is this why the snatch and power clean are so popular? And for the upper body could plyometrics/speed upper body lifts be the mainstay as they develop force application? So would this be an appropriate general look.
Day 1

  1. Pitch Hard
  2. Lower Body Plyo’s for force application
  3. Limit Lower-9 total reps
  4. Hamstrings
  5. Abs

Day 2

  1. Throw lighty, GPP activities
  2. Unilateral Upper
  3. Unilateral Lower
  4. Delt Work
  5. Bicep Work

Day 3
Throw lighty, GPP activities

Day 4

  1. Pitch Hard
  2. Limit Upper Back-9 reps
  3. Rows
  4. Triceps
  5. External Rotations
  6. Abs

Day 5
Similar to day 2

How bout that? For the back exercises I say acc. ecc. because they are deaccelerators and their action is an eccentric one, so I thought it would make sense to train them that way? I know it seems like a lot of work, but if you notice its a lot of assistance work that is supersetted. As well there isnt any sprinting(no need for a pitcher, oly’s and speed upper work on force application). I suppose sprints could be cycled in for oly’s at times if desired? How does this look?

www.rotatorcuff.net Buchberger 12.

numba: what kind of exercises are you calling “upper body speed”?

Would throwing with a slighty heavier ball, not throw off mechanics?

jman’s suggestion of strengthening the legs and hips, and Poliquin’s of the back seem to be the best ideas…summation of forces.


you seem like you have a decent arm. Why dont you throw the Jav!!! The training for the jav is much more fun and it is very condusive to training for football.

  1. Ehh i wish i hadnt hurt it before, I used to be that kid who they would ask how old I really was.

  2. Haha too technical for me, I just want to play baseball, see what my fastball can get up to(plllllzzzzz 90 or higher!!!), I dont think we have it our school even, I’ll look into it tho. I’ll tell you what though, I wish i could throw like Breaux Greer!!

  3. I don’t think it would throw off mechanics, we arent talking about a lot heavier, just slightly, besides it was just an idea.

  4. Upper body speed would be dynamic effort bench press, med ball throws, or plyo’s, maybe punching with tubing? But I am even thinking of not doing this, as throwing itself is so traumatic and throwing, maybe crosstraining with things that have a throwing motion in them, would provide a better stimulus(ie a football, soccer ball, med balls).

I’d acquire as much skill with a regular ball before adding in different sized or weighted balls.

Now you’re thinking, don’t look to over do it. Someone famous once said, “when in doubt, do less.”

So are you still playing football or have you given that up?


If you can throw 90 thats great but, even in the 80’smph you could still give the jav one hell of a toss. Jav is not that hard, i liken it to the way an outfielder throws.
Greer is freak, he has all the tools to be the best in the world. the fact that he still competed this past olympics with the way his knee was is crazy.

Football season isnt over, but I dont know, I’ve been screwed for three years, Im too trusting of a person, I was going to switch schools at different coaches requests after a great year on JV when I was a frosh as well, I have started to get big of strength to bodyweight, and seeing as I loose weight as I please want to get down to 195 real quick(so thats about a 40lb drop over 3 months, done it before)…but the coaches at my school told me stay, theyll take care of me…I am just tryin to play other sports, have some fun again. I dont throw iin the 90’s, I can throw 80, I would really like to think I could get it up there tho:)

Buy Will Carroll’s “Saving The Pitcher.”