Training Baseball Pitchers

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Training Baseball Pitchers Through Strong Physical Fitness


Training Baseball Pitchers is a very demanding job.   Starting Baseball Pitchers are routinely expected to throw over 90 pitches during a game.   The strain and toll that this can have on the body over the course of season can be very high.   To help ensure you go the distance as a pitcher, you should adopt a number of practices for your team or as pitcher yourself to use in the off-season and during the season.  


1.      Start running.  One of the best and simplest exercises for a baseball pitcher is to run long distance everyday.  A pitcher should jog 2 to 3 miles for five days a week and once a week run 5 miles in the off season.  During the season, the pitcher can remove the 5 mile run from the workout.  This type of training will help build up stamina so that when you are pitching late in the game that your body will still be responding the way you like. 


2.      Start a weight training program in the off-season.   This weight training program should attack all the major muscle groups (legs, abs, chest, and arms).  Ideally, you are looking for one that will put extra emphasis on the muscles used in pitching, such as the triceps and forearms.  One excellent source for a workout program can be found in Tom House’s book, “The Pitching Edge”.  I have actually followed this training program and can personally vouch for its effectiveness in improving arm strength and the ability to throw a faster fastball. 


3.      Continue to weight train during the season.  However, you must recognize that your weight training will decrease significantly during the season.  For instance, instead of lifting three times a week, reduce it to 1 time a week.  Initially, you will want to fight this suggestion thinking more weight training in the week will help.  However, you will actually be doing yourself a disservice because your pitching arm will need the additional rest during the week. 


4.       Try to not throw the baseball at all the day after a start.  No matter how your arm feels, you should wait another day before you begin throwing.  If you are catching flyballs, you should not throw these in but drop these off to the side.  On these days, you should instead increase your running and focus on your hitting or fielding.  Remember your goal is to keep your strength throughout the entire season. 


5.       Incorporate a routine to protect your arm during and after games

a.       Always wear a long sleeve over your pitching arm.   Avoid cutoffs or tanktops as this sleeve will help protect your arm. 

b.       While you are on the bench and not pitching, put on a baseball jacket over your pitching arm. 

c.        After games, wrap your arm in ice to reduce the swelling.    Also, you can get a big pan or bucket and fill it with ice and some water.   Then, you can put your pitching elbow in the ice water for roughly 15 to 25 minutes.   This will be irritating at first because of the chill of the ice; however, your body will adjust to it.   This is an especially good strategy to offset swelling.       


Armed with these tips, training baseball pitchers should be a snap.   Whether you are a pitcher yourself or a coach developing a staff, the tips included are very helpful. 


*To get the skinny on what really matters with your pitching, check out baseball pitching fundamentals

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