Sunday, July 28, 2013

How to increase throwing velocity in six weeks

Are you looking to gain 3-5 mph on your fastball?

Here are tips to help you gain throwing velocity.

This 2 minute video highlights several exercises to build strength in the arms, shoulders and back.

Strengthen the decelerator muscles to gain velocity.

Most pitchers focus on strengthening the accelerator muscles by doing presses and pushups, but strong back muscles are very important in throwing velocity. If the arm speeds up, then it also must slow down (decelerate) properly to avoid injury.

Do twice as much work with the decelerator muscles over six weeks and you will see a jump in your throwing velocity.

What muscles slow down the arm?
The main decelerator muscles are the latissimus dorsi (lats), posterior deltoid ( back of the shoulder), the biceps (front of upper arm), trapezius (major back muscles) and rotator cuff muscles. These muscles work together to slow down the arm after release and keep the arm from coming out of the shoulder joint. (source: Coaching Pitchers by Joe McFarland) 

- Set goals and follow a throwing schedule
- Throw hard daily. Throw more - pitch less

- Warmup with exercise bands before throwing
- Throw long-toss using different pitching grips

- Strengthen the decelerator muscles
- Start using a weighted ball training program

- Every pitcher is unique, so develop your own style
- Avoid the standard pitching lessons that mimic mechanics of the pros
- Learn how to breathe correctly 
- Stop distance running - do short sprints - find out why

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