1. Long Toss:
Depending who you talk to, getting right into the weight room might not be the best approach. Many coaches and trainers will first advise you to throw some good old fashioned long toss. In theory, it’s simple if you want to improve your arm strength you have to throw.
The ideal way to long toss is to start off at a short distance and gradually move back further and further. You can even make a game out of it, and see just how far you can sling it. Just be sure to check track of how far you are throwing so you have something to aim for the next time. According to ESPN, anywhere from 70-200 ft. would be considered a long toss. If you want to read more about the benefits and sentiments of how long toss can improve arm strength click here.
At these distances, it is very important that you take the time to warm-up or you risk possibly aggravating or injuring your rotator cuff, so don’t skip it.
Another thing to note is that the recommended time for long toss is only for about 10 minutes at a time. Going for much longer can increase your injury risk. If you keep a consistent routine and long toss for about 10 minutes daily, you will definitely increase your arm strength.
2. Refining Your Mechanics:
In a sport like baseball, mechanics are everything. Sure strength and size obviously do matter, but if you don’t have the proper mechanics you are not getting 100% of what you could.
One great way to refine your mechanics is to film yourself throwing. Whether it’s pitching or throwing in the field it is worthwhile. Then, you can look back on your mechanics and figure out what you can improve. The thing is, you have to be totally objective. Sometimes it’s hard, but it can be the difference between remaining at the same level or taking the next step.
A few things to look for is whether you’re balanced, if you’re following through, and are you driving off and producing the most power you could. Mechanics are extremely important for improving your arm strength.
3. Getting In the Weight Room:
After you get your mechanics in the right place, you can start to work on building some strength and muscle. Mechanics can take you far in baseball, but you will need to work on your strength to take that next step.
You should focus on a total body workout. Some people make the mistake of only focusing on biceps and triceps, but it’s not all about upper body whatever you do, don’t skip leg day. Good mechanics start with your lower body. Here’s a helpful article that will help you in the weight room.
One more thing, don’t confuse getting in the weightroom with power lifting. You do not need to push your body to absolute limit in something like bench press or deadlift. This is not football, work on the muscle groups that will help you on the baseball diamond. Putting on so much mass that you lose your flexibility can actually be detrimental to your mechanics. So put a plan in place and execute!
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