No matter what position you play a common goal amongst baseball players is to have a strong arm. Having a cannon like Salvador Perez, Manny Machado, or recent Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Guerrero is something we all dream about but how can we achieve it? Although, genetics does play a part, by following these 4 tips you will not only improve your arm strength but your velocity and accuracy, as well.
There’s no sense grabbing your throwing partner and firing fastballs at them as hard as you can without properly warming up first. Not only will this likely damage your long-term development but you will probably end up missing most of the season rehabbing your sore shoulder. Instead, rather than standing around performing static stretches, we recommend starting your throwing session with a 10 minute dynamic warm-up for the shoulder, core and leg muscles. There are hundreds of exercises you can do for your dynamic warm-up. Some as simple as jogging in place, taking a lap around the field, or arm circles. The exercices you choose are completely up to you. Just focus on getting good and loose and the blood flowing to all the muscles in your body. By putting a dynamic warm-up together at the start of practice you will reduce your chances of injury, increase the flexibility in your body and arms, as well as, create more power and explosiveness in your throwing motion.
Throw the Baseball
Here is an easy tip to follow if you want a stronger arm. Throw the baseball. Throwing the baseball is the easiest way to build up strength in the shoulder and arm. We recommend following a structured throwing program. Your throwing program should include a warm up session of light toss and catch, a few minutes of long toss, and finally position specific throws such as the catcher’s throw to second base, 90 foot infielder’s throw across the diamond or 120 foot outfielder’s throw. Practice this 3-4 times a week and you should see noticeable gains in your arm strength over time. Who would have thought? All you had to do was play catch.
Improve Your Mechanics
Another easy way to increase the strength in your arm is through your throwing mechanics. Being unbalanced and out of control will cause inefficiency in you throwing motion and your arm will not perform at 100%. So, during your throwing session practice on improving your mechanics. Begin slowly, focusing on creating energy and momentum towards the target. Concentrate on your footwork, proper body rotation, release point, wrist snap and follow through. Then, once all the different parts of you throwing motion are working together you can begin to speed up your delivery of the baseball. Each throw is accurate, hitting your throwing partner in the chest or on one hop depending on the distance and difficulty of the throw. Over time you should notice a more efficient delivery and an increase in spin rate and velocity on the baseball.
Improve Your Total Body Strength
Remember, throwing starts from the ground up so improving your total body strength will go a long way towards developing that cannon-like arm we all desire. Putting a workout program together that includes a combination of heavy lifting, body weight training, band exercises, and baseball specific drills will go a long way towards improving your arm strength. Former Major league Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and current Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, are notorious for their workout regiments. You may even want to incorporate some yoga into your weekly splits. Yoga?! That’s right. If you don’t believe us ask current home run king and National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton about the benefits of yoga. Keep in mind though, you are training for baseball not bodybuilding, so focus on training for the short explosive movements you will experience in the game.
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