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8+ Ways to Increase Pitching Velocity and Throw a Baseball Harder


1. Great mechanics

You need a delivery that is repeatable and preferably compact. Train with someone who played at a high level and threw hard himself. An experienced coach and the right eyes on you can make a huge difference in helping you understand the kinetic chain process that happens during pitching.

2. Long toss

Distance equals velocity. The further you can throw the ball the harder you can throw the ball. This should be part of your weekly throwing routing and done 3-4 times per week for youth players. Back up in a timely manner and let it rip with a moderate arc under the ball.

3. Throw a weekly bullpen

Throw two if you don't have a game during a particular week. Make sure to warm up properly and throw longer than the distance you're currently pitching at (46', 50', 60'6") before starting your bullpen session. A typical 5 days for an MLB starting pitcher is structured like this: Pitch, play catch, bullpen, play catch, play catch, pitch (5-man rotation). 

4. Start a consistent workout routine

Pitching is a short explosive movement and the workouts you do should include exercises focused on explosive lower half (legs) movements. Box jumps, step-ups, medicine ball slams/tosses are all excellent examples of great exercises to start doing. You can alter the height of boxes/benches/balls and add or subtract weight to make these more or less challenging. Squats and deadlifts can be great but they can be dangerous and detrimental to those that don't have proper form, which is the mass majority of people who perform these exercises.


5. Run - Sprint rather than jog

Ever noticed the difference between the body build of a world class sprinter and world class long distance runner? Laps around the field, long distance runs, slow untimed polls should all be avoided. Avoid any slow, methodical-based running. You need to make explosive, quick movements and sprints fit that mold.

6. Warm up properly. Every time.

As a network of current and former pro baseball players we all wished our preparation time when we were younger was focused and done better. Ideally you should break a little sweat and your heart rate should be up prior to picking up a ball. There are some great dynamic warmups out there that will make you sweat and give you a great stretch. This takes discipline.


7. Hip and hamstring flexibility

The more you can separate your hips from your shoulders during the process of throwing, the harder you'll throw. When the kinetic chain is proper the hips fire at your target while the shoulders stay closed. This creates tension from the lower body to the upper body and allows for tons of torque. It's kind've like a rubber band - the further you pull a rubber band back the farther it will go. The hamstrings, quads and glutes are the largest, strongest muscles in the body and heavily involved during the throwing process. Take care of them!

8. Strengthen the scapula and rotator cuff

If there's one thing many pro baseball pitchers would do differently when they were young, it's starting a shoulder strengthening program. The stronger and more stable your shoulder is, the harder you'll throw. Every time you pitch you break down the scapula and rotator cuff muscles. A strong, flexible scapula and 'cuff has a multitude of benefits for pitchers, such as: reducing risk of injury, increased velocity, better stamina, quicker recovery, and being less sore after an outing.


9. Core strength

You'll likely see a decent increase in velocity if you strengthen your abdominals and lower back muscles regularly. Planks, crunches, sit-ups, core stabilization's exercises will condition your abs and lower back.

10. Ankle strength and stability

Whatever foot your push off foot is on the rubber, it needs to be strong and stable. Using a foam pad under your foot to practice balance postures (barefooted) will improve your ankle's strength.

11. Grip pressure

Choke or squeeze the ball too tight and you'll be killing velocity. Your wrist and fingers should be comfortable, loose, and relaxed through the entire throwing motion.


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