Looking to improve arm strength this baseball season? It may seem like there is nothing you can do to improve throwing power or accuracy, but you would be wrong. Implement these 5 tips to see improvements.
- Start with a warm-up
- Incorporate more long toss
- Establish proper mechanics
- Hit the weights
Start with a warm-up
To improve your arm strength you always want to warm it up before you throw. That means getting in some pitches and stretching before a game. You want to stretch in multiple ways before a game and even before practice. Don’t forget to stretch your hips and leg muscles as well. Throwing is a full-body motion and because of this, your entire body needs to be stretched. Improve arm strength every time you plan to throw by doing warm-up stretches and warm-up drills to get your arms loose. Make sure to do proper baseball warm-ups to maximize your arm strength.
Incorporate more long toss
If you’ve ever played baseball you know the benefits of long toss. Long toss helps improve your throwing over time and gets your arm used to the motion of throwing. Long toss can differ from pitchers and outfielders, but generally, you’ll want to start throwing at 30ft apart. Then move to 60ft, 90ft, and 120ft. Do this slowly; that way you won’t damage your arm by trying to throw too far too soon. This exercise is also going to help you measure the limits of your throwing capacity. Instead of just measuring how far you can throw, keep track of how accurate you are at each distance.
Can you throw really far but wildly inaccurate? Does your throwing mimic more of a “pop fly” than a “line drive.” You don’t want to just improve your arm strength, but also improve that accuracy. It’s important that you are able to consistently hit targets even from far distances away. However, it can be easy to make some common mistakes..
Establish proper mechanics
During long toss and even regular practice, it can be tempting to change your mechanics when trying to throw long distances. Yet, this shouldn’t be the case. You need sound fundamentals for throwing the ball and for it to come instinctively. Work on footwork and turning your hips. Most importantly, work on your throwing motion. You don’t want to damage your rotator cuff because of bad mechanics. Practice ground ball drills in which you focus mostly on throwing mechanics. This way, during a game, you’ll be prepared to react. It will be like second nature to make a solid, forceful, throwing motion. Also, mechanics matter even more when throwing sidearm, so make sure you learn your mechanics to the best of your ability.
Hit the weights
Whether you’re playing baseball or football, you’ll need to work out in order to improve arm strength. That doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym. In fact, you can work out from home. Doing exercises like push-ups and lunges can help strengthen the right muscles for you to throw harder. Focus on exercises that cause you to be explosive. The only exception to this is that you don’t want to push yourself too far and injure yourself. If you’re new to working out, make sure to talk with your coach or trainer about what exercises you should do. Most bodyweight exercises can help you get into great shape and improve your arm strength.
Lastly, one of the most important things you can do on your own to improve arm strength is to practice, not just when you have practice for your baseball team, but on your own time. You need to make throwing a habit. Shoot to throw for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. This small step can go a long way in improving your arm strength.
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