A baseball game can be quite tiring and painful if you have been playing it for a long time. It becomes difficult to handle the stress that comes with the game not only to your mind but also to your body.
It is very important for baseball players to avoid life-threatening injuries. This can eventually lead you to the surgery table and possibly destroy your career.
No baseball player ever wants to end their career on such a bad note thus taking a proactive approach to your self-care and training workouts will eventually boost your performance and career.
In this article, we have tried different methods and approaches for baseball arm strengthening. These can help you strengthen not only your throwing or pitching arm but also your entire body.
Why is arm strengthening important in baseball?
The baseball game measures the players typically on the basis of five different categories that are running speed, the capability to hit for average, command on hitting, fielding, and arm strength. The baseball arm strengthening is the most important factor in the game of baseball as hands are the crucial tool for the player.
There have been many times when the players have been cast out of the game due to low arm strength. Therefore, building arm strength has been on the top priority list of baseball players. A player with a tough, precise, and resilient arm leads to play on the highest level. The arm strength can only be developed by building the entire body of an athlete.
This leads to an increase in speed and improves the throw to a great extent. However, the arm strengthening exercises are different for different players in the game and also their level of playing. The baseball game has nine players in a team from both sides and they include the pitchers, hitters, outfielders, and infielders.
All these players have different routine exercises or training to build arm strength for baseball.
The baseball game plays hard on your arms if you are a regular pro league pitcher and can risk arm injuries that may lead you to the surgeon’s table. The repetitive and vicious motion of throwing a baseball as hard as you can lead to a break in the journey of your dreams. Therefore injury prevention of your pitching arm should be your first priority while practicing the game.
It is crucial to look after your performance along with your health if you are an aspiring pitcher and dream to excel in the field.
The ulnar collateral ligament present in your pitching arm comes into play while you are practicing the game. While you apply a force in pitching this ligament tends to tear instantly with no support from the forearm that helps to prevent the stress in the elbow. This is a passive structure that cannot be instantly strengthened by pitching exercises.
Therefore, it is advisable to strengthen the hands as well as forearms by good preventive maintenance pitching exercises to give your best in the game and enhance your level of performance.
The hitters in the game also known as batters face the pitchers in front to hit the target and score run for their teams. In order to hit the ball with the bat, they need to swing the bat in a whole circular motion so hard that it may lead to tearing in the muscles of the arms or even severe cramps.
The hitters not only use their arms or hands in the game but also the entire body comes into play to hit a ball by causing a motion. Thus, they need to train and strengthen their hitting arm along with the entire upper and lower body to attain the speed and power of hitting at the highest level of games.
The training exercises, as well as hitting drills, should also include the shoulders as the ball and socket joint helps to attain the motion while hitting a ball. A lower arm or shoulder strength can surely deteriorate your performance and the game. Along with good arm strength, you also need to focus on your balance and stimuli to be in excellent form in the game.
The infielders in a baseball game are the defenders stationed at one of four defensive infield positions. They are practically placed to avoid the runs by catching the ball before it hits the ground. They tag the runners with the ball before they reach the base and also throw the ball to the first base before the hitter or batter reaches the first base from the home base.
It concludes that infielders use their arms the most as throwing is the main role of an infielder. Thus, arm strengthening is the most crucial exercise to be included in their practice sessions. The arm of an infielder needs to be quick, and strong which can only be achieved by regular drill sessions with various arm strengthening exercises.
As the infielder has the role of using their arms repetitively and forcefully to catch and throw the ball, this quick action may lead to many arm or shoulder injuries that can become a hurdle in their game sessions. It is quite advisable to practice preventive arm strengthening exercises and exercises to throw harder to avoid such injuries as much as possible.
The outfielders in a baseball game are also the defenders as the infielders; the only difference is they are placed in three defensive positions furthest from the batter. Their role in the game is to catch the flying ball and pass it on to the infielders before the batter advances the home base for the out.
The outfielders also use their hands a lot like the infielders, hence increasing baseball arm strength is also a necessity for them as well to increase their speed and improve their balance along with stimulus in the game. The baseball arm workout helps them to improve their forms and improve their level of performance in the game. It also prevents a lot of arm and shoulder injuries during the game.
How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball
Each and every player in the game whether you are a pitcher, an infielder, an outfielder, or a hitter needs to increase their arm velocity and improve their ability to throw harder. A stronger arm leads to a quick stimulus and leads you to perform your best at the highest levels. If you have resilient and durable arm strength, it becomes fun to show off at the game as well.
The arm strength allows you to try different forms and styles that might catch the eye of a coach or a scout watching your game. It also develops your confidence in the game that kind of shows in your performance and creates an impressive image in the eyes of the coaches.
However, only working on your arms would not help you to achieve your goal, as you need to work on your entire body to achieve stronger arms with proper balance. In the baseball game, not only your arms but your entire body comes into play whether you are catching, throwing, or hitting a ball. Hence, it is evident that in order to strengthen your arms and improve your performance you need to work on your arms as well as your lower and upper body.
Here are some of the tips on how to increase arm strength for baseball outfielders while practicing the sessions.
The first and foremost thing to do to improve your arm strength is to dial into your mechanics and keep it locked in. If you have a herky-jerky hand motion, are awkward with your hand motions, and are all over the place, you would not be able to throw hard.
However, if you are struggling with these difficulties, you can improve your throw by filming yourself while you are throwing. You can ask a friend or fellow player to film you from a side while you keep throwing the balls using various throwing motions at a target. If you are an infielder, try to film yourself while you are throwing the balls at first base.
If you are an outfielder, you can ask a fellow player or your coach to film you while taking the crow hop and throw the ball to the plate. This may lead you to improve and increase your arm velocity to five to ten miles per hour.
This practice is strongly recommended and you can easily film yourself using your cell phones and edit to slow motion for a better understanding of your mistakes and areas you need to improve. After you film yourself, compare your throwing motion with the professional players, this would help you to dial your mechanics and improve your hand motions a lot.
The second tip to improve your arm strength is to use your arm for the maximum amount of time and keep drilling through it. This can be done by progressive overload while you are practicing throwing in the field. Progressive overload means expanding your horizons while throwing a ball by increasing your toss length and see how far you are able to throw the ball.
If you are throwing a ball at 250 feet in length then increase it to 260 feet the other week and constantly increase your distance week after week. This whole process is known as progressive overload and helps you to use your arms more and more instead of limiting your arm.
You need to get out there, use your arms, and spread out yourself to tear and build your arm, shoulder, and rotator cup along with your muscle fibers to gain the maximum strength in your arms.
The last tip to strengthen your arms is to get into the weight room and use the weights to gain strength by performing compound exercises that involve your legs and big muscles. The more your bigger muscles are incorporated in your exercises, the more strongly and explosive you get to be.
If you are a younger player in the age group of 10 to 12, you can still enter the weight room as the studies have proven that it does not affect your growth or developmental process rather it strengthens your muscle and improves your immune power as well.
These are the three tips to improve your arm strength and if you implement them then you are going to see an improvement in your arm strength definitely.
Arm Strengthening Exercises in Baseball
The baseball game requires the player to use their arms repeatedly over a long period of time that leads to injury to your shoulder, arm, or wrist. This can be prevented by strengthening your arms using different methods and also strengthen your entire body as throwing a ball involves your whole body.
Therefore, you need to work on your lower body as well to improve your base you need to throw perfectly. There are some exercises listed below to help you strengthen your arms as well as your entire body.
Forty-Five Degree Front Lateral Raises
In order to enhance your arm strength, you first need to enter the weight room and perform compound exercises that have been proven quite beneficial. Front lateral raises help you develop your arm strength along with your bigger muscle.
You need to stand in front of the mirror and hold a dumbbell of five pounds in each hand. You need to keep your hands down at your sides then lift your arms together slowly until they reach the height of your shoulder. After that, slowly move your arms down while breathing out. Repeat this whole process twelve times for one set and performs two sets.
While performing this exercise, make sure that your hands are out in front of you or straight out to your sides rather than being in the middle between those two positions at a forty-five-degree angle.
The dumbbell curls enhance your arm strength and also works on your entire body as the weight is distributed all over the body. The workout is simple and easy: you need to hold the dumbbells out in front of you using your arms at a 90-degree angle with your palms facing the floor.
Now you need to push your arms slowly till they reach your thighs while breathing out and hold the position for a second. Bring your arms back to your original position while breathing in. This workout should be done in three sets of ten repetitions.
This exercise can also be turned into a triceps pulldowns by flipping your hands over so that your palms are facing up and use the same movement while going down towards your thighs.
Bench presses with close grip
You need to lie on your back on a bench that includes support to hold a barbell then add weights to it, starting small. Now you put your hands on the bar above you in a semi-close fashion about shoulder-width apart. While you breathe in lift the bar off and bring the bar right down towards your chest slowly and then push the bar back up as breathe out.
This arm strengthening exercise should be done in four sets by repeating it eight times. The close grip training helps the baseball players to strengthen their throwing arm and pitching arm.
Push-ups are the ultimate baseball arm strengthening exercise that helps you to develop and strengthen your throwing arm. For this, you need to lie on the floor in a face-down position with the balls of your feet touching the floor by pushing your legs a little up. Now place your hands on the ground in a flat position till your shoulder height is also wider than the shoulder width.
The hands now come into play as you push your body up from the ground by keeping your whole body straight, and then lower your body back down while still keeping the body straight. This training can also be performed by trying to squeeze your glute muscles as it helps you to keep your body straight.
The lunges help you to work on the lower body as well as leg muscles which plays a pivotal role in the game whether you are a hitter, pitcher, infielder, or outfielder. This exercise is started with the standing position by taking a large step forward by bending your back leg down as you step. The knee of your back leg should reach the ground but not completely.
Now keep repeating the whole process by bringing the leg forward and pushing down the other leg. Alternate the legs and keep moving in the forward direction. This training can also be performed with dumbbells that help to increase the weight as you lunge.
Russian twists involve your legs so you need to start off with your legs a couple of inches above the ground and lean your torso back using a weight or without one according to your convenience. Now touch your hands to the ground near one hip by twisting your body then alternate it with the other.
Keep repeating the process and always ensure that your feet do not touch the ground but you can cross your feet if you need to. Russian twists are best known for building core strength and especially it works on the muscles in the abdominal area.
Squats can be performed with or without a barbell according to your convenience but always start without one. In this we have used the barbell, so first you will need to place the barbell on your shoulders across your traps with feet at least hip-width apart or angled as per your suitability. Now bend your knees to lower your body towards the ground while keeping your torso straight.
As you move forward your knees should also move forward but as soon as you feel your thighs hitting the calves, push yourself back until you are standing in an upright position. All your weight should be focussed on the front part of your heel. Try 15 repetitions in four sets.
Drills to develop Arm Strength for Baseball
Drills are also a great way to strengthen your arms as you get to use your hands for the maximum amount of time that is really necessary to have a perfect hard throw. However, only drills would not help you to achieve those strong arms and legs, you also need to pair it with compound exercises in the weight room.
Work On the Wrist
The best way to strengthen the throwing arm or pitching arm is to practice throwing balls on the field by using a partner. You just need to place your throwing arm in the air at a perpendicular angle by supporting it at the elbow with gloves on the other hand. Now use your wrist to toss the ball to your partner.
Keep practicing this process repeatedly by increasing your distance from your partner but always start out small and increase your distance by a small difference. Then club it together and try to observe from how far you could throw the ball perfectly. This helps you to increase your am velocity and works on stimuli as well.
Work on throwing in different positions
While practicing throwing the balls you not only need to work on your wrists but also work on your entire body by practicing different throwing positions. This drill should be started off with the arms first using up to the elbow area then moved on to other parts of the body. As you start with your arm, place them in the air at a 90-degree angle and use the other hand with gloves on to support.
After you practice using the arms, now move ahead by twisting your torso along with your hips while throwing. Now move ahead to your knee region and practice by twisting and throwing using that position. You can also try to throw the ball at an angle across your knee.
In the end, club all these methods together and keep practicing by focusing on twisting your torso. A Crow hops can also be added to your practice to level up your form in which you need to jump forward on your front foot as you wind up.
Work on long throws
In addition to all these methods of drilling, you need to practice throwing at least three times a week for around 15 to 20 minutes at various distances. While exercising this training process, always focus on throwing straight across the field instead of making them arc high. Keep your force limited and try to make a clear line from where you are throwing to whom you are throwing.
The throwing practices are different for different age groups advised on the basis of their suitability, safety, and requirements. If you belong to the age group from 7 to 12 years old, you need to spend at least four minutes for each of the prescribed distances: 30 feet, 60 feet, and 90 feet.
If you belong to the age group between 13 to 20 years old then you are advised to spend four minutes on each of the following prescribed distances: 30 feet, 60 feet, 90 feet, and 120 feet.
Medicine Ball Throws
Using medicine balls can help you to work on your core strength and keep your muscles firm as you move. You need to hold a medicine ball in front of you and stand with a wall in the left or right direction. Now throw the ball real quick as you turn around the wall. This training also helps you to improve your arm strength.
The football throws are best suited for the little league players as it helps to not only work on the arms but also on the entire body. This drill can be practiced with a friend or a parent and you only need a right-sized ball such as a junior football for little leagues. Now you need to put stress on the ball and target your partner’s chest while throwing the ball.
You should repeat this exercise at least 15 to 20 times every time you choose to practice this drill.
The baseball players need to employ a good plan that leads to strengthen their arms and ensure their throwing or pitching arm is never overworked. This will eventually offer the baseball players the best chance to stay healthy even for a decade-long career journey.
In addition to all these exercises and drills, preventive care should also be looked upon to boost your performance in the field. A healthy arm would always push the development of the player and help them to reach new heights.
If you take care of yourself, then you have nothing to lose but everything to gain in 2021.