by Brent Pourciau · April 19, 2011
I get this question a lot because of the latest training gimmick that is showing up online called “Speed Chains.” When I search the web for these velocity training aids I feel like it is 3 in the morning and I am watching infomercials.
The first thing that always comes to my mind is, “Who buys this stuff?” It goes all the way back to the “Thighmaster” in the 90′s. These gimmicks are offering a simple and easier alternative to a complete training program but it hardly gives you the same results. The biggest problem is the gimmicks are using one tool to act as a universal training device. I can understand why a couch potato would buy a “Thighmaster” but I can not understand why a young pitcher who wants to become and elite athlete/pitching would use a gimmick like these “Speed Chains” as their alternative to a complete training program. I could see using “Speed Chains” as a small part of a complete training program but not as the entire thing. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · April 18, 2011
Adding 5 MPH to your fastball can be a tough challenge if you do not know what you are doing. You definitely will not accomplish this using conventional wisdom. Old school approaches like extreme long toss, weighted balls or speed chains may get you close but the pitching speed increase will eventually go away or may not even transfer to the mound.
It is important to understand that you want to add 5 MPH to your fastball on the mound, not only on flat ground. Throwing from the mound uses a different kinematic sequence than on flat ground. This must be a main focus of the velocity enhancement program.
When I developed the revolutionary approach to pitching velocity called 3X Pitching, I first analyzed some of the hardest throwers in the game to try and discover their secrets. I wasn’t as interested in their training programs because most of these hard throwers, I felt, had superior genetics. I knew that if I could learn what they were doing mechanically, which was causing them to throw so hard, I could then try to emulate these mechanics through training my body to move like theirs. I believed that this was a good strategy for success. I soon learned that this was true. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · April 16, 2011
Most gimmicks on the internet, that claim to increase pitching velocity or just enhance pitching performance, mainly focus on the upper kinetic chain like the arm. This would include gimmicks like the latest “Speed Chains” and the old school “Weighted balls.”
They all use the word “Arm Strength” when selling their product. This is also the case with programs that use extreme long tossing as the means to building the power pitcher, which well respected institutes like ASMI have proven this to be an inadvisable practice. I spent my career weeding through this clutter trying to find the answers to pitching velocity after my arm surgery and my intuition always told me I was wasting my time with these all arm approaches to pitching velocity. I uncovered 3X or triple extension as the secret to velocity because when I decided to stop looking for the quick results program and start building towards my success, I began to see the light. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · April 8, 2011
You can add 2-3MPH to your fastball with a video pitching analysis TODAY! Pitching analysis is critical to reaching your velocity goals and becoming an elite pitcher. The problem is most well know pitching coaches charge expensive prices for a video pitching analysis. I have decided to offer this priceless services for FREE. Yes, I will give you your first video pitching analysis for FREE. If you are wondering why you need a pitching analysis then here are some reasons why you need to send me your video today. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 30, 2011
If you have not purchased the 3X Pitching Velocity Program, then let me tell you what you are missing out on. High velocity pitchers generate more force production through triple extension during the stride phase of the delivery. Pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Aroldis Chapman have stride lengths around 7.5 feet and stride speeds of around .6 seconds. Chapman is considered the hardest thrower in the league because of out of 25 pitches in a 2010 game, he threw everyone over 100 MPH.
To understand how to implement these velocity components into your pitching delivery we must first define these terms. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 25, 2011
Basic physics teaches us that to throw a ball at your top velocity you must use more than just your arm. You must use the entire kinetic chain, along with every muscle group that will help you reach your top velocity. There are countless articles on this site on how to use more of your body to increase pitching velocity and there is also the revolutionary pitching velocity program called 3X Pitching to coach and train you how to pitch with your total body and increase pitching velocity from 5-10 mph. Outside of this information let’s go into more detail on arm strength and pitching velocity.
Arm Strength and Pitching Velocity
To answer the question, YES, more arm strength will increase pitching velocity but it could prevent you from reaching your potential top velocity. The arm muscles that are responsible for generating arm speed is the Pectoralis major, Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor and Latissimus dorsi. Technically these are not arm muscles because they are more apart of the shoulder, but these muscles are responsible for moving the arm. This is one of the problems with using the phrase “arm strength” when talking about throwing velocity. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 24, 2011
Behm and Sale with the Department of Physical Education, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada put together a case study called, Velocity Specificity of Resistance Training. This study showed that velocity is increased within muscle contractions when the intent is the focus of the training. This means that heavy loads create more intent within the muscles to fire at a high rate of speed, which in return will create a neural and muscular adaption.
The muscular adaption is of the protagonists and the antagonists muscles of the joints. The development of the antagonists muscles post heavy load velocity training would prove that heavy weight training reduces pitching injury by building joint integrity. The integrity is enhanced in the joints post training because the muscle accelerators and decelerators are both growing stronger. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 23, 2011
Robert U. Newton and Kerry P. McEvoy with the Centre for Exercise Science and Sport Management, Southern Cross University Australia has proven the title of this page to be true. I have been saying this for years but pitching coaches all over this country continue to believe that lifting weights only make you bulky, like a body builder and does not help pitching velocity.
The brilliance behind this study, called Baseball Throwing Velocity: A Comparison of Medicine Ball Training and Weight Training, is the fact that the scientist set out to prove that medicine ball training was more an effective training method to increasing throwing velocity than weight lifting. What they learned was that weight training was the winner here. Not only was it weight lifting but it was heavy weight lifting. Here is an excerpt from the study talking about this result along with a more in depth description from the study. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 13, 2011
You can search the web up and down for the answers to how to throw hard and you will find many different sites trying their best to answers this question but all you will get out of it is a lot of frustration. I am still shocked that TopVelocity.net is the only source today that believes pitching velocity comes from the stride phase of the delivery. Every site I have come across on the web tries to teach how to throw harder from the throwing phase of the delivery. If anyone can help me find another site out there that is coaching the stride phase to increase pitching velocity, please post the link here in the comments.
If you do not understand what I mean by the stride and throwing phase of the delivery, then let me tell you what I am talking about. Pitching mechanics can best be broken down into two phases. Yes, there are many different components or parts to pitching but it is easier to take a bigger perspective of pitching by dividing the entire delivery into two sections or phases. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 12, 2011
Most young pitchers do not know what their body’s require of them after a long pitching performance. An intelligent consistent routine is critical for a pitcher to survive a long season. The problem is most pitchers do not know of a good routine. I will post here a routine, that will help the body flush lactic acid, which leads to most muscle soreness and a routine that will help the pitcher speed his recovery. This is very much a velocity component because pitchers who can recovery faster will throw harder and longer. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 24, 2011
Those who lack pitching velocity want to throw more pitches. The problem is this is a double edged sword. When your pitching velocity is poor, and you want to take the easy way out, you opt for ball movement. This involves trying, or successfully learning, offspeed pitches. Here is a list of these type of pitches.
- Circle Change
- The “Volken”
I am not saying that these pitches are junk or a waste of time, because many great pitchers have used them. What I am saying is this is always last resort. Especially when you are young. You should expect your pitching velocity to improve all the way into your 20′s. If you have plateaued, then you need a pitching velocity enhancement program like the 3X Pitching Velocity Program before you need to learn another pitch. Also learning these offspeed pitches have proven to decrease pitching velocity, because if not thrown correctly, it can add more wear and tear to the arm and it also can change your pitching mechanics. I have seen in my career guys loss a few miles per hour because they fell in love with a Forkball, or a Curveball. I am not saying this is the case for everyone but it is the case for most young pitchers. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 11, 2011
3X is an approach to pitching that is very different from what you have been taught in your career. It is the product of many years of research, trial and error, the pure desire to overcome a career ending rotator cuff tear and to throw 90+mph. This approach to pitching isn’t for everyone because it will take an insane work ethic to implement this approach into your pitching delivery. If you do not have the mental toughness or the desire to make a major functional change to how you pitch then I would suggest you not waste your time with this revolutionary approach to pitching velocity. If you are that guy who is looking for an edge, that will help you far exceed your competition and launch you to the next level, then clear your mind and body and open yourself up to 3X Pitching. Best of luck! Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 7, 2011
Maximum distance throws produce increased torques and changes in kinematics; caution is therefore advised for use of these throws in rehabilitation and training.
This was the conclusion of the ASMI’s case study, Biomechanical Comparison of Baseball Pitching and Long-Toss, released to the public January 2011. This is everything I had come to a conclusion with using all of their previous studies on flat ground throws and elbow injuries. Here was my article about this when Alan Jaeger contacted me to tell me he was upset with my stance against long toss as the “be all, end all” to pitching velocity, back in July of 2009. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 11, 2011
Most young pitchers do not have the leg power (power is strength and speed) necessary to generate the energy needed, through the pitching stride, to reach their top velocity. If you are a pitcher who uses mainly your arm to generate velocity then you will find yourself shortening your stride to quickly get your front foot planted. After front foot strike you then will use your glove side and throwing arm to generate most of your pitching velocity. Not only is this approach to pitching not efficient, it puts unnecessary wear and tear on the rotator cuff. Learning how to use the stride to generate power to be transferred into the ball as pitching velocity is far superior than the later approach. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · October 31, 2010
Why Some Pitchers Throw Harder Than Others is a big question in baseball and it is a question that seems to continue to go unanswered. Determining why some pitchers throw harder than others was the basis for a study by the American Sports Medicine Institute, the School of Health & Sports Sciences Osaka University and the Department of Surgery Duke University. The study was called KINEMATIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGHLY-SKILLED AND LESS-SKILLED BASEBALL PITCHERS. This study took place in 1999.
I wanted to title this article, “Why Some Athletes Throw Harder than Others?” but conventional wisdom does not label pitchers as athletes yet so I didn’t want to confuse anyone. I hope I can help change this perspective of us Pitchers in the near future. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · October 24, 2010
The 3 Keys to Pitching Velocity fall outside of conventional wisdom. These 3 Keys to Pitching Velocity do not exist in the vocabulary of most high school and college pitching coaches. These 3 keys to Pitching Velocity are arguably the best FREE pitching advice you will find on the web.
Before I give you these keys you need to prepare your mind for success because these keys will change how you look at pitching and velocity. More than likely the knowledge you have of pitching velocity is not getting the job done and YES you can gain knowledge from a source like TopVelocity.net which will guide you to pitching velocity that you have dreamed of reaching. Obviously, I am proud of these 3 Keys to Pitching Velocity because I am gloating but I did have to pay a heavy price for this knowledge. I had to overcome a career ending rotator cuff tear before playing pro ball, along with over ten years of searching and searching for this knowledge and abusing my body through trial and error. These 3 Keys helped me to reach my velocity goals after several doctors told me I would never pitch again. So here goes! Read more
by Brent Pourciau · September 25, 2010
I continue to receive questions on how and why to ice the arm after pitching or throwing the baseball. There is a lot of people who are getting information that icing stops the healing process, so therefore it does not help in recovery. This information is incorrect in my book because I have some very good evidence to back this up and because I always seemed to pay the price when I do not ice after throwing a lot of pitches.
In my career icing always shortened my recovery time. I did continue to test this therapy though. Mainly because it is a pain in the butt to ice your arm after ever game and I also was a little curious as to why we do this.
If someone challenges your opinion on this argument, or you want a final answer, you need to look at the study that the American Journal of Sports Medicine has posted here on Cryotherapy on rats. I know we are not rats but muscularly we are similar.
To prevent your brain from exploding when reading this study I have posted my layman’s explanation below. I hope this helps! Read more
by Brent Pourciau · August 31, 2010
I want to feel bad for Stephen Strasburg for tearing his ulnar cruciate ligament in his first MLB season but I remember that his signing bonus was $15 Million and then I don’t feel so bad. Having Tommy John surgery today isn’t that rare, just view the list below of the 187 MLB and some minor league ball players who have survived the surgery and there is a lot more.
Most say that you will come out of Tommy John surgery throwing harder but this is a misconception. Studies show that those pitchers who increase velocity post Tommy John surgery is mainly because they develop more of a focus on their training program along with making mechanical corrections. My experience with surgery is if you can survive it, you will come out better, not physically better but better prepared for life. If Strasburg is going to come back and be the next greatest thing again he is going to have to overcome a major hurdle in his professional career. Mark Prior is a pitcher who was dealt a similar hand than Strasburg and he is still trying to make his come back after his career ending injury. Mark Prior is now learning that his best years may be behind him. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · July 10, 2010
I hate to kill the buzz over Stephen Strasburg but he isn’t doing anything special mechanically to throw the ball 100 plus mph. I have studied this guy ever sense he was playing at San Diego State where I was also playing minor league ball. Every single pitching coach online is trying to prove some mechanical detail in his deliver to his success. It doesn’t exist!
Stephen Strasburg is who he is because he is a big, elite athlete with good pitching mechanics. If we were talking football and he was a quarterback, would mechanics come up when discussing his ability. I think not! We would talk about his size, strength and speed on the field. Strasburg is an elite athlete because of his genetics and his training program. Tony Gwynn said when he found him he was an average pitcher with some arm problems. All he did was get him with a strength and conditioning coach to build him like an elite athlete and it worked. Tony Gwynn had the foresight to see that this kid had the tools, he just needed to be developed into a top level athlete. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · May 16, 2010
Triple Extension or 3X is the extension of the drive leg ankle, knee and hip flexor. Triple Extending the drive leg as the front side opens, drives the hips completely through to the target. If triple extension occurs quick enough and with enough force at the end of the stride, while the shoulders stay closed and relaxed, this will create optimal hip to shoulder separation.
Many studies have confirmed the correlation of hip to shoulder separation to pitching velocity (1,2,3,4,5). Therefore if you are going to increase velocity, you must learn to increase hip to shoulder separation by learning triple extension (3X) and 3X foot sync. Once you learn how to incorporate full triple extension into your pitching delivery, you will not see its benefits until you master the final factor. The final factor in learning any new muscle memory is the timing factor. The timing factor of 3X is critical to creating 40-60 degrees of hip to shoulder separation which research has shown to be the Major League average. Read more
Topvelocity.net is a Baseball Pitching and velocity improvement training program. Our main offerings include: a Pitching Velocity Program along with tips and articles to increase a pitchers velocity and online Pitching Video Analysis for players.