It is almost impossible to be good at increasing throwing/pitching velocity without using weight or resistance on the throwing/pitching delivery. The problem is most throwing programs all use weighted baseballs or throwing objects differently. They either use different size balls, different amounts of weight and different types of drills to help train speeds in the throwing/pitching delivery.
It is very common to find baseball throwing programs that use 3-12oz baseballs in a slow overloading to underloading progression throwing program. These style of throwing/pitching programs have been around since 1916 or earlier and have become more popular as the media has highlighted the use of these programs in Major League Baseball. The famous Bob Gibson used weighted baseballs extensively in the 1960’s.
In this article, I will look at the science behind the use of weighted objects in baseball throwing programs. I will then list the Top 5 Weighted Baseball Throwing Programs. Finally, I will define how the 2X and 3X Throwing/Pitching Velocity Programs were built around a more advance loading to underloading approach to training throwing/pitching velocity which has proven to be more effective than the conventional approach.
Weighted Baseball Throwing Science
There are many case studies proving the significant increase of throwing velocity with weighted baseballs either using them for overloading the throw, underloading the throw or both (See Table 1) (1). When they say “significant velocity change,” they mean 2-4 mph post throwing or over a certain time period. You will find from all the 2X/3X testimonials that significant gains come more in the 5-10mph range.
Effects of over-underweighted throwing/pitching training on baseball velocity
|Reference||Subjects||Training method||Significant velocity change|
Over weight training
|Bagonzi (1)||High school||Overload baseballs||Increase|
|Brose and Hanson (3)||College||Overload baseballs||Increase|
|DeRenne et al. (12)||High school||Weighted baseballs||Increase|
|DeRenne et al. (14)||High school and college||Weighted baseballs||Increase|
|DeRenne (8)||High school||Weighted baseballs||Increase|
|Egstrom et al. (20)||College||Weighted balls||Increase|
|Elias (21)||College||Overload baseballs||Increase|
|Van Huss et al. (42)||College||Overload baseballs||Increase|
|DeRenne (8)||High school||Underweighted baseballs||Increase|
|Fleisig et al. (24)||Youth||Underweighted baseballs|
|Over weight and under weight integral training|
|DeRenne et al. (12)||High school and college||Over- and underweighted baseballs||Increase|
So why the throwing/pitching velocity increase? Based off of my experience, I would say it comes from Post Activation Potentiation. Basically this means a muscle retains history for a short amount of time. If you can activate more motor units in the muscles throwing a baseball by applying more weight then when you remove the weight the muscles will still activate the same amount of motor units that moved the heavier weight, so in return, you get more muscle activity in the next throw which in most cases will increase the rate of force or speed of movement.
If this is the true benefit of weighted baseballs then why not take this approach through the muscle activity of the entire body? I did this exact case study here, in the video below, with the lower half showing that Olympic Lifting increases pitching velocity.
This is the approach we take with the 3X and 2X Velocity Programs for pitchers and position players. In these programs the loading and unloading isn’t just on the arm but the entire body to not just increase throwing/pitching velocity by 2-4mph but 5-10mph.
Top Five Weighted Baseball Throwing Programs
Now that we know weighted or loading and underloading works to increase throwing/pitching velocity, not just in the arm but the entire body, I am going to give you the Top 5 Weighted Baseball Throwing Programs from the 2X and 3X programs to help you get a serious edge in this game
- Ankle Weights – Ankle weights can effectively isolate the lower leg work in the throwing/pitching mechanics. This can work to improve technique and the loading of the weight will activate more motor units to increase speeds in the lower leg. Before using ankle weights the athlete must have a good understanding of the mechanics of the throw and what are the better movement patterns to train. Checkout the 2X and 3X programs mechanics guides for more information on these throwing/pitching mechanics.
- 2X/3X Sled Drives – Weighted Sleds are excellent for loading the hips which is the primary joint initiating spinal rotation during trunk rotation (2). You should also unload and assist the hips which we do in the 2X and 3X programs. The challenge to loading and unloading the hips is understanding the mechanics of the better movement patterns. Once again, I highly recommend that you checkout the 2X and 3X mechanics guides.
- 2X/3X 2lb Med Ball Throws – The most effective way to weight or load the trunk movements in the throwing/pitching delivery is with a medicine ball the size of a volleyball and do not exceed 2lbs. Also make sure you are using two hands to throw the balls. This will reduce the external and internal rotation on the throwing arm which will force you to get more speed from the trunk. Once again make sure you understand the better mechanics when performing these throws. The 2X and 3X throwing programs have a complete routine with the 2lb Med Throws.Checkout my latest article on these throws and how a study has linked them to an increase in throwing/pitching velocity.
Study: Med Ball Throws Highly Correlate to Pitching Velocity.
- 2X/3X Football External/Internal Throws – You can now weight or load the throwing arm many different ways. Yes you can use weighted baseballs but do not exceed 7oz and if you get any discomfort or pain discontinue use. You can also use a football to weight your throws and it also trains more supination and pronation in the forearm which protects the elbow. In the 3X throwing program footballs are used in the External/Internal Rotation throws. This video will teach you how to perform these throws effectively.
- 3X Loaded Torsion Throws – In these throws you will use a weighted baseball but you will throw it within a drill that forces you to focus in on the lower half. The problem with just using weighted baseballs and throwing them as usual is that you focus more on the arm than the rest of the body. This is a problem because if you use the arm to generate the arm speeds then you will put more wear and tear on the arm. This would not be good for your arm with the added weight. Focusing on the lower half in the Torsion Throws as you throw the weighted baseball will prevent this from happening. I highly recommend these throws over just using a weighted baseball with your throws. You can learn more about the 3X Torsion Throws in this video.
The Top 2X Weighted Ball Throwing Program for Position Players
The 2X programs use a weighted or loading and unloading approach to increase throwing/pitching velocity. The difference is it loads and unloads the entire kinetic chain or body to get a better result in performance enhancement. If most players in this game today are using a weighted baseball throwing approach it is only in the arm using a weighted baseball. Take it to the next level with a total body approach and gain an edge on the competition.
Learn more about the 2X Velocity Program or get started TODAY adding 5-10+mph!
The Top Weighted Ball Throwing Program for Pitchers
The 3X programs use a weighted or loading and unloading approach to increase throwing/pitching velocity. The difference is it loads and unloads the entire kinetic chain or body to get a better result in performance enhancement. If most players in this game today are using a weighted baseball throwing approach it is only in the arm using a weighted baseball. Take it to the next level with a total body approach and gain an edge on the competition.
The reason the 3X Extreme Pitching Velocity Program works is because it is based off of science and it has been proven to develop the 90+mph fastball on thousands of pitchers. It isn’t rocket science or voodoo, it is the real deal! The program comes with a high level workload of drills, lifts and exercises scientifically programmed to enhance throwing speed on the mound while developing an efficient pitching delivery. The format of the 3X Pitching Velocity Program is similar to the same approach Olympic throwers have been using for decades to increase throwing velocity. This approach isn’t new to the sports world but it is new to baseball.
If you are serious about your career and are insanely driven to put yourself into an extremely small percentage of pitchers who are potential D1 prospects, top level draft picks or you just want to reach your potential on the mound then this program is the best chance you have to making your dreams come true.
Learn more about the 3X Extreme Pitching Velocity Program or get started TODAY adding 5-10+mph!
- DeRenne, Coop EdD1; Szymanski, David J PhD, CSCS*D2 – Effects of Baseball Weighted Implement Training: A Brief Review – Strength & Conditioning Journal: April 2009 – Volume 31 – Issue 2 – pp 30-37.
- Robb AJ, Fleisig G, Wilk K, Macrina L, Bolt B, Pajaczkowski J. – Passive ranges of motion of the hips and their relationship with pitching biomechanics and ball velocity in professional baseball pitchers. – Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. – Am J Sports Med. 2010 Dec;38(12):2487-93.