Weighted Baseball Training Causes Serious Injury

Weighted Baseball TrainingYes, weighted baseball training causes serious injury. It is a hard reality, but anything that tries to force a physical gain in a short period of time, in a sport that already has a pattern of throwing related injury, usually comes with serious consequences. The problem today is, either people are ignorant of this or they don’t care. This article isn’t for those who don’t care. I obviously can’t stop you from damaging your baseball career. Best of luck to you and thank you for all your threatening comments but for those who found this because they want to know how weighted baseball training causes serious injury then this article is for you.

I never would have taken this time to write this article, if weighted baseball training would have stayed popular as a warmup or a biomechanics tool but today it has grown into a velocity training nightmare with running throws and the emphasis of high intent throwing. This is why I must step in and do my best to warn the innocent against this madness. I am very passionate about this subject because I was 18 years old when ignorant extreme throwing programs tore my rotator cuff causing doctors to claim I would never play again. I have the scars to prove it, which gives me the drive to educate the public on this ignorance and continue to fight against the camps that attack me in the process.

In this article, I will go over all the science on weighted baseball training and why it is causing injury, what the camps that are pushing this form of training are ignoring and why and what is the best approach to training healthy throwing velocity.

The Popularity of Weighted Baseball Training

Weighted Baseball TrainingFirst off, weighted baseball training is almost as old as the sport. I found record of baseball players using inactive hand grenades to train arm strength back during World War 1. The case studies on weighted baseballs go back to the 1960’s which is the beginning of research on baseball training (1). So why the current trend? I credit it to China and internet marketing. China sells everything cheaper than it costs to make here, so anyone can buy product wholesale from China and turn around and sell it here for a profit. On top of that the internet makes it affordable to market these products to the public. Therefore you can pull up old gimmicks that failed on the market years ago, due to poor profit margins, and rebrand them again in hopes they make a comeback in popularity.

Weighted Baseball TrainingFor example, it would be very easy for someone to purchase weighted baseballs from Alibaba for $1-2 each and then start a Social Media account and show video of pitchers running and throwing the 3oz balls and hitting 90+mph. This would create a viral affect for marketing purposes driving pitchers to buy the balls on your website. You could then uses this income to purchase video time on platforms like MLB Network and Baseball America to quickly gain credibility.

The problem is, this business model works well for the business but is setting young pitchers up for serious injury. It also creates a lot of tension in the market as those who stand up against this risky form of velocity training to the public are attacked from the camps who are making the money on the weighted ball training because it is threatening their main source of income.

Science of Weighted Baseball Training

Yes, there is science showing weighted baseball training can increase pitching velocity but the question is, “At what risk?”. Here is the science:
Weighted Baseball Training There is also science showing that using weighted baseballs with crow hops become risky. This is due to the fact that when you take them from the mound to flat ground crow hops, torques and arm speeds increase with 4oz, 6oz and 7oz balls, while ball speeds remain the same. This is not the same for the 5oz baseball when the ball speed stays the same. This study failed to prove but can imply that if the pitchers threw the weighted baseballs at the same speed as the 5oz baseball the torques may have moved higher than the 5oz torques. Here is one of the most recent weighted baseball studies from ASMI. Please share these studies to help educate the baseball community on this critical information.

 

 

ASMI STUDY: Weighted Balls Increased Shoulder and Elbow Torques from Mound Pitching to a 2 Step Crow Hop Throw without a changed in ball speed for the 6oz and 7oz ball that was tested. CAUTION: If you don’t take the time to read this study, approaches that use weighted balls with running throws will make it sound like this form of training is no more stressful than throwing weighted balls on a mound which this study shows is NOT true. This is why the study states that these throws are “stressful and risky.” PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH THOSE WHO NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT WEIGHTED BALLS WITH RUNNING THROWS TO HELP THEM AVOID SERIOUS INJURY TO THEIR CAREERS! #weightedball #weightedballs #weightedballs4life #weightedballthrows #pitchinginjury #baseballinjury #baseballinjuries #pitchingpain #pitchingcoach #pitchingprogram #plyocare #plyocareballs #pitchingvelocity #throwhard #runandguns #pitching #baseball #baseballdad #baseballlife #baseballislife #baseballpain #usssabaseball #perfectgamebaseball #collegebaseball

 

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ASMI with former Red Sox trainer Mike Reinold did another weighted ball study called, The Effect of A 6-Week Weighted-Ball Throwing Program on Pitching Velocity and Arm Stress. They used 30 pitchers in the case study; 15 in the weighted ball group and 15 in the regular baseball group. The weighted baseball group did increase pitching velocity over the regular baseball group but 3 pitchers were injured during the study in the weighted baseball group. One was bad enough to have surgery. The weighted baseball group also increased Total Range of Motion (TRM) in the throwing arm on average 5 degrees, when the regular baseball group had no increase of TRM. There is another study cited in this study claiming that pitchers with more TRM in throwing arm than non-throwing arm are 78% at a high risk of injury. Here is the case study from ASMI.

 

 

Just Released ASMI Study showing High Risk of Injury in only a 6 week study of using weighted baseballs on a mound. Due to the concerns of only the weighted ball throwing group gaining an unhealthy amount of throwing arm external rotation in a short amount of time, study states further research is needed to evaluate long-term implications of WB throwing programs. PLEASE SHARE THIS STUDY WITH ANYONE WHO USES A WEIGHTED BALL THROWING PROGRAM. #usssabaseball #dixieyouth #littleleaguebaseball #baseball #pitching #weightedball #weightedballs #weightedballs4life #weightedballthrows #longtoss #driveline #longtossing #longtossprogram #runandguns #pitchinginjury #baseballinjury #pitchingprogram #baseballprogram #pitchingtraining #asmi #pitchingscience

 

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weighted baseball trainingLatest update on the case study above from Mike Reinold and ASMI. The results are even worse than expected. Listen to the Update on the Dan Blewett Podcast.

Mike Reinold lays out the entire research on the safety and effectiveness of weighted baseball training here. This is a MUST READ for all Parents, Coaches and Players. It will save the game of baseball! Please retweet and share with anyone in this game to help spread this critical information for the safety of the young players in this game.

Here is a most recent study looking at the effects of weighted baseballs especially over and under +-20% of regulation 5oz weight on the pitching motion. This is actually the first study to ever do this. Not only did the study find evidence of high risk of injury but effects on accuracy and pitching mechanics. Please share on your social media to help get this information out.

Here is the interview with Dr. Manga who just recently performed a high intent Weighted Baseball study for a few MLB teams looking at the hormone and edem effects of high intent weighted baseball training and the results were astounding.

There obviously needs to be many more case studies on the injury rates of weighted baseball training do to the sensitive information these two studies have discovered on the health implications of using this risky form of training. It seems absurd that over the past 50 years baseball has failed to provide better case studies on the risks behind this form of training.

Here is a post showing what can happen to the shoulder from a dislocation throwing weighted baseballs:

The Hard Reality of Weighted Baseball Training for Young Pitchers

In this section, I will give you all of the evidence that I have permission to share with you illustrating the hard reality of those who have innocently and ignorantly used weighted baseball training to increase pitching or throwing velocity. The interviews are hard to hear and the evidence is hard to digest. Just know that there is an alternative to this approach. It is unfortunate that most every baseball camp is using this risky form of training but I have worked incredibly hard and have endured countless attacks against me in the process to develop a better alternative to developing healthy pitching velocity. Watch the video at the end to learn this approach.

This interview is with Noah and Jason Turley. Noah is 15 years old and Jason is his father who was an ex-professional pitcher. Jason worked hard to keep Noah safe from year round baseball and over pitching him but Noah broke his arm and tore his UCL a few weeks after his High School Coach put him on an extreme weighted baseball program. Learn more in the interview:

This interview is with Trent Mottice who at 15 and 19 years old had shoulder surgery to repair his labrum and move his bicep tendon following extreme weighted baseball training programs. The interview becomes chilling, when you learn the explanations he was given from his coaches, when he started having arm pain from the weighted baseball training. Learn more in the interview:

This is a comment Trent’s father left after he listened to the interview.

Weighted Baseball Training cases

Here is a public statement made on Twitter from a creator of a popular weighted baseball program admitting to the serious injuries coming from weighted baseball training.

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Here are more cases of pitchers who have been seriously injured by weighted baseball training.



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Video here


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11 Year MLB Pitcher and Developer of the Velopro Harness credits weighted baseballs (WB) to ending his MLB career and links it to a countless number of injuries in his Big League Edge facilities:

Weighted Baseball Training cases

TopVelocity has had 6, 90+mph testimonials go to a high intent weighted baseball velocity training program, against our recommendations, after becoming a success story for TopVelocity and had to have arm surgery during the training.

NPA’s Recent Statement on High Intent WB Training and Injury

Better Alternative to High Intent Weighted Baseball Training

This alternative to extreme throwing programs to develop high velocity pitchers is the product of a college and professional pitching career that should have ended in a serious shoulder injury and 15+ years in the road to recovery and more. Watch this video to learn why high intent weighted baseball training is dangerous and what is the safer and more effective alternative.

Weighted Baseball Training References

  1. Donald E. Brose & Dale L. Hanson (1967). Effects of Overload Training on Velocity and Accuracy of Throwing. Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation – Volume 38 – Issue 4
  2. Glenn S. Flesig, PhD, Alek Z. Diffendaffer, MS, Kyle T. Aune, MPH, Brett Ivey, CSCS, and Walter A. Laughlin, MS. Biomechanics Analysis of Weighted-Ball Exercises for Baseball Pitchers. Sports Health. 2017 May/Jun;9(3):210-215.
  3. Mike Reinhold, Leonard Macrina, Kyle Aune, Glenn S. Flesig, James Andrews. The Effect of A 6-Week Weighted-Ball Throwing Program on Pitching Velocity and Arm Stress. Champion Physical Therapy and Performance, Belmont, Massachusetts; American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, Alabama
  4. Christopher Proppe (May 2017). THE EFFECT OF THROWING UNDER- AND OVER-WEIGHT BASEBALLS ON THE PITCHING MOTION. Middle Tennessee State University
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20 Comments. Leave new

  • […] From Brett Pourciau at TopVelociy on a recent study: […]

    Reply
  • Are you familiar with Paul Reddick’s overload/underload weighted ball training? There is one 4oz ball and one 6oz ball and a prescribed workout over eight weeks. Each session doesn’t seem to be more than 15-20 pitches, and it’s every other day. This article covers “high intent” weighted ball training, but the overload/underload approach seems to be different. Any thoughts about it?

    Reply
    • You would need to talk to Paul about his program. I am going against high intent weighted baseball training. I only recommend weighted baseballs for biomechanical purposes which means used in a drill for a purpose of teaching a specific movement.

      Reply
  • I have trained with my son for three years using weighted baseballs. We throw squared to each other from 20 feet to start with no stepping for 10-15 throws. He steps back three steps and we throw 10-15 more. He steps back three more steps and we begin to step into the throws now continuing to throw 10-15 times. He steps back three more steps and throw 10-15 more. Then we drop the weighted ball in exchange for a game played ball and after each throw he steps back one step until he can no longer reach me on the fly. After this routine we begin pitching from the mound and he will typically throw about 30 pitches from the mound and that is his arm strength building and velocity training. He is 12 y/o and is able to average 53 mph with fastball hitting 57 on his high end. What do you not like about this routine and what should we continue to do?

    Reply
    • The problem is the weighted baseball routine doesn’t focus on improving the kinetic chain which is what determines the length of your son’s career. Here is the issue: some of the studies above show that throwing weighted baseballs will significantly increase the external rotation of the throwing shoulder. No evidence suggests it will increase arm speed or strength. Therefore, this added laxity of the throwing shoulder can build dysfunction into the kinetic chain. For example, if his hip internal rotation and hip extension mobility is restricted and you are increasing his shoulder mobility then the shoulder and elbow become vulnerable to injury. Like taking a whip and over stretching the end while tightening the handle would decrease the integrity of the whip and make it vulnerable to damage. What he needs is a beginner strength and conditioning program to enhance his kinetic chain with a biomechanics training program to help him better use the kinetic chain in his throwing or pitching delivery.

      Reply
  • My problem is with everything being said. Not every guy is blessed to walk up and throw 95. They have to do some things to create gains. There’s guys that never pick up any weight and blow their arm out. There’s guys that follow programs to a tee and get hurt. It’s funny that who is selling a product never talks about the injuries in their program.

    One flaw I see in youth, is that they are creating core strength that helps them grow. They try to get immediate gains and end up hurt. Create strength is a process and a never ending process at that. I do agree that a 6-week program is a joke. It’s a several year process and combine all facets of strength. Pitchers have been blowing their arms out since the beginning of baseball. It’s not a natural way to throw.

    There’s a large study ofMLB pitchers that use weighted balls and have made great gains. Why weren’t they discussed in the article.

    There’s two sides to everything. When doing things at a high intensity. The body reacts drifferently for many people. There many people that get hurt while lifting weights. Should all people stop lifting. The study still shows that people using WB gained mphs, and people that didn’t, gained nothing!

    Whatever the tool is, the person is taking a risk
    To make gains

    Reply
    • Why didn’t you post the MLB study you referenced here? Saying everyone gets hurt throwing a baseball is a reason for taking an aggressive approach to developing velocity is like saying we are all going to die so why not use drugs? All this article is stating is that science is showing a higher probability of serious injury with high intent weighted baseball training so why use it when you can make the same gains or usually better gains with safer means?

      Reply
  • Does using the yellow rubber waited balls for batting practice cause injury?

    Reply
  • This pertains ONLY to those that perform injurious mechanics as Dr. Marshall predicted

    Reply
  • Your first paragraph contradicts what you sell. You sell to people that their velo will go up dramatically in a short period of time by Olympic training. Specifically, you have a YouTube video showing how doing cleans will improve your fastball velo immediately. Eric Cressey, one of the most respected S&C coaches in the game, is a steadfast opponent of Olympic training. I myself have done plenty of training with weighted baseballs, and it has helped me rise from a high school catcher with one D3 offer to a D1 pitcher. So, instead of using stories to scare people away from weighted balls, share your success stories. Your company’s image is poor when you constantly attack your competitors. If your programs are as good as you say they are, there is no need to attack your competitors

    Reply
    • I am attacking a method not a competitor. High intent weighted baseball training is injuring hundreds of young careers and in many cases it is ending them. I get the phone calls and emails everyday from parents or players who are having surgery as young as 13 years old following this form of training. This was unheard of before this trend took off. I am not saying everyone is getting hurt, so congrats you have survived but don’t act like because you survived then all the science and testimonies showing the injury is bogus. I am the messenger getting this critical information to the public. You are trying to threaten me to stop this. I am not the one who is damaging their image here. Olympic Lifting has the lowest injury rate in recreational sports and is less that the injury rates of the MLB. Post science if you really what to have a case.

      Reply
  • Hey Brent, can you give a link to these studies, or other articles that back up what you are saying in your article? I 100% am on board with what you are saying, I am just having a hard time finding other sources other than you that are making these claims! Thanks!

    Reply
    • The links to the study are in the reference section at the end of the article. The reason few post this information is because the many promote this form of training. Would be bad for business. Also these studies cost money to purchase to gain the complete study.

      Reply
  • […] professional pitcher Brent Pourciau has cautioned against the use of weighted balls as a means of gaining […]

    Reply
  • I’ve actually known some people who have trained with Kyle Boddy on site, and remote. I’ve spoken to college guys who do the program, to where Kyle himself implemented it at location, on campus. And not just small schools, but major ones too. And not everyone gains velo, not all get hurt, but some do. And these are people directly under his program. I’d beware of his marketing claims. He should be held liable for these kids enduring injury and in some cases, surgery. How would his marketing and claims change once he’s financially responsible for injuries? This starts boiling down to an ethics complaint. Major corporations are held liable for ethical issues, why shouldn’t he, if someone is directly training under what he tells them to do.

    Reply
  • Frankie West
    May 21, 2017 6:49 pm

    From what I’ve seen and heard, Kyle Boddy’s so called “research” he conducts at his gym is extremely biased and falsified. He is selling you what you want to hear, to make money through his products. His claims of safety are wrong, he says what he does, to sell. Accept the real research from those who don’t have a product to sell. He’ll say weighted balls don’t add external rotation, and have biased “data” to prove it. When actual medical professionals doing this work and real research (like ASMI, Mike Reinold) say, there is more layback being gained, and it’s extremely compromising to the structural integrity of the shoulder.

    Reply
  • Mike Brooks
    May 19, 2017 11:41 pm

    Are you implying that people can purchase interview time on MLB Network and Baseball America? This is a pretty serious claim. Do you have evidence this is true?

    Reply
    • I have purchased Articles in Baseball America before. You can hire PR firms to get almost any air time you want. How do you think book tours work?

      Reply
      • Frankie West
        May 21, 2017 6:53 pm

        For crying out loud, Boddy had a Wikipedia page made by someone who is paid to make Wikipedia pages. Absolutely ridiculous. Who does this guy even think he is.

        Reply

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