Pitching Great Bob Feller's Old-Time Strength Training | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Pitching Great Bob Feller's Old-Time Strength Training

December 21, 2010

Major League Baseball lost a pitching icon last week with the passing of Cleveland Indians legend Bob Feller, one of the greatest right-handers of all time. He was 92.

Some baseball historians and experts consider Feller the pioneer of off-season training. He revealed the nature of his workouts during an interview earlier this year.

“You hear people talk about how pitchers need [to strengthen] their legs, and they do, but sometimes the upper-body gets forgotten,” Feller told the [Cleveland] Plain Dealer. “You’ve got to have upper-body strength to be able to throw with your elbow away from your body.”

It was this ability that powered Feller’s most devastating pitch, the curveball. And he built the foundation during his off-season workouts by performing his go-to exercises: Bench Dips and Fingertip Push-Ups.

“Doing [exercises] like that will strengthen the ligaments around the ulnar bone and ulnar nerve in the elbow,” Feller said. This is especially important because the muscles and ligaments surrounding the elbow are at significant risk for injury due to the unnatural throwing motion for a curveball.

Yes, the times were different back then, but his training methods worked for “Rapid Robert,” who won 266 games from 1936-1956. Feller left many more wins on the table when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II, missing four seasons during the prime of his career.

Nevertheless, Feller pitched 279 complete games, threw three no-hitters and an astounding 12 one-hitters. And it all started with a simple routine of Dips and Push-Ups, two exercises that have stood the test of time.

Check out the videos above to see Feller's training in action with other athletes. Be advised: Fingertip Push-Ups are not to be taken lightly, so start with the Basic Push-Up and work your way up to the advanced variation.

Feller’s Bonus Tip: On proper mechanics and delivery for throwing a curveball: “You have to keep the elbow away from the body. It’s up and down. I tell the kids to get a pillow, take the ball in the bedroom, and work that up and down motion. Keep the elbow away from the body and snap—[like you would] pull down a window shade or crack the whip.”

Source:  cleveland.com
Photo:  theclevelandfan.com

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

I don't like using the terms never, everyone, and always when discussing any topic related to fitness. Why? Because, generally, it's arcane and short...

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

A Better Way to Train Your Core

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility