Pitchers: Throw Harder With This Med Ball Workout

December 3, 2012 | Giovanni Grassi

Must See Baseball Videos

Pitching a baseball is one of the most complex and difficult-to-train sports skills. If you want to throw harder, you need to rethink how you work out. (Check out Justin Verlander's workout.)

Traditional pitching workouts typically involve dumbbell and/or resistance band exercises focused on specific parts of the throwing motion—e.g., Dumbbell Rows or Resistance Band Scarecrows targeting the back and shoulder. This type of training is very effective at increasing strength and reducing the risk of an overuse injury. The problem is that it does little to increase pitching velocity, because it trains the muscles, not the movement. (Find out how to prevent shoulder injuries.)

Instead, try performing med ball exercises that closely mimic the throwing motion. They will increase power in the muscles used when you throw—critical for adding velocity to your pitches. Also, these exercises work similar to plyometrics by improving your muscles' ability to store energy after the wind-up and then rapidly release it into the throw.

If you want to throw harder, perform this med ball pitching workout two or three times per week. Form and technique are paramount, so use a lightweight med ball. The drills instruct you to throw the med ball against a wall, but feel free to use a partner or trampoline if desired.

Single-Arm Med Ball L-Throwdowns

Focus: shoulder rotation speed

  • Assume athletic stance facing wall
  • Hold med ball in hand with arm in "L" position (arm to side at shoulder height and elbow bent 90 degrees)
  • Rotate shoulder and throw med ball on ground; do not change position of upper arm
  • Catch and repeat

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each arm

Sideways Rotating Single-Arm Chest Pass

Focus: trunk rotation and arm speed

  • Assume athletic stance with left shoulder facing wall
  • Hold med ball at chest height
  • Rotate torso to right then toward wall while extending right arm to throw med ball against wall
  • Catch and repeat

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each arm

Overhead Crossover Throwdown

Focus: trunk rotation and shoulder speed

  • Assume athletic stance facing wall
  • Hold med ball with both hands over right shoulder
  • Rotate trunk and bring arms down and across body to forcefully throw med ball
  • Catch and repeat

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each side

Med Ball Baseball Pitch

Focus: trunk rotation, arm and shoulder speed; decreased time taken between wind-up and pitch (amortization phase)

  • Assume normal pitching stance holding med ball with two hands
  • Perform pitching motion and throw med ball with both hands
  • Catch and repeat

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each side

Check out STACK's Pitchers' Guide for more workouts designed to help you throw harder.

Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
Must See
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,563,663
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,344,447
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,441,327

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 187,099
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 12,178
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 220,234
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,842
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,378
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,865,919
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,784
Johny Hendricks Workout Overview
Views: 822,554

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Mobility issues and injury, specifically a wrist injury, can be a huge problem for an Olympic lifter, or any athlete that uses Olympic lifting in their...

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout