Ian Krol's 12-Week Med Ball Training Program for Pitchers

Ian Krol

Photo: AP

Ian Krol, now with the Detroit Tigers, is one of Major League Baseball's most promising young pitchers. His pitcher training program at Acceleration Sports Performance includes the following med ball routine, which has helped him throw consistently in the upper 90s with accuracy and effectiveness.

If you decide to attempt this routine, use a med ball light enough to execute with perfect form but heavy enough that you can throw explosively. Krol uses anywhere from 10- to 20-pound med balls.

Block 1: Capacity work using explosive repeat method

Purpose: Increases oxygen output of the fast-twitch fibers and increases aerobic recovery. Also develops the rate of lactate oxidation of the slow-twitch fibers.

Exercises: Med Ball Toss for height and Rotational Med Ball Throws for reps.


Rotational Med Ball Throws

Week 1

  • 12 seconds of work with 60 of seconds of rest x6 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery (roll out and/or dynamic work)
  • 2 series

Week 2

  • 16 seconds of work with 40 seconds of rest x6 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery
  • 2 series

Week 3

  • 20 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest x6 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery
  • 2 series

Block 2: Alactic Capacity

Purpose: Improves capacity of the alactic system by increasing stored phosphocreatine, which allows the body to be explosive over time.

Exercises: Med Ball Throws for distance and Reverse Med Ball Throws for distance.

Med Ball Throws
Reverse Med Ball Throws (Distance)

Week 4

  • 15 throws with 60 seconds of rest x3 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery
  • 3 series

Week 5

  • 15 throws with 60 seconds of rest x3 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery
  • 4 series

Week 6

  • 15 throws with 60 seconds of rest x 3 sets
  • 8-minute active recovery
  • 5 series

Block 3: Alactic Power

Purpose: Improves maximum rate of ATP regeneration by increasing amount of enzymes involved in energy production. Increase throwing velocity.

Exercises: Get-Up Med Ball Throws and Rotational Med Ball Throws for distance

Get-Up Med Ball ThrowsRotational Med Ball Throws (Distance)

Week 7

  • 10 throws with 20 seconds of rest x4 sets
  • 4-minute active recovery

Week 8

  • 10 throws with 20 seconds of rest x5 sets
  • 4-minute active recovery

Week 9

  • 10 throws with 20 seconds of rest x6 sets
  • 4-minute active recovery

Block 4: Realization

Pupose: Mimics the sequencing of a pitch and enhances ATP regeneration between innings. Increases the strength of fast- and slow-twitch fibers required for effective pitching.

Exercise: Pitch Med Ball Throws

Pitch Med Ball Throws

Week 10

  • 20 throws with 10 seconds of rest x4 sets
  • 10-minute active recovery
  • 4 series

Week 11

  • 20 throws with 10 seconds of rest x6 sets
  • 10-minute active recovery
  • 6 series

Week 12

  • 20 throws with 10 seconds of rest x8 sets
  • 10-minute active recovery
  • 8 series

Topics: BASEBALL | PITCHING DRILLS AND WORKOUTS | BASEBALL WORKOUTS | EXERCISE | MED BALL | RECOVERY | THROW | PITCHER

J.R. Niklos J.R. Niklos - J.R. Niklos is the owner of Acceleration Sports Performance, located near Chicago. A former All-American football player at Western Illinois and a veteran of the NFL, he has helped...
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