There are many factors that contribute to increasing throwing velocity. Let’s dive into key things you need to increase your performance this season:
Improving Energy Transfer
The kinetic chain is a term used in sports performance to describe the connection of movement that occurs within the body. It is a series of links that act in a coordinated, sequential fashion to generate and amplify force. For a pitcher, it’s described as moving from the ground up—generating movement from the legs, hips, core, scapula, shoulder, arm, and then hand. Any weak link in this chain inhibits energy transfer and thereby restricts performance.
The weak link in the chain for many throwing athletes is often the scapula, which provides the critical transfer of energy from the rotation of the core to the arm (Read more about power production for baseball performance here [LINK].) If the muscles that control the scap are weak or lack movement coordination then velocity will suffer.
Building the kinetic chain requires a strengthening program for the scap stabilizers and developing pitching mechanics with a progressive throwing program.
Increase the Power Output from the Prime Movers
The simple makeup of the shoulder joint can be broken into two categories: “Prime Movers” and “Stabilizers”. Prime Movers are the muscles that perform the actual sport specific movements of the arm (ie; throwing a ball, swinging a bat). Ideally they don’t have to help with a secondary function like generating stability. The function of the stabilizers (rotator cuff, lower and upper traps, serratus anterior, etc.) is keep everything in the right position around the shoulder.
Underperforming stabilizers require more attention of the prime movers. This leads to wasted energy, decreased accuracy, and predisposes a player to shoulder and elbow injuries
An added strength focus for your stabilizer muscles will allow your prime movers to unleash when you get on the mound.
Build Your Brakes
You can’t speed up what you can’t slow down! Strengthening the decelerating muscles will actually improve your ability to accelerate a baseball. That may sound crazy, but have you ever heard or seen a pitcher dislocate their shoulder while throwing? It doesn’t happen because the body is tuned to prevent injury.
Therefore your arm can only accelerate to the point that is can’t slow it down. By building the brakes for your arm, which are the posterior rotator cuff muscles and the scap stabilizers, you will be able to accelerate the arm more.
12 Weeks to Velocity Gains
If you don’t care about how, and just want the magic for throwing harder, it’s a simple formula of arm strengthening and progressively throwing harder.
We lay this out for you in our 12-week velocity program (download the program below).
It’s a simple formula for success that regularly gets over 5mph increase. Just check out the success in the case study at Cannon Arm Training: [LINK]