Is Long Toss Good or Bad for Pitchers?

This is one of the oldest debates in the realm of baseball throwing programs. It has been dissected in every way imaginable, and there have been many studies completed on the biomechanics of throwing to support each side of the argument. Irregardless the depth of research that has been conducted, there is one simple truth about it: when done properly, long toss offers multiple benefits to the arms of pitchers.

What are the benefits of doing long toss?

The three primary benefits of doing long toss are improved arm strength, durability, and endurance. By reaching back, fully extending and exerting the arm at the maximum distance of your daily scheduled program, pitchers train their arm to be used in its full capacity. A feeling that they want to replicate when they are on the mound. Further, in terms of durability and endurance, training the arm to be used in such a way, at such intensity, will lead to improvements in each of these categories. Similar to the way that sprinters supplement distance training into their regimen, pitchers need to practice throwing at variable distances and with varietal intensities.

Ironically, the beginnings of opposition to long toss come from two schools of thought: fear of injury, and the belief that arm strength can be built more efficiently. The former is based in the idea that overuse in training will hinder abilities in competition. That’s were the key words from above, “when done properly,” come into play. This article is not meant to encourage young pitchers to go out and exhaust their arms with excessive long toss. It is intended to suggest that through the supervision of an appropriate plan, mixing long toss into their routine will lead to greater arm strength and endurance.

The second school of thought, based in efficiency, suggests that using plyometric or weighted balls in a warm up routine targets all the right muscles for improved velocity. Even these routines, though, implement use of full range of motion—the same key principle in practicing long toss. There are surely advantages to doing a weighted ball routine, but it is essential to still use the full arm in these workouts. Overusing the small muscles of the arm that correlate directly to increased velocity exposes pitchers to the same risk of injury as any other form of intense arm training.

Finding a coach through CoachUp is incredibly easy, and the services offered are of a vide variety. If you need help building an effective throwing program that you can execute on your own, or are seeking private lessons with a coach, there is no better place to look than right here.

Baseball pitcher long toss

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