Assuming that you’re not a genetically gifted freak and can throw 90 MPH as a 14 year old like all those people on YouTube seem to be able to, here are three pieces of equipment you must own (and use, no cheating!) to throw 90 MPH:
Squat Rack / Power Cage
Any serious athlete starts with owning or having ready access to a power cage. Period.
In a power cage, you can safely fail your back/front squats, do inverted rows, work with your TRX suspension trainer, easily hook up your resistance bands for mobility/flexibility work, do chin-ups/pull-ups, and a host of other things. Sure, some of this can be done with a simple pair of squat stands, but not all of it.
So get a power cage (and a quality barbell while you’re at it; we like Jesup Gym’s equipment) or get access to a gym that has one. You can’t effectively build bilateral lower half strength without it, and without that, you’re not going to throw gas (or hit bombs over the fence, which is what all the chicks dig anyway).
Throwing a baseball is a ballistic activity that requires tons of rotational power and speed-strength. You have to work explosively in the frontal plane and translate momentum in an appropriate sequence through the legs, core, and finally the arms to throw 90 MPH. But you can’t pitch every day or throw 400 baseballs per day without risking some injuries to your soft tissue, and varying the stimulus is important for optimum muscle tissue growth and neurological development. So how do you balance it all out?
Medicine balls, of course. (The above image is what will happen if you throw them enough. We’ve ruptured a 10 lb, 4 kg, and 4 lb ball so far.)
I recommend picking up a 4 lb, 6 lb, and 10 lb medicine ball (buy them from Amazon where they ship for free) for various movements: Side scoop tosses, rotational elbow extension movements, overhead slams – the works! You can find all types of varieties of medicine ball training on our YouTube channel, so go check that out and search for “medicine ball” stuff.
You simply can’t beat the speed-strength training stimulus you get from medicine balls, and not many gyms have them. So you probably gotta shell out some bucks for them.
We’ve come a long way at Driveline Baseball by integrating under/overload training principles with weighted baseballs in our Elite Baseball Training program. First we introduced them as a supplementary exercise with long toss, flat ground work, and throwing off a mound, but after the results we’ve seen by combining their use with a solid strength-based training protocol, we’re totally sold.
We outlined a free weighted baseball training protocol on our site back in 2010, and while we’ve developed on that plan, it’s still one of the most popular articles on the site. Many people have written in to say that they’ve added velocity and that their arm has never felt better after implementing our free program, and our athletes in our Elite Baseball Training program are definitely reaping the rewards as well.
So, if you don’t own those pieces of equipment – or at least have ready access to them – go get them! The off-season is right around the corner which is the time to build velocity and skill, so don’t slack on it. Spring baseball will be here before you know it: Will you be ready for tryouts?