Driveline’s Pitching Research Homepage

Weight Room Research

Baseball Throwing Velocity: Comparison of Med ball and weight training

Authors: Newton, Robert; McEvory, Kerry

When deciding to train athletes with either medicine ball training or weight lifting it is more beneficial to use weight lifting. This study directly compared 8 weeks of medicine ball chest pass and overhead throws with bench pressing and pullovers and its effect of velocity. “…only group with a significant change in velocity pre- to post training was the weight training group.”

Medicine ball training can be beneficially but only as a supplement after the trainee can prove a high level of strength in the weight room. This is why we emphasize focusing on getting stronger in the weight room as a top priority.

Medicine Ball Training Implications for Rotational Power Sports (Open Access)

Authors: Earp, Jacob; Kraemer, William

When working with rotational athletes medicine ball training should be included as a supplemental to sport-generic exercises (ex; squats, bench press, deadlift). Coaches should also know if the sport is reactive (hockey), stationary (golf), or both (baseball) in nature when choosing medicine ball exercises to include in a training program.

It’s important to perform movements which mimic those in your sport and to keep the weight of the medicine ball in mind. Especially in highly coordinated movements. Excessive repetitions should be stayed away from as to not enforce poor motor patterns. The right dosage will need to be integrated with other strength work (ex squats) for the best results.

The Serape Effect: A Kinesiological Model for Core Training (Open Access)

Authors: Santana, Juan Carlos

This study proposes a new way of thinking about rotational training called the ‘serape effect’. The serape effect proposes thinking of how certain muscles involved in rotation (rhomboids, serratus anterior, external obliques and internal obliques) align in the form of an X on the trunk. This is similar to the idea of ‘muscular slings’ talked about in Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers.
Rotational training is an interesting topic with some debate on how it is best trained in the weight room. Some coaches, such as Dan John, suggest that you can only train anti-rotation in the gym with the appropriate rotation training coming by practicing your sport. Training for rotation will be something that will be continued to be refined hopefully producing healthier and better athletes in the future.

Relationship Between throwing Velocity, Muscle Power, and Bar Velocity During Bench Press in Elite Handball Players

Authors: Marques, MC; van den Tillaar, Roland; Vescovi, JD; Gonzalex-Badillo, JJ

This study wanted to examine the relationship between velocity of a 3-step running throw in handball with dynamic strength, power, and bar velocity during a concentric-only bench press.

Each volunteer had used a free-weight barbell bench and started with an initial weight of 26 kg in the concentric-only portion of the lift. The weight was then increased in increments of 5-10 kgs. The last bearable load was determined as the athlete’s 1 rep max.

There were significant correlations between maximal strength, peak bar velocity, and peak power measures during concentric bench press and ball-throwing velocity. This would suggest that the 3-step throw velocity is related to an athlete’s ability to move lower external load with maximal velocity.

They do warn that the correlations are not higher because a throw requires more whole body coordination than a bench press. The study also included a sample size of 14 suggesting that there should be more research with a large group of athletes.