I'm a 40+ softballer and cricketer. I've always had a "strong arm" in both sports (as well as in baseball), although I'm not muscular or big at all. But, I'm not too happy with my recent long-distance throwing. (I'm fairly sure this is due to the diminishing "power" in my arm, not to the rest of my body or coordination. It is the upper arm that hurts.)

I have got a couple of 3-kilo weights at my disposal. What are the best ways of training with them (at home) to "strengthen" my arm (for the specific purpose of throwing long-distance)? I've got a whole winter...

  • Good question. I suspect that 3kg weight will be insufficient for building the strength you want. I think what you want to do is chest press, shoulder press and some pulling exercises such as bent over rows, all with a barbell doing low rep sets (sets of 5). You'd be looking a lot more than 3Kg to build strength. This is a guess though, I don't know for sure what the best plan for throwing is. I hope this question gets a good answer. – Bogdanovist Sep 15 '13 at 11:18
  • @Bogdanovist I can easily grip and hold both weights in one hand to make 6 kg. – user1564 Sep 15 '13 at 11:40
  • For developing strength, you typically need much more than that. Take a look for instance at exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/BenchStandardsKg.html The Caveat is that while I can't see why power lifting strength wouldn't transfer to increased throwing power, I also don't have any evidence that is does (apart from my own training). That's why I've only put in a comment not an answer, I can't back it up with enough evidence. – Bogdanovist Sep 15 '13 at 21:24
  • @Bogdanovist Thanks. Ah, well the things I have may not even be properly called "weights" then. They look a bit like this, although mine are metal only and you can grip and hold two in one hand. – user1564 Sep 16 '13 at 5:43
  • This might be handy stack.com/2011/05/10/… – Bogdanovist Sep 16 '13 at 21:57

Generally heavy weights are used for building bulk and low weights are used for toning/power. Based on how you want to build strength for your arms and the limitations that you have, I don't think the weights will help you much. You'll want to work on your forearms, triceps, shoulders, and legs the most to generate power.

Forearms - this can be done by curling with your hands the weights that you have. Alternatively if you're willing to spend some time you can easily create your own wrist roller by getting a string strong enough to hold your weights and connecting them to a stick (or something sturdy enough to support the weight). You'll put your arms out straight and curl the weights up and down slowly. http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/wrist-roller

triceps - get 2 chairs that are sturdy enough to support you and do dips. This will also work out your chest and shoulders. http://www.livestrong.com/article/468807-muscles-worked-in-the-dip-exercise/

Shoulders - pushups will work best here (also work out arms/chest). You can do different types of pushups for different body parts.

Legs - Squats if you're able to find enough weight to do this activity safely. Otherwise sprinting exercises will strengthen your legs. Many people will forget but your legs are what gives you the majority of your power when you're throwing a ball.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to message me. Also, keep in mind that I've only listed the main body parts you should focus on in order to train for this. You should workout all body parts (especially core).

EDIT: http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitching_workouts.htm

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  • Thanks. Could you possibly elaborate on the optimal (for throwing, if it makes a difference) triceps exercise? I mean, are dips more effective than, say, push ups? – user1564 Sep 24 '13 at 17:21
  • @aufkag Dips will work out your triceps much more than pushups. Since you have barely any weights to work with dips are by far the best thing I can recommend for you there. Also note that among the upper body parts that I mentioned you'll want to work on shoulder the most. I'll edit my post to include another link to give you an idea of possible workouts. – Valrok Sep 24 '13 at 17:51
  • In the last link it is said: "One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not." That already is a bit of an eye-opener for me. :) – user1564 Sep 25 '13 at 15:20
  • Yeah, it also applies to pretty much any other sport although for some sports to a lesser extent. Conditioning is key! – Valrok Sep 25 '13 at 19:46

I would have thought press/push ups would be an ideal exercise for building strength for your throwing arm. When doing press ups you can adjust the width of your arms, thus building up different muscles. This means you can work on the shoulders, arms and breasts relatively easy, all of which help throwing.

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