Strength doesn't make you throw faster

This discussion is buried in another thread and I thought others would like to chime in. The post was by SultanofSwat, they said:

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Strength' doesn't make you throw faster.

More mass + technique = velocity

You can hit 90 at 145 pounds.

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Thoughts?

Original Post

Strength alone doesn't make you throw faster.  If that was the case you would have bodybuilders out there throwing 125.

It's a matter of having strength in the correct muscles, and the technique to maximize that strength. If you follow the pitching "industry", you will see how new analysis and research leads to improvements in these areas on a regular basis.

Although there are exceptions from any generation, today's pitchers on average are bigger and stronger than in the past.  It should be no surprise to see they also throw harder.

There are definitely small guys who are capable of throwing with high velocity.  Although I think you will find those small guys still possess a large amount of "functional" strength, and typically are very mechanically efficient.

My son is on the small side for a pitcher at 5'10, 180lbs.  However he possesses great strength in his arms and shoulders.  He out arm-wrestled everyone on his team this season, including guys with 3-4 inches and 50 lbs on him.  He also throws about 5 mph harder than any of them.  I definitely see a correlation there.

 

  

Out of HS, son was throwing over 90 at about 170lbs. 

Take a look at Florida's Brady Singer and Alex Faedo. Their velocity doesn't come from their "arms". At full maturity and another 4, 5 years, they may or may not be throwing harder, but basically will have filled out and their bottom half, repeatable mechanics, strong core, and flexible upper half will probably determine added strength.

Have you ever seen a muscular successful ML pitcher IN THEIR UPPER HALF (edit).

I do believe this is what sultan was referring to and Rob T did a good job job explaining.

 

TPM posted:

 

Have you ever seen a muscular successful ML pitcher?

 

Most of them are very strong/muscular in their lower half.  Not talking about big biceps or "muscle beach" arms.  Talking about strength attained through deadlifts and squats.  Overall strength.  

3and2Fastball posted:
TPM posted:

 

Have you ever seen a muscular successful ML pitcher?

 

Most of them are very strong/muscular in their lower half.  Not talking about big biceps or "muscle beach" arms.  Talking about strength attained through deadlifts and squats.  Overall strength.  

I meant in their upper half. 

Thanks

MTH link shows some good stuff.

MTH posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

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Strength' doesn't make you throw faster.

More mass + technique = velocity

 

Thoughts?

This statement is really too overbroad/simplistic to warrant much debate.  It's a WHOLE lot more complicated than that.  See some of Graeme Lehman's stuff at https://lehmansbaseball.wordpress.com/

 

If only scanned two articles on this site but it appears to be a fantastic site.  It may be too complicated for my little brain to fully digest but some of the statements make perfect sense.  Adding to my bookmarks.

I am basically just a hobbyist when it comes to throwing/pitching mechanics and training/conditioning.  But, being more than a little OCD, I have studied the "gurus" extensively.  For my money, Graeme Lehman (@GraemeLehman) is one of the best follows on the internet.  He is clearly a very bright guy.  But, he's also a very good communicator, without the hubris that you get from a lot of these guys.    

Agree that is really a complicated set of factors involved.  But if there one simplified word I think of to describe what can be improved upon to gain velocity, which is "leverage".  And you need strength too to be able  to use the leverages along the bio-mechanical chain well.  Most HS pitchers, though they might have plenty of strength (even fast twitch muscles), just don't use enough leverage to get the acceleration to the higher velocities.  Yes, it's mechanics that addresses leverage.  Strength is very important for endurance and probably a main reason pitchers work so much on their strength not only for the upper body but also for their lower body.

Wales posted:
TPM posted:

Have you ever seen a muscular successful ML pitcher IN THEIR UPPER HALF (edit).

 

Aroldis Chapman, the man is absolutely yolked

Well, yes, as compared to typical MLB pitchers but not as compared to those who do a lot of traditional upper half developing/ body building.  He also has tremendous length, flexibility, throwing mechanics, sequencing, etc.  I believe he threw nearly as hard as a much more wiry kid fresh out of Cuba, didn't he?

He does have a very strong, athletic upper body... more like an NFL WR.  Just not sure that extra added upper body muscle has any effect on his velo considering his other traits and prior velo.  I think he would make for an interesting case study for "at what point does upper body/arm muscle detract from potential velo".  I think he is probably walking that fine line right now.   Of course, I think this issue is far more complex than just categorically "upper body muscle".  Which upper body muscles?  How much?  This probably goes back to Rob T and MTH's posts. 

cabbagedad posted:
  Of course, I think this issue is far more complex than just categorically "upper body muscle".  Which upper body muscles?  How much?  This probably goes back to Rob T and MTH's posts. 

Definitely a complex issue.  Anecdotal example from the Marlins' outfield - Thin Ichiro and Yelich, Big Ozuna Giant Stanton. All have good arms, but very diverse bodies. Now sure, all those guys are in great shape and very athletic - but then how do you explain Bartolo Colon?  He's in his mid 40's, looks like the guy who was always picked last in recess - and he still throws harder than like 99.999 percent of people on the planet.

I suspect sorcery.

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