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Arm strength building with a football?

So this will be a short post answering a question a parent had about whether or not he should incorporate throwing a football with his son to help build arm strength as well as increase velocity.Depending on who you ask, you will pretty much get black and white answers, simply because the “results” of whether or not this actually helps is pretty hit or miss.
It really can’t be quantified but I can only speak for myself during my process of increasing my arm strength, as well as the teammates that did throw footballs and went on to play professionally. My rule of thumb for any workout, drill, or technique is this. If it feels good-meaning you feel confident that it is allowing you to develop physically then do it.Your beliefs are the most important thing as an athlete.
Hear are a few other reasons why I think throwing a foot ball can help develop arm strength.

It emphasizes complete pronation at release by making the football travel with a perfect spiral

If more baseball players were able to take this throwing action into throwing a baseball, we would not only see less players with elbow pain but injuries from a torn UCL which cause Tommy John Surgeries. When was the last time you heard of a football player who had Tommy John?

Promotes movements of players that throw with velocity. 

A player may not have a good arm, but understanding the biomechanics of someone who does is a great blueprint to begin with. By throwing the ball with correct external rotation and forward trunk tilt. Throwing the football will also indicate wether you are getting good internal rotation after external rotation. A shared trait that most ball players that throw hard is his ability internally rotate at the release point of the baseball.
Brent Pourciau of Top Velocity 3x pitching recommends using a smaller football to improve grip as well as maximize the potential to pronate.
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How I increased my arm speed in high-school

I was always considered a small guy. In high-school I was only about 5’9 150 lbs, but I was athletic and had an above average arm. I didn’t really start noticing how much arm strength I had developed until I was clocked at 91 from short by a scout during Jr College sophomore showcases. That same week I had supposedly reached 93 on a double play during a scrimmage.

I have no proof of this, but I’d like to think that the showcase coordinators were telling me the truth. Suffice to say I enjoyed showing off my arm strength even in high-school when I first started noticing velocity gains.

Truthfully, even then,  I was very young and naive about baseball training, but looking back there were a lot of little things that I enjoyed doing that in hindsight, I felt had a tremendous impact on my development.

Here are a few.

1.  I ate the right foods

A lot of a baseball player’s development has to do with the foods that he eats on a daily basis. It’s a cliche but it’s true. You are what you eat. If you eat junk foods, your performance and development will reflect that. Without exception.

I started eating specific foods not because I was a picky eater or health nut, but because I enjoyed my mothers cooking. She is full blooded Japanese and majority of foods that I had access to were foods high in alkaline content.

Meaning foods that weren’t acidic and contributed to my recovery after 2-3 hours of baseball plus weight lifting.

Basically I was eating foods that helped me rebuild what parts of my body that were breaking down from training. I truly believe that because my body was recovering at such a fast pase, my arm had time to rehabilitate itself and prepare to be used again. From eating the right foods I was avoiding over use as well as wear and tear.

Here are a list of foods that are high in alkaline

2.  Strengthened my core……seriously

I’m a firm believer that possibly the most important element in developing arm strength and increased velocity is cultivating torque within your mid-section or core . The core is your center of gravity. It’s located above the knees to just below the chest and constitutes as the most powerful muscles in the human body. So it goes without saying that this section of your physical makeup is responsible for a lot of your arm speed.

By no means am I claiming to be an expert in baseball training, but I have played for a very long time, and I “think” I have an idea of what worked and what didn’t for me at least.

I don’t have a workout plan to give you, but I will tell you this. I worked with medicine balls consistently and did other core strengthening workouts until I had abs like Bruce Lee:)

There aren’t a lot of baseball training workouts at just yet but the internet is full of valid content. If your looking for something specific leave a comment and I’m sure I can point you in the right direction.

3. Developed my quick twitch muscles

Ask any pitching expert about the relationship that quick twitch muscle fibers have with velocity gains and if they know what they are talking about they will tell you their is a direct correlation.

Ask a pro scout what is one of the first things they look for in a pitcher and they will tell you “Arm Speed”.


Throwing a baseball is no different.

As far as how I went about developing my “quick twitch muscles”, it may be a little different. I was blessed with a decent amount quickness so I had a foundation to build upon. But apart from my core training, I did a lot of sports related training such as olympic lifts and compound workouts out such as squats. There is a time and place to lift heavy and to lift less heavy but for me, I got the best results for quickness when I had a balance of both and I do think this balance is relative to each player.

Again, if you have any questions about what specific training, please leave a comment:)


4.Lay off your arm

Give your arm a break! Technically, throwing a baseball overhand is an unnatural motion for the arm. It’s abuse depending on how you look at it. If your arm hurts….stop throwing. This actually comes down to knowing how to listen to your body, and then giving your body time to rest.

As for training, it’s important to make sure that your weight training program is isolating the core and legs more than the shoulders and arms. If your shoulder is constantly sore and feeling fatigue,  it’s probably because you’re robbing it of needed rest.

Like I mentioned before, I’m not an expert on baseball training I only know what worked for me from trial and error. I experienced some pretty large gains in arm strength by simply doing little things, consistently on a daily basis.

I ate the right foods, got the right amount of rest, and trained my butt off.

Have you or your son recently experienced gains in velocity? If so, tell me what you’re doing, I would love to hear it!





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From 78 to 91: Story about a boy who learned how to throw hard

It truly is amazing how available the information is from credible sources when it comes to finding good baseball advice. Now, all you have to do is pick up a book, magazine, or type in a web address to get access of some of the best baseball advice there is. If you want to learn how to throw hard and increase velocity?……..type it into google. You want to find new tee ball dr

ills?…..Type it into google. How about some great motivational baseball quotes?!!!…Google! You couldn’t do this as much 10 to 15 years ago. Now as a baseball player looking for ways to get better and develop arm strength, there truly is no excuse!

One great example of someone who has taken advantage of baseball information on the internet is Josh Favaloro who recently signed a full baseball scholarship to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. After taking full advantage of the 3x pitching program found at, he was able to drastically increase the velocity of his fastball. Going from 75 to 91mph!!!!

If your a pitcher looking to throw harder and develop arm strength, a positional player looking to increase speed, power, and instincts, then there has never been a better time then now!

The wisdom of the greatest baseball players are now at your finger tips. The question is…….how bad do you want it!

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Baseball Motivational Quote- Walter Johnson(He knew how to throw hard)