Eat MORE to Throw Harder?

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Q: Alex, Iʼm a pitcher in the 2020 grade class and Iʼm looking for a great off season workout schedule and exercises. I throw 80-82 now and I am looking to gain some velo heading into my freshman year. What can I do?

Coby I.

Coby, EAT, and GET STRONGER! Hereʼs a fantastic tweet I saw from Eric Cressey who I think very highly of in the strength and conditioning field.

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Youʼre a younger kid in high school so Iʼm assuming youʼre weaker, still growing, and eat probably 2 to 3 times per day. That needs to change. You need to be consuming more calories. When youʼre training hard and practicing everyday, muscle tissue is being broken down. If youʼre not consuming enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats from REAL WHOLE FOODS you will NOT get stronger. Your body NEEDS nutrient dense foods to grow. Iʼve seen it first hand with the athletes I train, and have the results to back it up. If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram Iʼll be posting some of the awesome transformation pictures from our college guys this summer, so stay tuned for that. Without knowing your strength level (Advanced, Intermediate, Beginner) itʼs tough for me to pinpoint exercises you should be doing. Iʼm going to assume you are a beginner based on your age level and give you my top foundational exercises that WILL produce results.

Lower Body Strength Exercises:

Lunge (forward or reverse) – I typically like reverse lunges because they arenʼt hard on your knees. However, any unilateral lower body exercise including forward lunges can be a great addition to your strength routine.

Eccentric Goblet Box Squats –

Dumbbell Hip Thrust from the ground – A good exercise for beginners to strengthen their glutes, and hamstrings as many youth athletes have a weak, underdeveloped posterior chain.

Core Strength Exercises:

Plank Variations – Planks are an easy and effective exercise to improve TRUE core strength. You can do them anywhere, and the variations are endless

Farmer Carryʼs –

Upper Body Strength Exercises:

Eccentric(lowering) Push-ups – Eccentric based push-ups are a great tool for beginners to pack on upper body strength because the time under tension is so high. With this exercise lower yourself in the push-up position for a 6 – 10 second count and donʼt push-up to the top. Each time you lower yourself for 6-10 seconds equals one rep. If you want a more advanced way to perform push-ups, use a 3 to 6 second eccentric (lowering), but instead of falling to the ground to complete the rep, push yourself up to the top.

Eccentric (lowering) Chin-ups – With this exercise you jump up over the bar so your chin is above it, then slowly lower yourself for 15-20 seconds. When I do this exercise with my athletes I have them perform 3 sets x 2 reps with each rep containing 15-20 eccentric.

Isometric Y,T,W Holds – 

Start with these exercises and progress from there. Remember getting stronger is dependent on you not only training, but fueling and repairing your muscleʼs with proper nutrition. Stay consistent with your training and eating. I guarantee youʼll be throwing harder next spring! Hope this helped, keep me updated on your progress!

-Alex

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