PITCHERS: Should You Run Long Distance?


Why am I running poles? I’m sure if you ask your coach this question they will tell you that you need to run long distances in order to be conditioned or build up your stamina to go deep into a game. They might even say poles flush out the lactic acid post start which I feel is a complete and utter myth

Here’s my thoughts…

I believe that it’s extremely important to have a well developed aerobic system in order to recover during a workout/game or from an intense training session/game. However, is running long distance the best option? I don’t believe so. In my opinion, you would benefit much more from performing something like a movement based circuit.

Here’s an example of a movement based workout I utilized with Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder, Chris Roller this off-season

With continuous movement circuits like this you will be able to not only improve aerobic capacity but also movement quality, hip mobility, thoracic spine (upper back) mobility, ankle stability, core stability, scapular stability etc. Obviously, with long distance running were not able to improve upon any of the above

Another point I want make is how powerful I feel pitchers need to be…

Do you really think running pole after pole is improving a pitchers ability to explode off a mound and throw a ball as hard as possible to home plate? I don’t think so. I think pitchers have to be extremely powerful. Think about it… If you’re a pitcher you’re EXPLODING off the mound and throwing the ball to home plate (single fastest motion in all of sports) and you’re doing this for upwards of 80-100 times a game. My intuition tells me that by executing this explosive maneuver 80-100 times a game will require the athlete to posses a good amount of power capacity. I think if the athlete (in this case pitcher) improves his power capacity in the specific limb required of them by sport  it will allow them to maintain velocity deep into games. I also believe the pitcher will be able to improve resistance to a shoulder/arm injury as the arm won’t have to overcompensate for lower body fatigue.

Just because something has been done for years doesn’t mean it’s right. In my opinion, there are much better options you can choose to improve your performance other than running long distance.

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