This Article is About
baseball pitchers
slow twitch muscle fibers
fast twitch muscle fibers
lean muscle mass
twitch muscle fibers
anaerobic exercises
interval training
aerobic exercises
bodyweight
Cardio Techniques For Baseball Pitchers
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Many people are unaware of how complex cardio is for baseball. For decades, belief-based instructors have made pitchers run long distance, and the most famous of all, run poles. For some reason, old school pitching coaches believed this was the most effective method of cardio for players. They believed that it was necessary for decreasing lactic acid buildup in the arm, and was crucial for pitchers throwing deeper into games. As it comes to find out, this is completely wrong.

First off, pitching a baseball is one of the most explosive movements in all of sports. Within seconds, a pitcher can generate enough power to launch a baseball at 90+ or 100+ mph. With that being said, it is easy to see that pitching is completely anaerobic in nature. There is no aerobic component involved within the throwing motion. It is explosion, rest, explosion, rest.

This is why aerobic training or long distance running can be defined as “anti-training” for a pitcher. In may even actually reduce velocity in many pitchers because aerobic training can decrease muscle mass, and explosiveness in athletes. Primarily because aerobic exercises train slow twitch muscle fibers, and do not build lean muscle mass.

Pitchers must strive to be more explosive, and try to build lean muscle mass. This is why anaerobic training should be the only option for a baseball pitcher. Anaerobic exercises increase the strength of fast twitch muscle fibers, lean muscle mass, and pitching-specific conditioning.

Some of the most effective exercises include sprints, hill sprints, plyometrics, agility’s, and bodyweight exercises.

The only aerobic training that a pitcher could use would be interval training. Interval training is primarily anaerobic, but there is a small aerobic element involved. In fact, interval training is one of the most effective and specific cardio techniques to pitching. It is an exact replication of the stop, and explode motion of pitching. So next time your coach tells you run poles, offer his a proposition.

Instead of running singular pace poles, you should run interval poles. To do this, sprint at 100 percent intensity for about 20 yards, then jog for 20 yards, and sprint for 20 yards. Repeat this sprinting and jogging motion for total of about 10 poles. This is extremely challenging, but it is the most specific form of cardio for pitching, and a great alternative to running useless poles.

The key to a successful cardio routine for baseball is to focus on becoming more explosive. It’s pretty easy to see why long distance running is simply an ineffective cardio technique for pitchers, and you must avoid it!


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