The throwing workout program normally includes:
The first part of ANY throwing program or workout should be body preparation. A normal body preparation consists of three things: visual work, balance work and joint mobility work. The whole point in preparing your body for the training it is about to do is to wake up the nervous system. You want the body to respond to the work it is about to do and you also want the body to accept the work. This includes visual work, balance and joint mobility. The body preparation portion of the training session will assist in waking up your nervous system and will allow you to get the most out of your training for the day.
Once body preparation is finished it is time to move on to the throwing part of the workout. Long toss is what most people, including myself, like to call it. I will go into the particulars of long toss in later blogs, but the basis of long toss is to throw as far as you can for that specific day, nice and relaxed on the way out and then more intense on the way back in. A normal long toss period during off season training sessions may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how far that particular pitcher can throw a baseball. With long toss, there should be no rush to back up to the farthest distance; the pitcher should take their time. As for younger kids, naturally their long toss session may not be as long because they will not be able to throw the ball as far.
Immediately following the long toss portion of the training session there should be some sort of focused throwing. There can be several ways to use this portion of the workout including velocity work, command work, bullpens, flatground, working on off speed pitches and many more ideas. Whatever the pitcher chooses to work on that day is not as important as the focus they bring to the process.
Now we move on to the arm care portion of the session. For this part the pitcher should have a handful or so of exercises that assist in keeping the arm healthy. Scapula movement and rotator cuff exercises should be the focus. Making sure the body knows how to move the scapula properly and also doing maintenance work on the rotator cuff muscles in and around the shoulder should go a long way in keeping the pitcher's arm healthy.
Last but not least in the training session should be some sort of body work. How many and the type of exercises the pitcher chooses depends on what type of weight training work they do during the week. All of the week's schedules, weight training, throwing, conditioning, etc. should all work together and be thought out before the week begins. This way the pitcher will know exactly what they need to be doing each day and how hard to push themselves depending on what type of training and intensity level they are using for the week.
Normally it is recommended to do some sort of cardiovascular work at the end of each training session. I usually have my guys doing short bursts of speed with small rests in between drills. If the pitcher is going to do strength exercises with cardiovascular work for that session, make sure to do the cardiovascular work first and then do the strength exercises. (There are all sorts of different point of views on this particular subject that also will be discussed in future blogs.)
Once the pitcher gets a feel for the workouts it is very easy to follow the program and plan out the workouts before they go to the field to throw. Remember to make the workouts as specific as possible but also make them as fun as possible. Try adding in fun games that are challenging and will also help with developing you into the pitcher you are wanting to become. We will discuss the individual parts of the entire training session in later blogs.
For now, have fun and enjoy!