In the last blog I introduced the process of long toss and discussed how far a pitcher should throw the baseball during their long toss program. In part 2 we are going to discuss how much time should be spent during your long toss workouts.
How Much Time Should I Spend Throwing?
Time spent for each throwing session is going to depend on the individual and what the circumstances are for that week. A good rule of thumb is at least a ten-minute session during the season and however long you would like to throw during the off season, each time you throw. This will allow the body enough time, as long as your movement is good, to flush itself of any unwanted soreness or tightness as well as give you enough of a workout to further instill proper movement patterns into your body's map.
During the season, throwing sessions may not go much past a ten minute time period. This would of course depend on whether you are a starter or a reliever, when you pitched last, when you are going to pitch again, and how your body feels that specific day. However, my suggestion is to at least attempt the ten minutes each and every time you throw. On a longer distance day it will be easier to throw past the ten-minute mark. The days where you are not moving back that far are the days you want to make sure you are still getting the repetitions in that are needed. For example, if you are only going to throw 90 feet on a certain day and it only takes you five minutes to back up that far, stay there and continue throwing at whatever intensity level works for you that day for at least another five minutes.
My experience with this type of program at the professional level has really opened my eyes to how well this truly works. It does take a bit of getting used to and changing your mental mind state to make this work. But once you have done so this will work great. On several occasions I have had professional pitchers tell me how much they doubted the ten-minute program, combined with throwing at least 6 days a week, if not everyday. However, after attempting the program for at least 2 weeks the players immediately changed their pattern of thought. Their arms felt stronger, they were less sore between outings, they recovered faster, and they fatigued less quickly.
During the off season, workouts should extend much past the ten-minute time frame. This is the part of the year where there is no rush to get through your workout. The purpose is to take your time and sooth your arm. You should treat this like an aerobic workout for your arm. It is not uncommon to throw at least thirty minutes if taking the proper time to back up and throw a baseball as far as you can.
Make sure and use your entire body when throwing long toss. Try standing sideways to your target before you start and allowing yourself a couple of steps or shuffles prior to throwing. Remember, it is all the body, all the time when you pitch. Make the entire body move aggressively and smoothly as you move to throw the baseball. Have fun and make it a relaxing and joyous experience, try never to just go through the motions. Enjoy, part 3 is on its way!