10 Exercises All Pitchers Should Be Doing

Here are the Ten exercises all Pitchers should be performing. 

  1. Stretch Arm Sweep 
  2. Lat Stretch
  3. Hamstring Stretch
  4. Pull-ups 
  5. Lateral to medial jump 
  6. 1lb Weighted Jump Rope 
  7. Weighted Kettlebell
  8. Oblique Crunches 
  9. Hanging Leg Raises 
  10. Pitching Drills


Keep reading to learn how to perform each movement and why these specific exercises are essential for any minor league or college pitcher.  


Why Exercise Is Important To Pitchers 

Let's discuss why exercising is a vital component of a successful baseball career. 

The Importance of Stretching 

Stretching should not be overlooked. As a baseball player, it is essential to protect your body from injuries and prevent future injuries. It's one of the most straightforward methods of ensuring a safe game, and a long career is stretching both before and after a workout. Overall, stretching is essential in maintaining flexibility. Increased flexibility reduces muscle strain, controls muscle imbalances, and increases velocity. Flexibility is significant for pitchers. 


The importance of Leg Workouts 

It's simple math. Stronger Legs= More power= increase velocity= great pitch= an amazing career. Well, it may not be THAT simple, but having strong legs as a pitcher is crucial to overall performance. Your legs are the foundation for your entire body. 


The importance of Core Strength

The core is the center of it all. All of the movements involved with pitching, throwing, the windup, blah, all stem from the core. Strengthening abdomen muscles will help improve a pitcher's balance, stabilize movements, zero in on control. When pitching, your core is outputting power into legs, shoulders, and arms; thus, the stronger your core, the stronger your performance. 


The Importance of Strength Training 

Strength training exercises typically involve the use of weighted tools or resistance bands to build muscle mass. Overall strength training builds endurance, combats body fat, and increases the athleticism of any sports player. 

  • A 2011 study concluded that a pitcher's muscle mass weight correlates to a higher throwing velocity due to the increased energy they have to transfer to the ball.
  • A 2007 study realized athletes who completed 8-week training programs specializing in the upper body and eccentric strength mph achieved a fastball 2pmh faster than those who completed traditional programs. 

 It's not that easy to eat two dinners and a couple more doughnuts; this weight needs to consist of a strong leg, arm, and core muscle. 



10 Best Exercises & Why They Work

It's vital to gain lean muscle mass to increase velocity and power. Yes, there are many programs out there designed to build stronger athletes; however, unless there are some specific exercises and training programs designed for pitchers to increase the velocity of your throws, the mobility of your movements, and the power of how you play. 


  1. Stretch Arm Sweep 

How to do it: 

Lay down on your back and stack your knees on top of each other on one side of your body. If you start by bringing your knees to the right, place your right arm parallel to your knees. To open up your chest, bring your left arm up and above to the left side. 


Why it works: Increases shoulder mobility and flexibility. A flexible shoulder joint allows the shoulder to rotate properly when a pitcher is in the cocking phase. This easel rotation and increased mobility put the pitcher in a proper position to throw at higher velocity. 


  1. Lat Stretch 

How to do it: 

1. Extend one arm overhead and use your opposite arm to pull down, creating an arch.  

2. Push your hips to the side you're pulling down. 

3. Hold for 15 secs then switch sides. 


Why it works: 

This exercise is designed to target your latissimus muscle, the largest muscle on your back. The latissimus muscle extends from the top of your hip to underneath your shoulder. This critical muscle essentially connects your lower body to your upper body, is what allows the transfer of force, affecting arm speed and velocity. So it's safe to say that stretching this muscle should be a daily part of your pitching routine. 


  1. Hamstring Stretch 

How do it: Start with kneeling on one leg with your toes tucked under while the other leg has your foot planted on the ground, squaring out your hips. Keeping your hips up, slowly lean your body back onto your heel. At this point, your front leg should be extended, so go ahead and lean forward to create the pull hamstring stretch.     


Why it works: 

To maximize your velocity during the expansion phase of the throw, your leg needs to be able to get into a full extension. If it can't work due to tight hamstrings, the velocity of your throw will be significantly decreased.  


  1. Pull-Ups

How to do it: Begin by standing directly below a pull bar and reach to place both your hands on the bar with an overhand grip. If your feet touch the floor, bend your knees, then use your arm and back muscles. Slowly lift yourself until your chin is above the bar. Once here, slowly extend your arms to finish. Do 10 reps 3x.


Why it works: We talked about the importance of stretching the latissimus dorsi; now, let's focus on strengthening this powerful muscle. Upper body stretch is essential for a pitcher, so as the only accelerator decelerator in the upper body, it is crucial for pitchers to focus on strengthening their lat for a powerful throw with high velocity. 


  1. Lateral to Medial Jump 

How do it: 

1. Start standing straight with your feet parallel, shoulder apart. 

2. Slightly bend your knees and place your right foot directly behind your left ankle. 

3. Use the inside of your left foot to push yourself to your right foot, as if you're mimicking the action of a skater. The combination of a mighty push with a controlled and balanced landing is the perfect pitcher drill to establish endurance and coordination! 


Why it works: The same 2011 study shows a high correlation between doing lateral to medial jumps and a high throwing velocity. This move indicates that an increased amount of body mass in the form of muscle accompanied more power. This move works instead of running because it equates to a certain amount of energy within a movement in a specific direction.


  1. 1-lb weighted jump rope

How to do it: This exercise can be done with a traditional jump rope as well!


What it does: The rotator cuff is composed of 4 muscles near your shoulder blade that provides stability to the shoulder and rotation for the arm. A pitcher has to throw. Nevertheless, targeting the router cuffs during workouts is essential for a more robust, faster pitch and fewer injuries. Studies show that doing three 1-minute sets of her day for 12 weeks can increase rotator cuff external rotation strength by 55%.


  1. Overhead Kettlebell

How to do it: Each player has specific goals and unique needs. Consider using a personalized training program specifically designed for you to determine how heavy your weights should be.  

Why it works: This exercise is perfect for a pitcher. Using this Overhead Kettle will do both your arms and back and work on your shoulder mobility. 


  1. Oblique Crunches 

How to do it

  1. Lie down on your right side, with your knees bent and stacked on top of each other. 
  2. Then slightly lift your torso, so your shoulders are off the ground, with your right arm behind your head. 
  3. Slowly begin crunching up, stretching your elbow towards your center. 


Why it works: Your obliques are the muscles on the outer sides of your abdomen. Doing these crunches will strengthen your core, essentially stabilizing your movements and protecting your spine from injury. 


  1. Hanging Leg Raises 

How to do it: For this exercise, you will likely need to be in the gym, as you will need a sturdy metal bar to hold your body weight. To begin, grab the bar above your head and slowly raise both of your legs off the ground until they are parallel to the floor, creating an L shape with your body. Slowly lower your legs to the ground for 10 reps. 


Why it works: When strengthening your core, the most complex area to target is your lower abdomen region, and it is often overlooked. The lower core has a great deal to do with the energy transfer discussed earlier. Without sufficient energy, a pitcher is more prone to injury, especially in your lower pack. 


  1. Pitching Drills 

How to Do it: Weighted balls


Pitching drills show the best results if consistent. If you are a pitcher serious about improving your velocity, it may be beneficial to stick with a program. 


Why it works: Strength exercise alone is not enough to improve your pitch's overall power and velocity. Pitching drills that require speed and agility are just as crucial for producing a killer throw. This exercise targets your 



Every college pitcher aspiring for the minor or major league should be doing these exercises. Each one is chosen specifically to target strength, balance, stability, mobility, and power. Each of these elements is crucial for pitchers who want to increase or maintain a pitch's powerful velocity. 

Have you already mastered all 10 exercises and looking for more of a challenge? Take a look at some of our training programs designed to push and target your specific needs.