Friday, February 13, 2015

Pitchers Conditioning and Training

Just like throwing programs there are many different ways to condition and train a pitcher before and after their day on the mound. But what is the most effective way?

Many people believe a pitchers conditioning should consist of poles (running from foul pole to foul pole) or distance runs. There reasoning behind this is get rid of the lacticacid build up in the shoulders, as the lactic acid was thought to impair performance. In fact though research has proven that lactic acid actually provides another fuel source for working muscles. Lactic acid may still be behind the burning sensation during intense exercise but new research has confirmed that delayed onset muscle soreness is from the microscopic tears and trauma to the muscles and inflammation.1
The other school of thought on conditioning for pitchers is to train like you perform. When a pitcher is on the mound they are exerting energy in very short powerful bursts lasting a couple of seconds at most. Therefore shouldn’t the pitcher be trained in the same manner? When you look at athletes from track, you have sprinters and distance runners. When comparing body types distance runners are more likely to be thin and lanky, where as sprinters are bound to have more muscular and powerful legs. A sprinter’s objective is to be powerful and explosive for short bursts compared to long durations over time. With this reasoning, shouldn’t pitchers take on the same type of training that simulates short powerful bursts?
Eric Cressey is a one of the top trainers for baseball players both young and professionally. He is also the founder of Cressey Performance, a high performance training center that many of his clients train at.He recently has put in his own thoughts in what is the best way to train in two articles, A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 1 which outlines the reasons on why pitchers should stay away from long distance training, and A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 2 which covers what he suggests pitchers should do instead of distance training. This article also  has an outline of workouts that he suggests that pitchers use.

1. Quinn, E. (n.d.). Lactic Acid and Performance. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from is lacticacid&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=msn&utm_campaign=adid-ffd77a0b-d6f9-41d3-95d3-6d8f96b6c298-0-ab_msb_ocode-4568&ad=semD&an=msn_s&am=broad&q=what is lactic acid&dqi=&o=4568&l=sem&qsrc=999&askid=ffd77a0b-d6f9-41d3-95d3-6d8f96b6c298-0-ab_msb

2. Cressey, E. (2008, January 31). A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 1.

3.Cressey, E. (2009, January 1). A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 2.
Retrieved February 8, 2015, from


  1. I agree with you 100% about the statement that the pitchers should train in the same manner that they perform on the field. In my opinion this statement carries over into every sport. In football for offensive linemen I feel the majority of their training should be power movements in bursts of 10-15 yards, with long distance training thrown in every now and then

  2. This is very interesting to me because I have always wondered what the thought was behind baseball pitchers running after pitching. I agree that the pitchers should train like they are going to perform. They do use much more short bursts off the mound but then again they also need the endurance, so to me they should work on aerobic and anaerobic exercises to perform at best.