Baseball strength coach Eric Cressey looks at a new study that shows strength training in males aged 14-17 can on average improve pitching velocity by 1-2%. What’s more impressing is that all 3 strength training programs improved velocity. Strength training for high school baseball and softball pitchers is probably the most overlooked aspect of training.
Athletes in sports like hockey, basketball, and even football spend very little time running straight. Rarely will an athlete sprint more than 5-10 feet without changing directions. Yet everyone wants to train linear speed while completely ignoring lateral speed. Champions are built laterally. Although we don’t completely agree with the article above (bands can be useful, especially when the emphasis is placed on deceleration), we love lateral sled pulls and single-leg work. In fact, our hockey athlete recently told us lateral sled pulls have really improve his lateral quickness on the ice.
We spend a lot of time talking about hip flexor tightness, and it’s subsequent inactivation of the glutes which results in loss of power during hip extension. This is especially important to jumping athletes likes basketball and volleyball players. However, rarely do we ever discuss hip flexor weakness, which is just as important. Physical therapist Mike Reinhold, who consults for the Red Sox, talks about the importance of minimizing anterior pelvic tilt in the above article. Bottom line is rarely do we find an athlete with strong enough glutes or a strong enough core.