Using weighed baseballs to enhance velocity is found often in baseball training programs. The worth of weighted ball programs are often debated from an effectiveness and safety viewpoint.
Following is an excerpt from a study abstract found in Sports Med. (2000 Apr;29(4):259-72.) authored by Escamilla RF, Speer KP, Fleisig GS, Barrentine SW, Andrews JR. entitled: Effects Of Throwing Overweight And Underweight Baseballs On Throwing Velocity And Accuracy
“Seven overweight and 4 underweight training studies (6 to 12 weeks in duration) were conducted to determine how throwing velocity of regulation baseballs was affected due to training with these overweight and underweight baseballs. The overweight baseballs ranged in weight from 5.25 to 17 oz, while the underweight baseballs were between 4 and 4.75 oz. Data from these training studies strongly support the practice of training with overweight and underweight baseballs to increase throwing velocity of regulation baseballs. Since no injuries were reported throughout the training studies, throwing overweight and underweight baseballs may not be more stressful to the throwing arm compared to throwing regulation baseballs. However, since currently there are no injury data related to throwing overweight and underweight baseballs, this should be the focus of subsequent studies. In addition, research should be initiated to determine whether throwing kinematics and kinetics are different between throwing regulation baseballs and throwing overweight and underweight baseballs.”
The full abstract of this study can be seen here
Eric Cressey, president and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance, when asked if he used weighted balls in his training programs gave the following answer:
“Yes, with some of our pitchers. The asterisk that follows this statement is that they’re only implemented with those who have built a decent foundation of strength and mastered the fundamental mechanics of throwing a regular (5oz) baseball. All of our weighted baseball drills generally take place in the 7-11oz range. I do, however, know some very bright minds in the field who will go heavier.
Cressey goes on to say “let me make two things abundantly clear:
- 1. You should never throw a weighted baseball off a mound (arm stress is higher when elevated) or with long-toss. We do all our weighted ball drills into a tarp/net from about 6-8 feet away.
- 2. You don’t play catch with weighted baseballs. Someone will get hurt if you try. Throw the ball, then walk to pick it up.”
The Weighted Baseballs have a synthetic leather cover and are color coded for easy identification. These balls are not intended to be thrown into hard surfaces or used for hitting drills - use our TAP™ Extreme Duty Weighted Balls for those purposes. Instructions for use not included.
All users should know there is risk associated with throwing any weighted ball. Randy Sullivan, MPT and CEO of The ARMory and The Florida Baseball Ranch stated this about using weighted balls:
“I think weighted balls are great for some people. A heavier ball forces a pitcher with a linear deceleration pattern to adopt a safer, more rotational movement. But if a guy has dirty arm action or an extensive list of physical constraints, the last thing he needs is to start hurling weighted balls around. Adding energy or strength to dysfunction is usually a bad idea.”
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