The Science of Weighted Baseball Training Programs

The Science of Weighted Baseball Training Programs

Weighted baseball training programs to enhance pitching velocity are becoming more popular each year.  However, there are so many questions regarding the proper use of  weighted baseballs:

  • Are weighted baseball training programs effective at improving pitching velocity?
  • If so, why do weighted baseball velocity programs work?
  • Does everyone gain velocity with weighted ball programs?
  • Are weighted baseball programs safe for everyone to perform?
  • Do we know the long term implications of these programs?

We still do not know many of these answers.  There are a bunch of great facilities around the country that are pushing the limits with not only training with weighted baseballs, but also attempting to collecting data to help answer some of these questions.

We are getting better everyday, but there is still a great need for more information.  Like anything else, the pendulum is swinging towards the side of pushing the limits.  I’ve discussed this in a past article on baseball velocity programs and essentially noted that I felt we have not found out the most appropriate dose, and are simply are overdosing.  We need to fully understand the science of these programs before we let this swing too far.


The Science of Weighted Baseball Training Programs

We have just recently finished a 2-year study looking at the safety and effectiveness of weighted baseball training programs at Champion.  Lenny Macrina and I conducted the study in collaboration with ASMI, Dr. Glenn Fleisig, and Dr. James Andrews.

This is the first real research study looking at the way a 6-week weighted baseball training program effects pitching velocity, arm stress, range of motion, strength, and most importantly, injury rates.

The results are eye-opening for sure.

As many of you know, planning, conducting, and publishing a real research project takes time, often years from the beginning to the eventual publication.  It must go through a strict review to assure safe methodology and a lengthy peer-review process to assure there is no methodological flaws or bias that may be skewing the data.

It’s great that many people around the internet are discussing the data that they collect at their facilities.  This is a great first step in becoming better as a group of professionals.  but without careful scrutiny of their research design, methodology, statistical analysis, and results, it’s tough to call that data “research.”  There are so many variables that could skew the data, it’s hard to draw accurate conclusions.

Our project has been presented at numerous scientific meetings and is currently submitted for publication.  It’s actually been nominated for the Sports Physical Therapy Excellence in Research Award.

Are Weighted Baseball Velocity Programs Safe and Effective?But because it takes so long to get to publication, I wanted to write a summary of our findings.  I recently published this on, an amazing website I have started dedicated to providing trust worthy information to advance the game of baseball.

Click below to read my summary of our research project on EBP, and please be sure to share this with any baseball player, parent, coach, rehab, or fitness specialist that may work with baseball players:



4 replies
  1. Caden Dahl
    Caden Dahl says:

    My son is now a bit older to where he can start trying out for better baseball teams. I do want to try to get him on some kind of training program so that he can improve on his game. I would be interested as well to see if weighted trainings do help him improve faster, as you did mention here.

  2. Edward DeCelie
    Edward DeCelie says:

    A football is much heavier than a baseball yet very few quarterbacks are injured. Why would weighted balls cause shoulder injuries? Overload/underload training has shown to be beneficial to velocity. Any program meant to improve velocity requires significant amounts of throwing and should be done in conjunction with strength training both overall body and focused (rotator cuff).
    I question what conclusions can be drawn from your 6 week study.
    I need to read it in its entirety but you don’t need to be Dr Flieissig or Dr Andrews to raise valid questions about the study.

    I’ll post more when I’ve read it completely.

    If not weighted balls what is the best way to improve throwing velocity?


    Ed DeCelie

    • Mike Reinold
      Mike Reinold says:

      You are correct, footballs are heavier. But it’s really comparing apples to oranges. The putting the volume, intensity, and frequency together, it’s much different. You don’t have to like or dislike weighted balls, they aren’t good or bad. They are just stressful. What you do with that information is up to you. There are numerous documented ways to enhance velocity, everything from arm care programs, to strength training, to plyometrics, to mechanical changes, to simply getting taller and older. I personally would recommend you focus on maximizing all those before you start throwing weighted balls.

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