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.
But because it takes so long to get to publication, I wanted to write a summary of our findings. I recently published this on EliteBaseballPerformance.com, 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: