Baseball Throwing Velocity: A Comparison of Medicine Ball Training and Weight Training

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study examined the effect of upper body plyometric training, using medicine balls, and upper body conventional weight training on baseball throwing velocity and strength levels as assessed by a 6-RM bench press. Twenty-four junior development baseball players took part in an 8-week training study in conjunction with their baseball training. They were randomly allocated to one of three groups: a medicine ball training group, a weight training group, and a control group. The first group performed explosive upper body medicine ball throws, the weight training group performed conven- tional upper body weight training, and the control group only performed their normal baseball training. Pre- and post-training measurements of throwing velocity and 6-RM bench press were recorded. The weight training group produced the greatest increase in throwing velocity and 6-RM strength. The medicine ball group showed no significant increase in throwing velocity but did show a significant increase in strength. For this group of non-strength-trained baseball players, it was more effective to implement a weight training program rather than medicine ball training to increase throwing velocity.

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