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

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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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