Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Tips to strengthen arms for hitting and throwing?

Jun 1, 2008
I'm 19 and I'm not a strong player. By strong I mean physically powerful. I have international coaches as parents, so I've been brought up with good mechanics, with a few flaws here and there like any other. I play mostly outfield, and though I have a decent speed and can catch balls well, I lack the power to have a good throw. Sometimes I even find it hard to hit the cut off when I'm playing deep.

I also have a good contact percentage in my batting stats. However, my overall batting average isn't the greatest because I rarely hit the ball past the infield. I can and I have, but I usually end up grounding out or popping up to the infield.

I'm a busy full-time student, umpire, ball player, and I don't have a lot of time to go a gym and spend money. What are some good exercises to enhance my strength and power for batting and throwing that I can do from the comforts of my own home (e.g. pushups, specific exercises to do with dumbells or freeweights, etc.)? I do have some equipment, an eliptical trainer, a weighted ball (though it's hard to find someone in my house to play catch with), those elastic bands, and dumbells.

Any suggestions (routines, exercises, anything) would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. I throw right and bat left.
Dec 3, 2008
Bat Exercises:

1. Hold your bat horizontal out in front of you for 60 seconds each arm.

2. Hold your bat vertical out in front of you and then, as if it is a windshield wiper, slowly turn your arm to make the bat go horizontal and then back up to vertical. 5 times on each hand.

3. Hold your bat vertical with two hands and quickly snap your wrists back side to side to make the bat go from one horizontal side to the other.

4. Swing the bat down to contact and stop. Then, using only your wrists, pop the bat head from your contact position up to your shoulder and back, as fast as your can, for 15 seconds.

Push ups.

Core stabilizers.

If you have someone to play catch with, throw LONG. Don't throw on a line... make them big, loopy throws. This will strengthen your arm.
Jul 29, 2008
I would love to hear from a MD/biomechanical expert on this issue too.

My daughter has an incredibly strong arm for her age, always has, and passed my throwing abilities in my prime by the time she was 12. However, she has very little upper body strength and is often embarrassed at school by the less athletic kids that can out-climb and out-lift her. Heck, her old mom can easily win a game of mercy, arm wrestling, or some old-fashioned throw downs. :p

So, are some people just born with "it"? Can you greatly increase throwing velocity with a weight routine and mechanics?

I do agree with Softball 2's comment on long toss. I have witnessed many kids get stronger throws implementing it. You can look up "Jaeger long toss" on youtube or start here.

Any doctors in the house?


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Texas - not sure why but yes, it does happen. It only means that if she was stronger, she would be even more dominant.

To increase throwing power / arm strength

1) Functional training and weight lifting / explosive exercises
2) Optimizing Throwing mechanics
3) Softball-specific conditioning - overload and underloading throwing techniques

Recent research findings:

Arm strength
Apr 20, 2009
1)You can check your throwing mechanics, using leg power will help especially on the outfield. Good crow hop mechanics will help alot with your momentum.
2) As for workout routines:
a. Use your elliptical trainer for off-season to improve on endurance
- Start of with regular 30-45mins
- Then move on to interval training
b. Strengthening your rotator cuffs will be good. you can do this using
your elastic bands
c. I believe in leg strength for throwing and batting. You can do
regular and open squats and lunges using your dumbells. make sure
to have correct squat movement.
d. Once you've increase strength on your shoulders and back with
regular exercises like rows and shoulder presses using your
dumbells. You can use your medicine ball. Against a wall, throw
overhead using both hands and you can also do side throws,
rotating your trunk like your batting.(make sure to do this both
sides to have symmetry)
e. Last and the best exercise you can do are core exercises. check
other threads for the best core exercises.
* make sure to have proper warm-up before doing your exercises.

Good luck! just continue working out, im sure you'll have improvements.
May 12, 2008
I agree about the mechanics. Not being able to throw well enough to hit the cut off and not being able to drive the ball in the gap are not strength issues IME. I've seen skinny armed little girls with cannons for their age and I've seen girls who are lucky if they hit three digits on the scale with their gear on hit the ball 200. Does strength matter? Oh yeah! Absolutely. But this described deficit in throwing and hitting power isn't a strength issue IME. I'll give steep odds the low hanging fruit in this instance is mechanics/skills.


Aug 21, 2008
Boston, MA
How old are you?
What kind of bat are you using and age? (Bat might be dead)

Coaches as parents may be deceptive-inferring raised with a bat in your hand when in fact they may have started you faster, skipping steps that you needed to learn. I'm a basic fundamentals kind of guy and tend to go there to solve problems. Every individual is different, so find a training program that works for you and that you can stay with.

Muscles are good but IMHO Mechanics are better. I have some old Ted Williams Video where he's recommending push-ups and pull ups - what a load of crap! focus your effort where you need improvement.

1 - Play catch from not too far (+/- 35'-0") with a weighted ball. If you have an old 11" ball (regular or softies ) you can tape it up with hockey tape gradually until it's about the size of a 12" ball. This way you gradually add weight without any sudden impact to your muscles or joints.

2 - Play long toss with a regulation ball.

3 - Play catch with a football-for most girls 5'-6" and smaller a Junior-size football is the right size where you can get a good enough grip on it.

4- hitting- one handed swings off a tee or if you don't have a set up, just visualizing the ball and taking swings daily is good. If you can do this in front of a mirror-even better! When she was 12, DD broke her elbow and tore ligaments. this happened in the middle of the winter/indoor season. all she could do is swing a bat with one hand so she did that for months. when she was able to return for the spring season, she had her best-ever season hitting.

Good luck!
Nov 5, 2009
St. Louis MO
This may sound silly, but my daughter is a former competitive gymnast and is quite small compared to others her age. She is stronger pound for pound than many of her teammates. We've found that doing a proper hand stand and holding it is a good strength builder for many muscles. Holding it requires strong core muscles (including the thighs) and really strengthens the back and shoulder muscles. For younger girls, using their own body weight is a relatively safe way to strengthen their muscles. It's not for everyone, but handstands can be fun. I've even done a few myself!
May 8, 2008
Along with strength training can anyone suggest could stretching/warmup routine for catchers? My daughter every year has issues at the beginnning of the season with soreness at the shoulder and elbow.