Outfielders must have some of the strongest arms on the team to get the ball back to the infield as quickly as possible. If you don't have the arm to get a throw to every base on a line, you will find it increasingly difficult to find playing time. Taking the time to improve your arm strength will have huge benefits to your baseball career. Even professional outfielders, like Ichiro Suzuki, take the time to strengthen their arms using a long toss workout.
Stretch out your throwing arm before every workout. Reach across your body with your non-throwing arm and pull your throwing arm across your body until you feel a stretch in your throwing shoulder through the shoulder. Hold the stretch for eight counts. Stretching the throwing arm will help activate the muscles and improve strength, according to a study in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research."
Long toss with a partner every day. Start 60 feet from each other and throw to each other, keeping the ball on a straight path. The throw shouldn't get higher than eight feet off the ground. Once you are consistently throwing to your partner's chest, back up to 80 feet. Once consistently hitting your target at this distance, move back to 100 feet, then 120 feet and continuing to move back until you reach 200 feet. In all, make around 75 throws. Focus on accuracy, keeping your throw on as straight a line as possible.
Ice your arm after your workout. Do not put the ice on your elbow joint directly. Focus on the biceps, triceps and rotator cuff, leaving the ice on for 20 minutes. This will help prevent swelling and soreness and make it easier to get back out there the next day and throw again with less chance of injury.
- Ichiro's Art of Playing Baseball; Jim Rosenthal and Ichiro Suzuki
- The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: A 10-Week Stretching Program Increases Strength in the Contralateral Muscle
Tyler Brett has been a lifelong athlete and written extensively on sports for the last two years. He is an avid appreciator of all sports and has used his communications degree to become published in a number of arenas, including the Rant Sports Media Network and Gameday Magazine.