Weighted balls for baseball provide one smart way for players to improve their skills because these specially made training baseballs can improve the performance of pitchers as well as hitters.
Batters can swing stronger and better using weighted baseballs for hitting. Training baseballs for pitching can help pitchers boost their speeds and fine-tune their hurling.
Basics of Weighted Baseballs
Many people are familiar with the benefits of lifting weights. Among other things, weightlifting boosts muscle mass and metabolism.
Far fewer know about the benefits of practicing with weighted balls. Bownet Sports is happy to give you the facts with our guide to training with weighted baseballs.
Weight in Baseball and Softball
The idea of using weights for baseball training is not new. Players have used weighted baseball bats for years to increase their bat speeds and hitting prowess.
You have probably noticed MLB sluggers on deck taking practice swings with weighted rings on their bats and then removing them before they stride to home plate. Amateur baseball and softball players will also use weighted bats to hit balls farther.
Pitchers and hitters use weighted baseballs for training. Training programs often involve working with a variety of weights, including standard baseballs as well as overweight and underweight balls.
Choosing Training Baseballs
So, for your practice routine, how heavy should a weighted baseball be? For comparison, a standard baseball weighs about five ounces. Overweight balls typically weigh six or seven ounces. Many players also like to practice with underweight balls that weigh three or four ounces.
Some folks may wonder: Do weighted baseballs damage bats? Not if you purchase a weighted ball or weighted baseball set from a reputable firm. The extra couple of ounces should not damage a bat unless it's already cracking.
Some players and coaches love working with weighted balls, while others shun them. Although there are many potential positives to working with heavier and lighter baseballs, players who don't train properly may injure themselves. As common sense would dictate, this includes starting slowly, building strength and working with a coach or sports expert who knows the ins and outs of training with weighted balls. Weighted-ball workouts can help pitchers and hitters, but it’s important to note that not every player will benefit from the practice.
In addition, don’t expect immediate results. It usually takes at least six weeks to see improvement. Here are a few details for using weighted balls for pitchers and batters:
Weighted Baseballs for Pitching
Studies of pitchers training with weighted baseballs have been promising. One study noted that pitching velocity increased significantly after training with overweight or underweight balls.
Anyone thinking about training with weighted balls should seek the advice of a seasoned coach or professional trainer. Training courses are also available in many parts of the country.
An expert will help assess the pitcher’s shoulders to ensure the pitcher can work out with weighted baseballs. They should also assess throwing mechanics. Those who lack the skills or physique are at greater risk of injury.
Training typically involves throwing underweight, standard and overweight balls in a set routine. As with any type of exercise, it’s smart to start slowly and not overdo it.
Pitchers should thoroughly warm up before working with weighted balls. Those who can benefit from this type of training can expect to enjoy increased arm strength and pitching velocity.
Weighted Baseballs for Batting
Batters can also benefit from practicing with weighted balls. These can be especially helpful for hitters having trouble finishing their swings correctly.
To start, how do you hit weighted baseballs? The correct method is the same way you would hit standard balls. With weighted balls, the extra weight will encourage batters to extend and drive through the ball.
Because it takes more power to give a weighted ball a ride, using weighted balls encourages batters to extend their swings and follow through completely. This can pay off in better batting and greater power.
Like pitchers, batters who choose to use weighted balls should work with good coaches or other knowledgeable experts. Practice will often involve combining hitting a standard ball for several swings and then a weighted ball.