The Long Toss Debate


This topic is an often discussed in baseball circles around the country. Should my son long toss? If so, how far should he go? Should he throw the ball on a line or high arc? How many times a week should he long toss during the season? During the off season? It’s a loaded topic for sure, so let’s get into why and how we go about our long toss protocol at CK Performance…

To start, there are two accepted ways to long toss. One method is to throw the ball on a line, no more than 120 feet. The other method, the one we use, is to throw the ball as high and as far as you can as you work out to maximum distance (stretching phase). Once you’ve reached your maximum distance, come in 20 feet and put the ball on a line (pull down phase). This method (along with his shoulder program) was popularized by Alan Jaeger and is a great way to build up arm strength while maintaining a healthy arm. Being that there are two sides to every coin, there has been limited research to support or negate the long term effects of long toss.

With each player, long toss days will be different every time they go out to throw. Players need to listen to their bodies and go as far as their body will allow them on a given day. One day you may be throwing the baseball 300 feet and the next may be 250. Whatever your body tells you to do, do it! Don’t try to be Superman everyday if your body isn’t feeling up to it. As mentioned earlier, Jaeger includes a shoulder program and sells his J-Bands for implementation of the program. At CKP, we use the bands a little bit, but spend a lot of time focusing on scapular work as well. Please keep in mind that without a solid strength base and mobility routine, you can exacerbate weakness and range of motion deficits in a pitchers body which can lead to arm injury. Bottom line, make sure you’re dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s before you start chucking the ball 300 feet. To get a better idea of the long toss program we use, check out the video below. Happy Hump Day!

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One comment on “The Long Toss Debate

  1. This exact long tossing program is great to be included with a total body approach to strength and conditioning for baseball players. However….if you are coming back from a shoulder or elbow injury, be careful, listen to your body AND the research! JOSPT sums this point on long tossing in a one page document here: http://maximumsportperformance.com/blog/2011/06/08/mechanics-throwing-baseball-implications-for-long-tossing/

    Throw faster my friends!

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