OBJECTIVES Several studies have reported that weighted baseball (WB) training is effective in improving ball speed; however, the weight of the ball suitable for training remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the changes in muscle activity during pitching using 5- to12-oz WBs and to provide basic data for training programs to improve pitching speed. METHODS The subjects of this study were 10 overhand pitchers who had more than 5 years of experience. Muscle activity was measured and analyzed at 70–85% of throwing baseball maximum effort (TBME) during soft toss (ST) and TBME was evaluated using electromyography. RESULTS As the ball weight increased, muscle activity also increased in all pitching phases. Muscle activity was higher during ST with WBs heavier than 10 or 11oz than during TBME, indicating that the loads on the shoulder and elbow joint muscles increased. Conversely, muscle activity during ST with 5- to 7-oz WBs was lower than that during TBME, although phase and muscle group differences were observed. CONCLUSIONS The results of this study suggest that training with 8- to 10-oz WBs could increase muscle strength and activity, although the effect may vary with fitness level and muscle strength.
Conflicts of Interest