How to Build Up an Outfielder's Arm Strength

Outfielders with strong arms result in more outs.

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When you hear the crowd gasp at a baseball game, chances are an outfielder has made a big throw and nailed a runner before his big toe hit home plate. In addition to a standard strength-training regimen for upper body and arm strength, outfielders can perform daily throwing drills, such as one-knee throwing and long tosses, to build their arms, perfect throwing form and improve accuracy. Strengthening their rotator cuffs with dumbbells or elastic bands can help to prevent common injuries to the shoulders because of overuse.

Throw on One Knee


Position yourself about 20 to 30 feet away from a partner. Kneel on your knee of your throwing hand and place your lead leg forward. Have your partner face you and assume the same position.


Throw the ball to your partner, driving your arm forward in a fluid way and releasing the ball in front of your lead leg. Have your partner throw the ball back to you.


Increase the distance between you and your partner as you start to throw with greater intensity. Perform 15 to 30 throws.

Long Toss with a Partner


Play catch with a partner in which you begin by standing 50 to 60 feet away from your partner. Warm up with a few throws until your arm is loose.


Perform five to 10 throws and then you and partner step back 15 to 20 feet. Continue this pattern until you and your partner are anywhere from 250 to 300 feet apart. Perform 10 to 20 throws at maximum distance, keeping the arc of your throws at 45 degrees or less.


Position yourself closer to your partner at a distance of 150 feet. Perform five to 10 direct throws at maximum velocity. Aim to throw harder, faster and with more accuracy as the distance narrows. Repeat the drill at 120 feet, 110 feet and 60 feet.

Adduction for the Cuffs


Use a dumbbell that is 3 pounds or less to perform a horizontal adduction exercise, strengthening your rotator cuffs.


Lie supine and lengthwise on a flat bench. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand, using a neutral grip and keeping your thumb up. Fully extend your arm to your right side.


Exhale and slowly raise your arm in a semi-circular movement until it's positioned over your chest and is perpendicular to the ground. Inhale and return to starting position. Perform 10 to 15 reps for three sets. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

External and Internal Rotation


Lie on your left side lengthwise on a bench to perform an external rotation exercise for the teres minor and infraspinatus muscles located in the front region of your rotator cuffs.


Hold a 3-pound dumbbell with a neutral grip in your right hand. Extend your forearm in front of you and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and tucked in to your side.


Exhale and slowly lift the weight up by rotating your right forearm to the ceiling. Inhale and return to starting position. Perform 10 to 15 reps for three sets. Repeat the exercise on the other side.


Do the same movement in the same position, only switch arms. Work your inside arm to complete an internal rotation for the subscapularis muscle -- the largest rotator cuff muscle on the front of your shoulder. Perform the same number of reps and sets that you did for external rotation.

Things Needed

  • 3-pound dumbbell
  • Baseball or softball


  • Performing different types of throws -- chest pass, overhead or underhanded passes -- to a partner with a medicine ball will strengthen your rotator cuffs and arms.


  • Perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio to warm up for resistance exercises and throwing drills to prevent injury.