Warm-Up Routine For Starting Pitchers

  • Updated on Dec. 17, 2016

2017 MLB Tryouts

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ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

Corey Kluber pitching gif
Corey Kluber

A pitcher’s warm-up routine depends a lot on the individual pitcher, how he feels and the day’s temperature, but there are some basics that can and should be done.

Most pitchers like to have about 20 minutes to warm up before a game: 4 to 5 minutes to jog and stretch, 12-15 minutes to work and a 2 or 3 minute rest period before taking the mound.

Here are some other warm up tips that I found to be effective in my career:

Pre-game routine

  • Do a little jogging and a good stretching routine before you start throwing
  • When you start to throw, remove all jackets and wear only those items that you will pitch in.
  • Start from a distance of 40-45 feet away, but throw with your full natural motion from the mound. As you loosen up, move the catcher back to a regular pitching distance.
  • Loosen up throwing fast balls first; as you start to warm up, throw breaking balls easy, then off speed pitches.
  • Always throw over a plate and concentrate on the target and the spots. Throw each pitch with a purpose working of movement, break , control.
  • If possible, throw in the same direction as you will be pitching in the game.
  • Using about 75 to 80% effort, throw four to five fast balls, four to five breaking balls, four to five off-speed pitches concentrating on control.
  • Next, alternate fast ball - curve - change from the set position and wind up. Have a batter stand up to the plate as you pitch. Verbally call your pitch location.
  • Polish up a certain pitch for a few pitches.
  • End up with seven or eight 100% effort pitches.
  • Go to the bench and dry off, and rest for a couple of minutes before taking the mound. On a cold day, the pitcher may want to go directly from the bullpen to the mound.
  • Take the mound in an aggressive and positive manner. Let your opponents know you are in charge.

Between inning warm-up

  • Always wear a jacket, or cover the arm and shoulder between innings, even on hot days.
  • On the way to the mound, do some arm flexing and shoulder rotating exercises to loosen the shoulder and back muscles.
  • You have five warm up pitches. Use your full motion when throwing and concentrate on a target. Do not throw at full speed until your last pitch.
  • Throw the curve or slider at least 1 pitch.
  • Before you face the first batter, get yourself mentally and physically ready. Check your defense; make certain everyone is ready.

Get my pitching velocity program

Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

What do you think?

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Are there any additional tips for warming up that I missed?

Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.

Either way, leave a comment and let me know.




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