Many players want to improve their pitching velocity. There are a lot of things you can do to work toward increased velocity. However, it’s important to understand where the most velocity comes from: torque. About 80% of pitching velocity comes from torque, while the other 20% comes from the stack and track movement. Using torque effectively makes it easier to throw harder and can seriously improve your velocity. Let’s talk about torque, velocity, and tips to help you improve.
Most of Pitching Velocity Comes from Torque
Since most of pitching velocity comes from torque forces, it’s essential for players to focus on how to create more torque. First, let’s discuss what torque is. In the physical sense, torque is a type of force that twists and is great for creating acceleration. For instance, picture spinning a top. You usually wind these toys up with a string and pull the string as fast as you can to get it to spin and stay up right. That’s a great example of torque.
When it comes to pitching, torque comes from the torso. When you pitch, you twist the torso, which allows you to use torque to put energy behind the ball. This is why you start with your feet pointing toward first or third base (depending on whether you’re a righty or a lefty) and end facing the home plate.
Tips for Torque and Torque Retention for Pitchers
There are many ways to use torque more effectively to increase pitching velocity and performance. First, it’s important to make sure that you have enough functional strength and flexibility. It’s also important to make sure that your timing is good. All these are necessary for being able to use torque forces to transfer energy to the ball at release. Pitching lessons can help you improve each of these key elements so that you can work on torque.
Generally, the ideal torque or trunk rotation for pitching is between 40° and 60° between the back shoulder and the hips. This might feel a little strange if you haven’t achieved ideal torque before. Typically, we recommend pushing your pack shoulder toward first or third (again, depending on whether you’re right or left handed). We may recommend pre-setting with the right amount of torque at first. This may help you get used to the feeling of the body in this position and encourage biomechanical patterning so you can replicate it every time you pitch.
Also, torque retention is a key part of increasing pitching velocity. It’s not enough to get the right amount of torque in your body, you also have to use it at the right time. Otherwise, some of the energy gets wasted on earlier movements. Instead, we recommend keeping hip shoulder separation until:
- Your front foot hits the ground
- You’re moving forward
- You’ve reached 80% of your stride length
This helps ensure that all that torque energy snaps directly into the ball for velocity.
Science-Backed Pitching Lessons from National Pitching – Tom House Sports
Our team at National Pitching is here to help pitchers of all ages improve their game. Our training program uses decades of coaching experience and state-of-the-art scientific research to provide you with a toolkit for improvement now and in the future. Whether you have a young player who needs help becoming more biomechanically efficient or you need high school pitching lessons to increase velocity and give you an edge for college scouts, our coaches are here to help you. Get started today with a program designed specifically with rotational athletes in mind – find a National Pitching coach or sign up for our online membership.