I am a huge proponent of high arc long toss to both build and to retain arm strength. The details of high arc long toss are discussed in the Drills page of the website. The easiest way to see the difference in an “arm thrower” and a “whipper” is to watch them play long toss together. The pitcher that whips the baseball will usually outdistance the other by quite a bit. A guy that whips the ball spreads out the energy of a long toss through his whole body versus relying on the strength of his arm to do the lion’s share of the work. In my opinion the single best exercise for all ages is high arc long toss. It promotes the closed, tilted leverage position that is necessary to achieve maximum velocity.
My goal in college was to long toss over the other ACC mascot signs on the outfield wall. It took a while but I was finally able to throw it out over the center field fence from behind home plate. Once I got into professional baseball my dad and I would long toss on football fields so we had immediate feedback on my arm and body strength as I prepared for spring training. I knew I was ready for spring training when I could throw the baseball through both field goals. Jose Mesa and Eric Plunk would throw with me during the season with the Indians. All three of us liked to throw long toss after our longer outings. It felt good to stretch out those tight muscles and to create good leverage habits.
Long toss on a measured field is a tool we like to use with all the pitchers with whom we work. In inclement weather you can simulate long toss into a net and achieve somewhat similar results. Long toss gives the proper feedback for a pitcher as he can see gains achieved by getting their lower core involved and whipping the baseball. Long toss also has a direct relation to velocity. The standard school of thought is 100 yards is equivalent to about 90 miles per hour. Most coaches we are familiar with teach pitchers to long toss on a line with no arc. We believe this approach is detrimental and results in elimination of the upward tilt that is required to keep the weight back as the pitcher strides down the mound.