Training for Major League Baseball Players

TAGS: pulldown, MLB, baseball, pull-up

Mike Robertson,

I've noticed some elite baseball strength coaches prefer the lat pull-down instead of the pull/chin-up for their pitchers. I researched this topic and they felt like it was less stress on the elbow and shoulder complex.

How do you feel about Major league pitchers who make millions using the lat pull instead of the pull-up?


Will -

I'm glad you made this specific - as my good friend Eric Cressey would say, the approach is a lot different when you're talking about a minor league guy vs. a major league guy.

For a minor league guy that wants to break into the league, you're willing to push the envelope a bit more. This could mean more volume, more intensity, more compound lifts, etc.

With a major league guy (and honestly I'm not the best guy to ask as my experience is minimal) you're much more likely to err on the side of caution. You're working with a shoulder/elbow worth millions of dollars - why risk any sort of injury in the weight room?

I can see the argument from both sides, but with a pro guy that's making a cool million or two (or 10) a year, I can definitely respect the argument for the lat pulldown.

Keep in mind, though, you're still getting traction through the shoulder/elbow whether you're doing pulldowns, pull-ups, whatever. What you lose in a pulldown is the total-body stability aspect of the lift. You lose some body awareness.

I could also argue that by using a band I make the forces/stresses on the shoulder/elbow/wrist about the same, but I add a total-body stability element when I use a pull-up/chin-up versus a pulldown.

At the end of the day, I don't think there's a black and white, cut and dry answer. You take everything on a case-by-case basis and go from there.

After all, if I were so smart I'd be working with all the pro guys, right?

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