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Speed, Agility, and Quickness (SAQ) Baseball Training Program

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To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call
1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

UPMC Rooney
Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

What is an SAQ training program?

Traditional speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) programs have been designed for sports that involve running, like soccer and football.

Because speed in baseball not only refers to running, but also the speed of the ball when thrown or hit, UPMC Sports Performance developed a baseball-specific SAQ program in 2007.

Players that participated in this first program showed significant increased gains in:

  • Throwing velocity
  • Rotator cuff strength
  • Fatigue reduction

Based on the positive results, detailed below, baseball-specific SAQ training has been replicated and expanded for both teams and individuals.

SAQ Program Background and Results

Our first speed, agility, and quickness baseball training program, developed in Fall 2007, included:

  • Running and agility development
  • Shoulder, forearm, and core strengthening
  • Baseball-specific movements and products designed to target key muscle groups and motor programs

Program Design

  • Number of participants in each group = 30 players
  • Amount of time with each group = 1 hour, 3 times per week over 9 weeks
  • Space = indoor facility (103 feet by 102 feet)
  • Equipment = DuraBand® Baseball Training system, cones, and baseballs

Baseball players were taught the exercises and trained over the 9 weeks.

Players that met two times a week for formal training received one day of the home exercise homework. Players that met once a week were given two days of home exercise homework.

To assist with their homework and training sessions, players received workout booklets that they completed on a weekly basis.


At the end of the nine weeks of the speed, agility, and quickness training program, 113 players completed both the pre-testing and the post-testing. They saw the following results:

What Was Tested Increase in Performance

Throwing velocity

  • Ranged from 2 mph to 14 mph
  • Average increase of 4.82 mph

Rotator cuff strength

  • Average increase of 13.15 pounds of force at internal rotation at 90 degrees (acceleration position for throwing)
  • Increases in all other rotator cuff strength testing

Bat speed

  • Pre-testing results were not averaged, due to equipment damage
  • Self-reported results: 106 of 108 players reported increased bat speed and power

Core strength

  • Average increases in holds:
    • 42.4 seconds for prone planks
    • 14.88 seconds for right side planks
    • 18.02 seconds for left side planks

Running speed

  • Slight performance increases in 90 foot run

Hamstring flexibility

  • Slight performance increases

Basrball Player Surveys

A questionnaire was given to each baseball player as to how they felt after participating in the speed, agility, and quickness training program. Players reported that:

  • Their arms felt stronger
  • They were throwing better and hitting harder
  • They recovered faster after throwing, with little or no delayed onset muscle soreness

Learn about our other UPMC Sports Performance programs.​

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