Unlike sports such as soccer, basketball or football, baseball does not require the demand of endurance. But baseball players still need to be in shape to maintain speed, strength and prevent injury.
With proper training during the offseason, maintaining should not be difficult. Below are exercises designed to help players from losing speed, strength, and maintaining stability.
Speed is obtained by achieving stride length, stride frequency, and power. Flexibility before performing the speed drills is highly important to help maintain full range of motion. During the season, players should continue exercises such as:
• High knee grabs and runs (to maintain stride length and activate the hip flexors)
• Butt-kicks (to maintain stride frequency and heel lift activating the hamstrings)
• Squats, lunges and hamstring resisted exercises (to maintain power).
Check out this video to see how to get started on your speed exercises.
Anaerobic conditioning (15-second to 30-second sprint intervals; 1:2/3 work rest ratio) should be incorporated while working on speed mechanics.
Core Strength often is neglected and plays a major role in pitching, hitting and speed. “Core” is not only the abdominal muscles, but includes the back (lower and upper), hips and groin. Therefore, a proper core routine must be designed to strengthen all these muscles. There are many core exercises; however, specific exercises that utilize rotation and stability are best for baseball players.
Medicine ball rotational throws
• Sit parallel to a wall (side of the body facing the wall)
• Feet should be off the floor
• Rotate ball from one side of the body, throw the ball to the wall and catch
• Make sure to engage your muscles as you rotate
• Repeat for 15-20 throws and repeat on the other side
• Forearms and feet on the floor lift the body and maintain hold for 1 minute
• To make it more difficult alternate dropping the hips to the floor side to side for 30 seconds to 1 minute
Balance and stability are key components to all aspects of a baseball player. For example, pitching is an explosive movement that is repeated throughout the game for an accurate delivery to a desired location; balance and stability are involved in every aspect of this action. Incorporating exercises, which cause the body to withstand factors of instability, will help improve skilled activities, such as pitching. Some exercises may include:
Single leg balance with a medicine ball
• Stand on the right leg, left leg off the floor, with ball over the head
• Drop hips and touch the ball to the floor
• Stand back up bringing the ball over the head
• Left foot should not touch the floor
• Repeat 10 times on the right and left
Single leg balance with a side lunge
• Stand on the right leg with left leg off the floor
• Drop hips into a side lunge to the left with both feet flat on the floor
• Push off the left foot and stand back onto the right
• Hold for two seconds and repeat 10 times
• Perform the drill on left leg (side lunge to the right)
Check out this video to see how to get started on your balance exercises.
Staying healthy is most important to achieving a successful season. Creating a structured program for In-season training for speed, strength, and balance will achieve that goal.
For more information please visit www.dsa-training.com.
Lilian Abdelmalek, who is recognized by many for her ability to teach and train with some of the best athletes in the world, has built a reputation for being one of the leading sports performance coaches in the nation. As founder and CEO of DSA Training (Dynamics of Speed and Agility Training), she has had more than seven years of experience training athlete’s in the NFL, NBA and MLB. Located in Marietta, Ga.. DSA has become home to hundreds of high school and college athletes striving to become professionals in their sports. DSA has had many successful years, successful clients and continues to grow.