Editor’s Note: This weeks’ blog was written by Jason Reese, fitness/athletic trainer and a wellness industry expert founder and CEO of House of Fitness LLC.
What are the top three strength exercises that hitters need to execute this winter November-January to develop strength that will allow them to become an effective hitter?
When forming an off season strength program for a hitter, you must first build a solid foundation of strength and flexibility. To enhance your power potential, you must be flexible, especially through your hips, gluteal, hamstring and core.
Often tight hip flexors inhibit power potential by not allowing your hips to open up explosively during follow through.
Below are three key exercises and the active multiple muscle groups that are important to helping you develop strength, flexibility and bat speed in the off-season:
Strength & Flexibility
Muscle group activated: Hips, glutes, hamstrings, abs
Sets/Reps: 4 sets – 8-10 repetition (In the off-season, you want to do max repetition: That’s continuously performing the exercise with a weight you can only do 8 to 10 times) 2 times week
Method: You want to center yourself on the bar, stand with your feet and shoulders width apart, drop into the squat with your head/chest pointed up and out, go down until your tights are parallel (this maximize the effect of the exercises by activating your hips, glutes, hamstring and core all in one exercise). Once parallel you want to explode through your heels back to the standing position.
Core Strength and Speed
Muscle Group Activated: Oblique & shoulders
Sets/Reps: 4 sets – 15 to 20 repetitions – 3 times a week
Landmines target you obliques, which are crucial to good rotational power, and building proper bat speed and strength. The great thing about the landmine exercise for baseball players is that the motion is not fixed, which makes it easier on you shoulders.
Method: Place an Olympic bar into a landmine or against the corner of a wall to prevent the end from sliding around. Hold the bar at shoulder height with both hands and your arms extended. Assume an athletic stance with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Rotate your midsection and hips as you move the weight all the way down to the outside of your hip. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise. Aggressively rotate the weight to the other side of your body. Repeat for a total of five reps to each side. Start with three sets. If you’re having trouble keeping your arms straight throughout the exercise, lighten the weight to maintain proper form.
Medicine Ball Rotational Throws
Core Flexibility & Hips
Muscle Groups Activated: Core and Hips
Sets/Reps: 4 sets – 12-15 repetition per side
The purpose of this exercise is to generate as much force as possible while going through the full motion of a baseball swing using a medicine ball. This quick and powerful motion will help you develop bat speed and more rotational force during your swing.
Method: Stand next to a wall holding a medicine ball in both hands in an athletic stance. Similar to a baseball swing, wind up by rotating the ball away from the wall. Explosively pivot your hips, midsection and shoulders to forcefully throw the ball against the wall. Pick up the ball and repeat.
Jason Reese is fitness/athletic trainer and a wellness industry expert with substantial experience in personal training, health and wellness mentoring and fitness assessment. Jason is currently the founder and CEO of House of Fitness LLC. Where he provides clients with strength and flexibility training and weighs management programs. His training philosophy is centered on motivating, empowering and challenging clients to reach their highest potential in overall wellness. As a former college athlete, Jason has always been passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and enjoys helping others reach their health and fitness goals. For more information, you can reach him at 706-302-0806 or firstname.lastname@example.org – Follow on Instagram: @Houseoffitnessllc