Working out to get the most out of your Baseball game
Posted: Tue 21 May 2013 at 4:46:52 PM by Jon
The sun is out, the leagues have started and many of us are out there swinging the baseball bat and running those bases. Whether you are part of an intramural league or compete at a higher level, chances are you are hoping to have the best season ever on the baseball field.
So what can you do to support your time out on the field? Well, baseball athletes of all levels need to consider the importance of overall body strength as well as developing explosive power. If you think about it, many of the main movement patterns in baseball require quick bursts of energy and power. For example, sprinting off home plate towards first base, swinging a bat, pitching a fast ball or running to catch a fly ball. So developing strength and explosive power is a priority.
Although strength building and explosive power is key, we can't forget that baseball naturally leads to imbalances in our body. Just think about your swing for example. You only ever swing the bat from one side. And how about those short bursts of running generally only done in one direction, from base to base? Or even pitching fast balls all day from one dominant side. All of these facts lead to strength imbalances from your right to left side, which need to be addressed in the gym for many reasons but mainly to prevent injury long term.
Along with suggesting you complete a dynamic warm up before and static stretching after, here are our top tips and some great exercises for improving your game:
1) Cable Torso Rotations: It's important to have a strong core when we talk about generating ultimate power from your swing. Obliques are called upon to stablize and control when swinging the bat, and they are specifically targeted in this exercise.
2) Adductor work (side lunges, sumo squats etc): If you think about a player's stance when batting, their legs tend to internally rotate, overpowering adductor muscles. In order to help protect the knee joint and prevent injury, you should work on this muscular imbalance.
3) Plyometric Push-ups and Jump Pull Ups: These will help you build the power capacity of muscles in the chest/arms/back for powerful hitting.
4) Hamstring work (Kettlebell swing, single leg dead lifts): Learning to generate power from your legs with the kettlebell and improving hamstring strength with dead lifting will help you run or steal bases faster. Swinging a kettlebell properly will teach you to fire your glutes. This will help to create a strong rotation in your hips for when you swing a bat.
5) Lunges/Squats: These primal movements help build quad strength which is good for transitioning weight from one leg to the other while pitching, batting or sprinting.
6) Upper back/Shoulder work (High pulls, external rotations): This type of conditioning work is essential to help prevent injury to the rotator cuff.
So head down to the gym to workout with your gym buddy to make your game is better than ever! If your wanting to find a gym buddy then join out platform now to connect with others around the world!