Baseball is a game that requires a great number of physical skills. A player must have hand-eye coordination, leg and arm strength, speed, flexibility, and the stamina to stay strong and productive throughout spring training, a 162-game season, and, hopefully, the championship playoffs that follow. Here are five baseball training exercises that the pros use to achieve and maintain their top physical condition throughout the season.
Since there is a tendency to bulk up to increase strength, working on flexibility is critical to avoid injury during the baseball season. A daily routine of stretching your body's muscles is very important. Stretch your muscles by leaning forward and sliding your hands down your legs as low as they can go. Another method is to lean into a wall with your feet firmly planted behind you to stretch the lower leg muscles and Achilles tendons are necessary. Just keep repeating these exercises and going a little further with them each time. These can be tedious and painful, but the results are well worth the effort.
Another stretch is to twist your torso left and right, increasing the number of reps and the speed each time. Reach your hands up in the air and bring your arms behind you to stretch out your arm muscles. The more pliable you become, the less likely you will be injured when playing the game.
Speed and quickness are involved in every aspect of the game. Thus it is important to work on your explosiveness, which is the quickness and strength of your first move. Work on standing hurdle jumps by jumping up on or over a platform about two feet high. This will develop better reaction times, strength, and stability.
Lay out five dots on the floor like they appear on dice. Place your toes on the first two and then jump quickly to having them both on the middle and then jump forward to the next two. Repeat the process backwards and keep going as fast as you can for as long as you can. Add five-pound barbells and, holding your hands out to the sides, press upward with your shoulders on each jump to increase shoulder strength. This will improve balance, explosiveness, and shoulder strength and flexibility.
Lifting weights will increase upper body and leg strength, very important for both pitching and hitting. Start with weights with which you are comfortable. Never exceed your limits and risk injury. Whenever possible use a universal machine or leg press machines for safety reasons. And, when using heavier weights, always have someone there to spot you. Multiple reps with lighter weights are generally better for conditioning for baseball.
Running is vital to increase speed and stamina and to burn calories to help you maintain your best playing weight. Run at a jogging pace to keep increasing the time and distance that you run to build stamina. But combine that with wind sprints to increase speed and to dramatically improve stamina. Lead off a base facing toward home plate and practice the first few steps as if you are stealing the next base. Work on an explosive first step.
Follow these routines and you will be in great baseball condition, whether for a full season or for that Sunday morning softball game with the guys.