Baseball players from little league to the big leagues want to improve their performance when they play baseball. One of the ways to do this is through conditioning of the muscles, particularly for specific movements that are repeated many times in a baseball game or practice. Here are 5 great tips for baseball conditioning to get ready for the season.
Use plyometric exercises that mimic movements common to the position played. Plyometric exercises are repetitive, fast exercises such as hopping and jumping. In baseball, these exercises should be tailored to the specific position played. A short-stop will benefit from side to side exercises, such as leaping from left to right over a low obstacle. A pitcher will benefit from arm exercises. All players will benefit from plyometric exercises that emphasize quick starts and stops when they run.
A pitcher can use a medicine ball in a series of exercises that strengthen the shoulder area. All players will benefit from leaping foward and back to improve leg strength.An outfielder will benefit from sprints with short stops and sudden turns. There are many variations of plyometric exercises that can be tailored to fit the player’s skill level and fitness level.
Warm up before beginning drills and exercises. Warming up the muscles before a game or practice is essential to preventing injury, particularly where repetitive motions are used. Take 10 minutes before beginning a game or practice to move the arms and legs and slowly increase the pace. Begin with simple walking and arm swinging, then progress to running and swinging a bat. Players who don’t take the time to warm up are more likely to injure themselves and be unable to play.
Exercise all year long to stay in shape. Baseball may be a spring sport, but serious players need to stay in shape all year. Regular aerobic and weight training in the off season will allow players to quickly regain their ability when practice begins.
This is also an excellent time to focus on improving a specific skill, such as pitching, sliding or running. Players who focus on learning one skill at a time will see quick progress in that skill. They will also find an overall improvement in playing.
Incorporate stretching as part of the program. It is important as part of overall muscle, ligament and joint health to include some stretching exercises. This is particularly true when weight training is a large part of the exercise program. Stretching and yoga exercises will help joints and ligaments keep their flexibility and strength. This flexibility will help protect against injury from repetitive movements.
Players can work with professional coaches to create a conditioning program that will benefit them and address the areas they need to work on. No single plan is right for everyone and all players should stop exercises if an injury occurs. Players who use these 5 tips for baseball conditioning will see an improvement in their health and overall playing ability next season.