Looking for a good baseball workout plan? Whatever your goals are, you’ll want to make sure you include the following five types of exercises:
1. Core Strength Exercises
Baseball is a sport that relies heavily on rotational movements. Those rotational movements provide the core with a heavy workload. When you swing the bat or throw the ball, the core transfers the energy from your lower body to the upper body. Make sure your core is ready for the job by training the area for stability and strength. Remember, the core is not just your abs, it also includes the rest of the muscles around the mid-section, like your back, sides, and pelvic region.
Here’s a video of former MLB player Ryan Roberts doing his “core circuit.”
Looking for a product that will help you create a more intense core workout? Check out the PowerCore 360. It may be able to increase your bat speed and throwing velocity after just a 30 minute training session!
2. Medicine Ball Exercises
The understanding of hitting and pitching mechanics has come a long way in the last decade. These days you will hear lots of baseball people talking about the kinetic chain and how it powers both the swing and the throw.
One of the best tools to help you improve your use of the kinetic chain is a medicine ball. There are many exercises including med ball throws and slams that will not only improve your use of the kinetic chain, but will increase your rotational power as well. When done correctly, med ball exercises can make your swing and throw more efficient, and more powerful.
Here are just a few examples of how you can use med balls.
3. Resistance Band Exercises
No matter how efficient your mechanics are, throwing the baseball is an unnatural movement for the arm, and puts stress on both the elbow and the shoulder. The best way to increase durability, prevent injury, and speed up recovery of the throwing arm is by implementing resistance band exercises.
Jaeger Bands , or “J-Bands,” are the preferred brand of bands for high school, college and pro baseball players. Honestly, every baseball player should have their own set of J-Bands , because rotator cuff maintenance is essential for players from Little League all the way to the pros.
Here’s a demonstration from Alan Jaeger of Jaeger Sports. He’ll show you several stretches and strengthening exercises you can do with J-Bands.
4. Ground Force Training
Those explosive rotational movements that we referenced earlier are powered by something called “ground reaction force.” Ground reaction force is the energy that you create when your body exerts force into the ground.
Often when watching a hitter or pitcher, you’ll hear coaches or scouts say, “He uses his lower half very well.” You can bet money that that the player they are watching creates a ton of ground force! Devices called force plates now allow coaches and scouts to actually measure the ground force created by hitters and pitchers. This is used as another means to evaluate and improve their performance.
So how do we train for ground force? Obviously the legs have a lot to do with it, but the hips do as well. Some of the best exercises to train for ground force are squats, dead lifts, power cleans and other Olympic style lifts. While barbell weights are typically used for these exercises, they do require a lot of space. Many of these lifts can also be accomplished with dumbbells or kettlebells.
Here is an example of a power clean from the Top Velocity. Their 3x Velocity Program is an Olympic lift centered training program for increasing throwing velocity. You can check out more about it HERE
5. Grip Strengthening Exercises
Studies have shown a significant relationship between grip strength and batted and thrown ball velocities. After all, there must be a reason that all MLB teams test prospective athletes’ grip strengths! While they are often lumped together, grip strength and forearm strength are not exactly the same. However, the forearms also play a big role for baseball players, specifically for hitters controlling the bat.
There is one piece of training equipment that I’d recommend to all baseball players when it comes to developing both grip strength and forearm strength. What exactly is it?
This answer may surprise you…….it’s a BUCKET OF RICE!
The rice bucket is an oldie but a goody when it comes to grip and forearm strength. Baseball players have been using them for decades, and you simply can’t find a better approach. With a rice bucket you can do tons of exercises that cover every single muscle in the lower arm and hand.
Here’s a video with several rice bucket exercises. There are many more that you can do. One of my favorites was trying to get a baseball to the bottom of the bucket, then getting it back out.
**As always, be safe when taking on any new exercises. Make sure you start with light weight and work on technique first! It’s recommended that you consult with a physician before you begin any new training regimen.**
Are there any other essential exercises for baseball players we may have missed? Let us know in the comment section below!