For decades it has been known as America's pastime, millions of people go to the ball parks every year to watch, and players from all over the world train for the moment they step onto the field for Opening Day. Each one hopes he is the batter or fielder that makes the play that wins the big one.
Kids practice day-in and day-out hoping to someday live their dream of playing in the big leagues. Of course by now you have figured out it is baseball I am talking about. Since this is Bodybuilding.com, you can probably take a good guess what I am about to cover. Yep, it is how to train for the game!
Click Image To Enlarge.
Kids Practice Day In And Day Out Hoping To Someday
Live Their Dream Of Playing In The Big Leagues.
Who Can Use This Article?
You don't have to be getting ready to go into MLB to use this article and put it into practice. If you are getting ready for high school, college, the minors, even if you just want to look good in your softball league after work, try some of these exercises when you train and you may notice you can swing a little harder, pitch a little faster, throw the runner out, steal that extra base or jump a little higher to rob the hitter of that home run he thought was a formality.
I am going to cover an exercise or two to help you improve your ability in each aspect of the game. There will be hitting, pitching, running and jumping. If these descriptions don't help you, go to the Bodybuilding.com exercise database for more information. At the end I am also going to show you how to implement these exercises into a training program. Let's get started.
|Athletes Topic Of The Week:
Building Speed For Baseball!
What is the most effective baseball regimen for increasing speed? We have two forum members who have put together some great information.
[ Check Out The Athletes Topic Of The Week! ]
Throwing, Well Actually Everything
Whether you are pitching, hitting or playing the field, you are going to use your shoulders a lot. A lot of injuries to today's top stars have involved the rotator cuffs. Therefore, regardless of your position, you need to do some exercises to cover that base.
External Rotation With A Dumbbell:
Lie sideways on a flat bench with one arm holding a dumbbell and the other hand on top of the bench folded so that you can rest your head. Now bend the elbows of the arm holding the dumbbell so your upper arm and forearm make a 90-degree angle. Now bend the elbow while keeping the upper arm stationary.
In this manner, the forearm will be parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your torso. The upper arm will be stationary by your torso and should be parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position.
Now externally turn your forearm so the dumbbell is lifted up in a semicircle motion as you keep the bend between the upper arms and the forearm. Continue this external rotation until the forearm is perpendicular to the floor and the torso points toward the ceiling.
At this point you will hold the contraction for a second. Now slowly go back to the starting position. Go for 2 sets of 15-20 reps for each arm and rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of External Rotation.
Cable Shoulder Internal Rotation:
Sit next to a low pulley sideways (with legs stretched in front of you or crossed) and grasp the single hand cable attachment with the arm nearest to the cable.
Position the elbow against your side with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and the arm pointed toward the pulley. This will be your starting position.
Pull the single hand cable attachment toward your body by internally rotating your shoulder until your forearm is across your abs.
You will be creating an imaginary semi-circle. Your forearm should stay perpendicular to your torso at all times. Slowly go back to the initial position. Go for 2 sets of 15-20 reps with 1-2 minutes rest in between.
Cable Internal Rotation
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Cable Internal Rotation.
Once you step to the plate you want to know you can make good contact and at least get on base. As bad as you want to crush the ball and knock some lights out of the parking lot across the street, swinging for the fence every time can lead to injury. What you can do is train so you know that when you do connect, it will count for something good.
Two things that will help with that is having a strong core and a good grip on the bat. So we will implement a core exercise for improving the power in the swing and a forearm exercise for getting a good squeeze into the bat to help you out here.
You can do these either standing or sitting on a flat bench. Have a bar on the back of your shoulders like you are going to do squats. While keeping your feet and head stationary, move your waist from side to side so that your oblique muscles feel the contraction.
Only move from side to side as far as your waist will allow you to go. Stretching or moving too far can lead to injury so be careful. Use a slow and controlled motion. Do 3 sets of 20-25 reps with 1-2 minutes rest in between.
Seated Barbell Twist
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Seated Barbell Twist.
Grab two wide-rimmed weight plates and put them together with the smooth sides facing outward. Use your fingers to grip the outside part of the plate and your thumb for the other side thus holding both plates together.
Squeeze the plate with your fingers and thumb tightly. Hold this position for as long as possible. Do this 3 times with 1-2 minutes rest in between each attempt.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Plate Pinch.
Legs For Running And Jumping
If you want to steal second, third or if you dare try to steal home, you better have a good start when you run. You are also going to need hops to grab that ball streaking for that fence. Did you ever see a baseball player with little legs? Neither have I. Try these at the gym and watch your leap and speed increase on the field.
Barbell Side Split Squat:
This will be great for when you are on base looking to steal. Stand up straight while holding a barbell placed on the back of your shoulders. Your feet should be placed wide apart with the foot of the lead leg angled out to the side.
Lower your body toward the side of your angled foot by bending the knee and hip of your lead leg and while keeping the opposite leg only slightly bent.
Return to the starting position by extending the hip and knee of the lead leg. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 1-2 minutes rest in between sets.
Barbell Side Split Squat
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Side Split Squat.
Leg Press/Calf Raise Superset:
When you go to jump you are normally down in a squat-like position to prepare for the leap. Once you take off, your calves contribute to how high you get. Therefore, working this motion into your routine will help you improve your leg strength and vertical jump.
Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you.
Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position. Slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Leg Press.
Pushing mainly with the ball of your foot and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position. Instead of stopping at the top, push your toes out into a calf raise position and hold it for a second.
Lower back down and repeat the movement. Do this motion slowly! Going too fast will lead to injury. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 1-2 minutes rest in between.
Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine.
Working These Into Your Routine
This is only a sample workout program. If you don't want to do this exact one that is okay. Just make sure you understand how to implement these movements into your own plan so they will help you step your game up.
Day 1: Shoulders And Abs
- External Rotation: 2 sets of 15-20 reps
- Cable Internal Rotation: 2 sets of 15-20 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Side Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Rear Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Crunches: 3 sets of 20-25 reps
- Barbell Twists: 3 sets of 20-25 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets of 20-25 reps
Day 2: Back And Biceps
- Pullups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Bent Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Close-Grip Pulldown: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Cable Curls: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Plate Pinch: 3 sets to failure
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Legs
- Barbell Side Split Squat: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Leg Press/Calf Raise: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets of 25 reps
Day 5: Chest And Triceps
- Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Weighted Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lying Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Triceps Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Off
I hope that once all is said and done and your season is over you notice your numbers have increased and you feel this article helped. Good luck this season and every season that you have ahead.