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What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players?

What is the best workout program for baseball players? The baseball season is quickly approaching so we have some great workouts & programs specifically tailored for those athletes. Learn more here and try them out!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players?

The Question:

The season is almost upon us once again and players around the country are starting to get signed up. Gear up and start training! All positions can be improved with proper training and nutrition.

What is the best workout program for baseball players? List type of training, exercises, sets, reps, etc.

How would the workouts vary between the different positions?

As a strategic type of sport what are some ways players prepare themselves for the mental side of the game?

Bonus Question: What Major League baseball player do you think has the most unique training program?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    New Prizes:
      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - ManInTheBox
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

The season is almost upon us once again and players around the country are starting to get signed up. Gear up and start training! All positions can be improved with proper training and nutrition.

In recent years, muscle and baseball have come to make big news in the media. For better or for worse, many big names have come out with the alleged use of steroids, or other banned substances in major league baseball.

More importantly, let's get to know how we can train, eat, and practice to make ourselves the best at baseball without the use of dangerous substances!

I would like to note that this article is going to emphasize actual strength and weight training, and does not include much training as far as throwing or batting drills. Since these things vary from coach to coach, we are going to just look at strength and endurance training that will help you as a baseball player improve your game!


Workout
What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players? List Type Of Training, Exercises, Sets, Reps, Etc.

As we all know, there are several different positions in baseball. One common strain between all of these positions is speed. Speed is an important role in all positions. In the workout that we are going to be doing, we are going to focus on explosive behavior. Such exercises will help us with reaction time, strength, and stability.

Since we are talking about a sport here, we are also going to look at some excellent drills for baseball players, and practice techniques that will improve your performance on the field!

Day 1 - Monday - Explosive Lifting Day:

    Hurdle Jumps
    4 sets, 6 jumps

Hurdle Jump Hurdle Jump Hurdle Jump
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Hurdle Jumps.
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    Dot Drills
    3 sets

Dot Drill Dot Drill Dot Drill
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Dot Drills.

Dot Drill Video Guide:

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    These plyometrics are beneficial for any athlete and are used in football commonly; plyometric exercises develop awesome balance and explosive lifting technique. If you are not familiar with how to perform these exercises, make sure that you learn how to. An excellent website that is very informative for teaching lifting and training techniques is www.exrx.net.

    Barbell Bench Press
    1 set- 15 reps
    2 sets- 8 reps
    2 sets- 5 reps
    1 set- 2 reps

    Front Barbell Squat
    1 set- 15 reps
    2 sets- 8 reps
    1 set- 5 reps
    3 sets- 2 reps

    Barbell Push Press
    1 set- 15 reps
    3 sets- 8 reps
    2 sets- 5 reps

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1.

    The purpose of this workout is to develop explosive lifting technique while remaining very stable. I believe through the barbell push press, great shoulder strength is achieved, which is vital for a strong swing in baseball.

    Today will not be the only day we use shoulders though, later in the week we will attack the shoulders using a different variation, striking a different area of the shoulder as well. I chose the front barbell squat also to develop balance, stability, shoulder strength and huge leg strength.

    The front squat is a challenging exercise that any athlete can benefit from. Lastly, the barbell bench press. The objective here is clear, to develop a strong pushing through usage of the triceps, shoulders and chest. Another excellent athletic power lift.

Day 2 - Tuesday - Accessory Lifting Day

Day 3- Wednesday- Non- Lifting Day

    Though today is not a lifting day, it is a practice day. Along with your usual coach's practice regimens, there are a few really good exercises, and practice techniques you can go through to improve your baseball success.

    The first thing we are going to do is walking lunges. No weight necessary, just bodyweight. We want to shoot for endurance here, so we are going to do walking lunges, between 20 and 50 yards, or whatever distance suits you best. Do these between 2 and 4 sets.

Lunge Lunge
+ Click To Enlarge.
Walking Lunges.
Video: WMV (145 KB) - MPEG (1.2 MB) - iPod Video (138 KB)

    The second running technique we are going to look at is high knee runs. These are performed just as they sound. You choose a stretch, probably between 30 and 50 yards, and run with good form, but great speed, lifting your knees up to your chest with each stride.

    Remember while performing these to also run on your toes, don't let your heels drop to the ground, this will slow you down. Also, use your arms in this exercise as well. There is a technique called the nose to pocket technique. When you raise your left leg, you raise your right arm to your nose, and vice versa. Do this exercise 2 to 4 sets also.

High Knee Run High Knee Run
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High Knee Runs.
Video: WMV (114 KB) - MPEG (853 KB) - iPod Video (94 KB)

    This last exercise is a classic, but almost never used in any sport for training. Jumping jacks. You heard me correctly. Have you ever thought of jumping jacks as being an explosive exercise? Well, the truth is, they are. You can use jumping jacks greatly to your advantage to develop awesome explosive technique. I guarantee through doing 3 sets of jumping jacks to failure will tire you out, and you will feel the burn afterward!

Jumping Jacks Jumping Jacks
+ Click To Enlarge.
Jumping Jacks.
Video: WMV (176 KB) - MPEG (1.4 MB) - iPod Video (156 KB)

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 3.

    Hopefully through these accessory endurance workouts, you will notice an increase in speed and endurance. Remember though, do not push yourself too hard today. Today is supposed to be an off day, and is only meant to keep your endurance up, not to break down muscle tissue or gain great strength. Let's recover and get ready for tomorrow!

Day 4 - Thursday- Explosive Lifting Day

    Hurdle Jumps
    4 sets, 6 jumps

    Dot Drills
    3 sets

    Power Cleans
    1 set of 15 reps
    2 sets of 8 reps
    2 sets of 5 reps
    1 set of 2 reps

    Barbell Jump Squats
    2 sets of 15 reps
    2 sets of 8 reps
    1 set of 5 reps
    1 set of 2 reps

jump squats jump squats
+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Jump Squats.
Video: WMV (156 KB) - MPEG (1.1 MB) - iPod Video (126 KB)

    Barbell Jump Shrugs
    1 set of 15 reps
    2 sets of 8 reps
    1 set of 5 reps
    1 set of 2 reps

Jump Shrug Jump Shrug
+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Jump Shrugs.
Video: WMV - MPEG - iPod Video

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 4.

    There you have it, your entire workout. Once again, it looks like it won't take long, which it shouldn't, but I can promise that you will be tired afterward. The idea of today's workout is to increase strength and also focus on endurance.

    Once again, we will begin our workout with plyometrics for an increase in balance, speed and agility as well. The power cleans will assist with explosive power for jumping to catch a ball, or accelerating from base to base.

    The barbell jump squats are an interesting exercise to take a look at. These are meant to be performed just like a regular barbell back squat, but on the ascension you will jump at the top of the movement. Use a relatively light weight for this exercise, they are meant for speed and power, but not for usage of maximum weight.

    Lastly, the barbell jump shrugs. These will hit your upper back and traps well. Also your shoulders are used, and forearms to hold onto the weight. This is an all- around strength movement, meant for awesome acceleration in the power clean.

Day 5 - Friday- Accessory Lifting Day

    Hill Sprints
    4 sets

    The objective of hill sprints is basic, and very easy to perform. All you need is a hill. The idea here is to increase stabilization, speed and calf strength. If you can sprint up a fairly steep hill quickly, then running from base to base will be a breeze!

    Dumbbell Chest Flyes
    3 sets of 12 reps

    Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
    3 sets of 8 reps

    Leg Curls
    3 sets of 12 reps

    Hanging Leg Raises
    3 sets to failure

    Barbell Bicep Curls
    3 sets of 12 reps

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 5.

    Today's workout is as follows. Very simple, and basic. The objective here is the hit muscles used in other exercises directly. We actually want to isolate the muscle, which is what we usually aim not to do. But in order to strengthen the muscles we lift explosively with, hitting them directly for a few sets apiece will accelerate growth and strength gains.

    This workout should take you between 45 minutes and an hour. We don't want to stay in the gym long, we just want to stimulate the unused muscles, and get a good pump.

    Always remember to warm-up and stretch properly. In the past few months of my training, I have realized how great stretching is for your performance in the gym! Allow yourself to squat deeper, push farther, and pump longer by allowing yourself a good 15 minutes to stretch your entire body, and warm all of your muscles with low weight.

    If you are going to barbell bench press, take a few moments to warm-up your shoulders and triceps. Then, use a couple of light dumbbells and do a warm-up set of light flat presses. This will allow a great stretch in the muscles, and pump more blood into the muscle.

    There are a lot of myths out there that say stretching makes you weaker. This could not be further from the truth. Stretching will help your performance in the gym, and on the baseball field!


Different Positions
How Would The Workouts Vary Between The Different Positions?

As we all know, there are 9 fielding positions in baseball. Although all of these positions play their own role in the game of baseball, all positions can benefit from strength and speed training.

Pitcher:

    We see a lot of pitchers these days looking very bulking and muscular. I am not here to say whether this build is better or worse for a pitcher, but I would say that a pitcher among almost all other positions can benefit very much from explosive lifting techniques, to pitch a ball at the speed of light.

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Protecting The Pitcher. Protecting The Pitcher.
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[ Click here to learn more. ]

Catcher:

    The catcher needs to have great focus and very quick reflexes. Here again, explosive lifting can benefit the catcher just as much as any other position.

All Of The Basemen:

    All basemen can benefit from speed and strength training. A baseman has to be prepared to sprint anywhere he made need to go in a hurry to get the runner out. Explosive training will decrease reaction time and increase reflexes.

Shortstop:

    The same as basemen, the shortstop must be ready for short, quick bursts of energy. He must be prepared to sprint from one spot to another to achieve an out.

Left Field, Center Field, Right Field:

    Outfielders must be prepared to run wherever they may need to go to catch the ball. They must have coordination in order to run and keep an eye on the ball at the same time.

    Explosive training helps with coordination and increases the habit of always remaining focused. Also, throwing a ball from far out in left field to first base requires a certain amount of strength. Through proper training, such acts of strength may be achieved.

Through all these positions, we see a common strain. All positions require great coordination and quick reaction times. We want to see explosive, yet controlled movement in baseball players. By following the training regimen that I created for improved success in baseball, you will see results.


Mental Preparation
As A Strategic Type Of Sport What Are Some Ways Players Prepare Themselves For The Mental Side Of The Game?

In any competitive sport, this plays a huge role in the success of your game. You have to learn to ignore the jeers from the crowd or the taunting behavior of the opposing team. There are a few methods that you can use to get your mind off of the stress of the game and focus on something else.

Be confident. There is nothing more powerful than confidence. Being confident in the game, and not letting the opposing team member get the best of you is very powerful. They feed on seeing you stress and messing with your head. If you remain serious, and keep your head in the game, they will be the ones worrying!

Be friendly. Here again, this will throw the other team off. If you walk into this timid and quiet, they know that they are intimidating you. If you act friendly, at least in a non-standoffish way, you will intimidate them, and make them start worrying that you have the best of them!

Be focused. Do not start thinking about that girl that you want to date, or that test you failed. Distractions such as these will mess up your game. You must remain focused on the game, and not let things like this get to you. Though it may sound cold-hearted, you have to learn to ignore these outside distractions until the game is over. When you hit that homerun, you'll know it was worth it!


Bonus Question
What Major League Baseball Player Do You Think Has The Most Unique Training Program?

Aside from all of the accusations, and rumors that Barry Bonds took steroids, it is worth taking a look at his training regimen. Barry acknowledges all of his large muscle groups, and does not focus on a lot of the smaller, less used muscles such as the biceps.

His training regimen looks like this:

Monday: Chest & Biceps:

Tuesday: Quads & Hamstrings:

Wednesday: Back & Abs:

Thursday: Shoulders & Triceps:

Friday: Quads & Hamstrings:

Barry also keeps a strict diet, similar to a bodybuilder's. Diet is very important in any sport training! Without enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats, your body will not get stronger, and your muscles will not grow. Keep in mind that taking a good multivitamin, and eating enough food will keep your body in optimum condition. Also, water is one of your body's essential nutrients, so drink plenty of it!


Final Thoughts

I hope through this article you can improve your game of baseball. It has been a favorite of mine for years and have played in summer and school leagues for years. I love the sport and hope that sharing my methods of training can help you accelerate your game!

For any questions on specific training or nutrition, feel free to contact me at BKevin89@aol.com.

Work Cited:

  1. www.muscleandfitness.com
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_positions
  3. www.sport-fitness-advisor.com


2nd Place - TUnit
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


The Best Baseball Workouts

The season is almost upon us once again and players around the country are starting to get signed up. Gear up and start training! All positions can be improved with proper training and nutrition.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players? List Type Of Training, Exercises, Sets, Reps, Etc.

Sample Program For Pitchers:

Sample Program For Catchers/Infielders/Outfielders

Sample Program For Designated Hitters:


Different Positions
How Would The Workouts Vary Between The Different Positions?

The workouts from the weight training perspective would not vary greatly but the actual work outside of the weight room would be where the training variances would occur. For example, pitchers train differently than hitters and there would be some differences between position players as well.

Starting Pitchers:

    Weight Training (Focusing on strengthening Grip, Arms, Shoulders, Posterior Chain and working on endurance in aforementioned muscle groups as well) + Endurance Pitching Work + Fielding Ground Balls + Pitching Motion

Relief Pitchers:

    Weight Training (Focusing on strengthening grip, arms, shoulders, posterior chain and working on explosive power in aforementioned muscle groups as well) + Short Pitching Work + Fielding Ground Balls + Pitching Motion

Catchers:

    Weight Training (Heavy Squats, High Rep Squats, Focus on strengthening Grip, Arms, Posterior Chain) + Catching-Specific Drills + Throwing + Hitting + Speed Work

Infielders:

    Weight Training (Focusing on strengthening Grip, Arms, Shoulders, Legs, Lower Back) + Infield-Specific Drills + Fielding Line Drives and Pop-Ups + Hitting + Speed Work

Outfielders:

    Weight Training (Focusing on strengthening Grip, Arms, Shoulders, Legs, Lower Back) + Outfield-Specific Drills + Long Throws + Hitting + Speed Work

Designated Hitters:

    Weight Training (Focusing on strengthening Grip, Arms, Shoulders, Legs, Lower Back) + Hitting + Speed Work

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[ Click here to learn more. ]


Mental Preparation
As A Strategic Type Of Sport What Are Some Ways Players Prepare Themselves For The Mental Side Of The Game?

The best way to prepare for the mental aspect of baseball is a process known as visualization. Visualization is the process of "daydreaming" about what you want to achieve. It can be performed for approximately 15-20 minutes each day, preferably about different qualities each time around.

For example, thinking of yourself performing certain moves and succeeding is often quite effective. However, what you visualize needs to be plausible, for example, visualizing hitting a 400-foot home run as a 10-year old will not do too much in terms of actual performance.

However, visualizing throwing the ball 90-miles per hour when you can throw in the high 80s can be very effective in helping one to eventually throw at that speed. The bottom line is that if you cannot visualize yourself doing something you most likely will not be able to do it in the future.

Visualizing something is very similar, in terms of neurological impulses, to actually doing it. Often, your brain will be "used to" performing the action because you have visualized it so much. Here is a fantastic article about visualization.

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Bonus Question
What Major League Baseball Player Do You Think Has The Most Unique Training Program?

I think Corey Smith, a 1st Round Draft Pick of the Cleveland Indians has one of the most unique and best training programs in the MLB. He trains under Joe DeFranco using the West Side for Athletes training split and has developed some incredible wrist strength.

He also improved upon his flexibility and conditioning while training with DeFranco. His workout is unique because of the various exercises he uses to improve his grip strength which translates to faster bat speed and more powerful hitting.


3rd Place - baseballer2150
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players? List Type Of Training, Exercises, Sets, Reps, Etc.

Baseball as a sport contains many individual aspects that require different abilities. This is separated even further when a player chooses a specific position and specializes his abilities.

Key goals for all baseball players are generally to improve:

  • Speed
  • Maximum power output
  • Specific position skills

Baseball is a game of bursts of a player creating the most force possible in the shortest amount of time and then having several seconds, possibly minutes in between bursts. This includes, throw and/or pitching, swinging a bat, stealing a base, chasing down a fly ball, essentially all activities done throughout the course of a game.

Due to the way the game is played two key aspects are different from training for other programs. The necessity of explosive rotation and as over-hand throwers a baseball training program must also be safe for the rotator cuff. Generally speaking this means less emphasis on presses, both overhead and bench.

Throwing and hitting are incredibly complex and very specific to baseball; no lifts can mimic the necessary skills. The goal of a baseball training program is to make the player a better athlete, allowing this increased athleticism to be applied to baseball skills for improvement in power, speed and velocity.

For baseball, I'm a fan of something the style of a modified Westside program. Much like Joe Defranco's west side for skinny bastards routine. Except more baseball specific, less presses and the strongman training day are not necessary for a ballplayer.

Essentially using the Russian Conjugate method, a baseball player can increase both their ability to be explosive and to create maximal force.

The program is based on an upper/lower 4 day split. Baseball players do not need much isolation exercise at all so doing a routine with body part splits like back/bicep day is not necessary and will really not improve your athletic performance, simply put that is a bodybuilding routine not an athlete's routine.

I prefer box squats to regular squats. They emphasize the posterior chain more than a traditional squat. For an athlete, the posterior chain is unbelievably important. Running and jumping ability come from one's posterior chain. Thus sitting back with a box squat is more effective than the quad-dominant traditional squat.

Also box squats generally do not make you as sore, so you can keep doing other training that is noted. Technically the squat types can be used more or less interchangeably if you are dead set on doing regular squats.

Lower Body A:

Deadlift Deadlift
+ Click To Enlarge.
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift.
Video: WMV (218 KB) - MPEG (1.6 MB) - iPod Video (186 KB)

Glute Ham Raise Glute Ham Raise
+ Click To Enlarge.
Glute/Ham Raise.
Video: WMV (143 KB) - MPEG (1 MB) - iPod Video (120 KB)

Upper Body A:

Running Day:

  • Work on starting form
  • Run short sprints

Lower Body B:

Upper Body B:

Notes:

    Change the box height every few workouts, use something like 2" above parallel, parallel, and 2" below parallel.

    Be careful with both bench press and push press. They are stressful on the rotator cuff. As a baseball player, you aren't trying to set any bench press records, that's not why you are in the gym. So use a smart weight on press, but still challenge yourself.

    For any exercise that is at 3 x 8-12, focus on explosiveness and bar speed

    You also should be throwing at least 2 times per week, suggested are on Saturday and Wednesday.

    If you are a pitcher you should also be throwing off a mound and probably more than twice per week.

    This workout should not make you so sore that you cannot work on your baseball skills.


Different Positions
How Would The Workouts Vary Between The Different Positions?

Most positions can work off of this program, including pitchers. Pitchers may choose to remove the presses, although I do not see a problem with presses as long as you are not trying to max out.

Pitchers will often increase their amount of single leg work by adding another single leg lift to their routine. The plant leg is so critical to have control and endurance throughout the game.

In a position where speed is critical a player may choose to add plyometrics to their routine. This would be done on upper body days.

Plyometrics:

It is extremely important for an athlete to have ample recovery time after a set of plyos. These are intended to be at 100% effort and thus you want to be fully recovered before doing the next set.


Mental Preparation
As A Strategic Type Of Sport What Are Some Ways Players Prepare Themselves For The Mental Side Of The Game?

Ballplayers need to envision success in order to be successful. Baseball is a game in which the best players fail more times than they succeed. Thus you have to envision success as you may go long stretches without consistent success.

Music before the game and quiet reflection before can really get a player "in the zone."

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Pitchers do well by going through what they intend to do on the mound pre-game. They should envision throwing their game and to manipulate and control the hitters at the plate.

Because a ballplayer will fail so often it is important to have some swagger to a degree. You should still have great respect for your teammates, but any time you step onto the field you should be telling yourself you're about to defeat your opponents.


What Is The Best Workout Program For Baseball Players?

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