Baseball players are getting stronger and faster given the consideration and focus put into sports science and the pro athlete’s desire to be in optimal shape throughout the season. The training involved in getting in the right groove for various sports has evolved over the years, yet some methods are tried and tested by time and remain quite effective.
You certainly don’t have to be a professional baseball player to train like one and, in the meantime, you could take advantage of the MLB picks available during a campaign. Thanks to the internet, we all have access to all of the exercises undertaken by the pros. A few of them are right below and they could all be performed in a gym, while some can be undertaken at home.
Kettlebell Turkish Get-Ups
This one has often been referred to as the “world’s greatest exercise” and the branding has its merit. The Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up is actually a combination of a number of exercises that require core strength and mobility for transitioning from one to the other. You will need to employ the latter in your hips and shoulders in order to execute properly.
Figure-Eight Med Ball Shot Put Throw
The Figure-Eight Med Ball Shot Put Throw is a great exercise for building throwing power. Whether you’re left-handed or right-handed, you should do this exercise from both sides to reduce any imbalances.
When performing this exercise, one should generate the power from the ground up, transferring it through the core while rotating the hips and not the lower back.
Kettlebell Swings are pretty common nowadays. It may seem simple enough but it’s an excellent workout for building a base from which to generate power for both hitting and throwing. To perform the Kettlebell Swing, you should hike the kettlebell, much like you would a football, generate power from your glutes, and allow it to move through your trunk and into your arms. Allow the instrument to reach around neck height before letting it fall.
The kettlebell should not be pulled with your arms and it’s also important to keep the knees over the ankles.
Trap Bar Deadlift
Photo via: Wikimedia Commons
Deadlifts are perhaps the most important exercise you could do for just about anything. The trap bar makes deadlifts a lot easier to do as it helps maintain proper form and allows for more weight on each end. The exercise in itself helps develop the glute muscles, as well as strengthen the hamstrings.
It’s also pretty easy to hurt your back while performing deadlifts so do take extra care with this one. It helps to keep your weight on your heels with your lower back slightly arched when picking up before standing explosively by straightening the hips and then the knees. Keep your back flat and your core tight, with your chest facing upwards. Give the glutes a good squeeze at the top of the movement.
Overhead Medicine Ball Throw
This workout is one that gets the body used to push through the ground to generate power for those speedy fastballs. It’s executed by taking an athletic stance and holding the medicine ball in front than going into a squat before exploding through the hips, knees, and ankles to throw the ball as high as possible.
This also requires some running as you would have to run to wherever the ball falls and then repeat the exercise.
Swiss Ball Cable Rotations
Swiss Ball Cable Rotations are pretty unique and it’s also just as beneficial. It helps to build rotational strength for batting and pitching. It can be performed by bending one’s knees with feet at hip-width apart, holding the swiss ball on the sternum with the rope handle on the opposite side. The rope is held with the outside hand but the core is used to do all of the work.
Chair Kettlebell Press
Another top kettlebell exercise helps with the transferring of energy from the feet to the rest of the body which in turn allows for very powerful swings. The Chair Kettlebell Press is best executed by holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of the body at shoulder height, sitting the hips back into a quarter squat. Holding the squat position, the weight is then driven forward and up.
This could also be done with a dumbbell if you don’t have a kettlebell available.
Swiss Ball Push-Ups/Rope Face Pulls
This exercise should be performed as a superset as it combines a couple of moves. A set of push-ups with the feet elevated on a stability ball are followed by face pulls via a cable machine. Combined, these movements promote both pushing and pulling strength.