A Guide to the Best Workouts for Baseball Players
To understand how to condition yourself for the game of baseball, you must think a little about the way the game is played. Baseball is a game of speed and quick bursts of power and energy. For this reason, anaerobic exercises focusing on promoting quick, powerful movements are much better for you as a baseball player than aerobic exercises like running, swimming, or jogging. Some of the best workouts for baseball involve what are called plyometric exercises.
Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce quick, powerful movements generally for the purpose of improving performance in baseball players. Plyometric movements involve loading and contracting muscles in rapid sequence to help you run faster, throw harder, and hit harder. Plyometrics are all about creating explosive power in athletes.
One of the most effective tools for performing plyometric exercises is the medicine ball. If you don’t know what a medicine ball is, it is simply a weighted ball about the diameter of your shoulders used in a variety of different exercises. My three favorite medicine ball exercises for baseball are called Slams, Figure Eights, and Russian Twists.
To perform slams, stand with your feet parallel and your knees slightly bent. Pull the medicine ball behind your head and quickly throw the ball down to the ground as hard as possible. Catch the ball after it bounces from the ground and repeat several times.
To perform Figure Eights, simply stand in the starting position by holding the medicine ball with your arms extended over you right shoulder. In a continuous motion, bring the ball down diagonally to the left until it is just above knee high on the left side of your body. Then, stand back up straight and raise the ball straight up over your left shoulder. Next, bring the ball down diagonally to the right until it is just above knee high on the right side of your body. Finally, stand back up straight and raise the ball straight up over your right shoulder. Repeat this motion several times with each complete repetition forming an imaginary “figure eight” in front of you.
To perform Russian Twists, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the medicine ball with both hands with your arms slightly bent. With your hips, quickly swing the ball to your right side and extend your arms. Once you are turned all the way to your right side, pull the ball back into your body and use your hips to swing the ball around to the left side and extend your arms. Keep your abdomen muscles firm during this exercise and repeat several times.
It should be noted that you need to warm up thoroughly before performing plyometric exercises to avoid injury. Proper stretching is recommended before any exercise routine that involves quick bursts of energy.
As noted above, to condition yourself correctly for the game of baseball, you must concentrate on quickness and powerful bursts of energy. Plyometrics, and specifically medicine ball exercises, are the best workouts for baseball players. Perform these exercises regularly to step up your game.