Baseball season is finally here! Fans and aspiring athletes want to know how MLB players prepare themselves to hit and throw for power, and how they can stay healthy this season.
Part 1: Baseball Strength and Power Training Tips
Baseball players need to improve their max strength and power just like any other athlete. They also need to counteract muscle imbalances and to improve specific strength and power for their sport. Simple exercises and appropriately heavy weights should be progressed throughout the off-season, and these include common exercises like squat, deadlift, rows, and presses.
A strong lower body is the foundation for hitting and throwing power, it's just a question of whether or not the athlete can link that power from the ground to a bat or a ball in their hands. Upper body strength, in particular with their pulling exercises, helps to protect the shoulder and decelerate the arm after every throw. We recommend that athletes row heavy and often (1-arm rows, seated rows, inverted rows, etc.), and that when they press they choose more shoulder friendly exercises like neutral grip dumbbell press and pushups vs straight bar bench press.
It is advised for baseball players to pull two to three times as often as they push. You can still be very strong in all movements by training this way, but you avoid overuse injuries in the shoulder.
The training regimen for an explosive athlete like Bryce Harper has been a hot topic, as well as how to keep top players on the field and injury free like Stephen Strasburg. Be sure to subscribe and don't miss our next topic, Preventing Injury through Core Training.
For more information on training for your specific sport or to schedule training, clinics or speaking engagements with our Explosive Performance trainers, please contact Kevin Boyle at KBoyle@usfitnessgroup.com