Strength training for baseball is not just a matter of lifting heavy weights. Many of the most popular and effective exercises for building size are not beneficial and can even be detrimental to a baseball player. Baseball is a game of fast and violent movements. It’s also a game of precise technique and fluid motion. When training athletes to perform better at baseball, we must strive to achieve a proper balance between explosive, powerful movements and the speed and fluidity in which they perform them. Weight training has been a huge part of the game for many years now. Young players know they have to do it, but unfortunately none of them know how to do it right. On top of that, there are very few training facilities in the area that really understand how to train a baseball player. So what we typically see are players that aren’t training properly and in turn aren’t getting results, or players that aren’t training at all due to fear of injury.
When it comes to strength training for baseball the goal should be to help a player generate the maximum amount of force possible. Force equates to power at the plate and velocity on the mound. Force =Mass x velocity. This means that the amount of weight we can move and how fast we can move it are both equally important in everything we do. If you train by moving big weights around, but in doing so lose mobility and speed in your movements, you will actually decrease your ability to create force and lose power. At GPT we ensure that our strength training workouts have explosive fast twitch elements to every exercise. Every repetition is done with a purpose, and that purpose is to explode through the movement with the same violent force you would when striking a baseball. The end result is more power at the plate, more speed on the bases, and higher velocity on the mound than you ever thought possible.
If a player needs to put on size, we don’t resort to body building or football workouts. We don’t try to build a massive chest or huge biceps. Instead we build explosive lean muscle in targeted areas of the body. In doing so, we achieve the desired growth and strength gains without restricting or altering the player’s mechanics on the field. Many athletes spend far too much time training the front side of their bodies. These are the muscles they can see in the mirror, and it gives an athlete confidence and gratification to see these gains. Unfortunately, this type of overtraining on exercises like squat and bench can cause muscle imbalances that are detrimental to an athlete’s performance. The fact is it’s the muscles we can’t see that are most essential to our performance on the diamond. Muscles like the glutes, hamstrings, erectors, obliques, lats and scapular stabilizers. These muscle groups are the real driving factors to our baseball mechanics, but unfortunately they are the muscle groups most often neglected. That is why at GPT we focus a great deal of time training these areas which we refer to as the “posterior chain”.
Every workout will contain a 5-10 min shoulder routine designed specifically to strengthen and protect the interior structure of the throwing shoulder. This routine should eventually be utilized daily by all players. Regardless of whether you are a position player or pitcher, arm strength and durability are absolutely essential to a successful and lengthy career. The pillar of every workout is intense core training focusing on abdominal and lower back strength, and most importantly rotational strength and explosiveness. In most sports, core training simply means doing weighted crunches and building up massive abdominals. In baseball terms, core training should be centralized around rotational movements as this is what will translate into baseball power. In addition, core strength is essential to the body’s ability to avoid injury during the constant wear and tear of year round baseball. We put a tremendous emphasis on developing power and explosiveness in the legs, as they are the base of everything a player does on the field. But unlike high school weightlifting workouts that focus merely on how much weight you can squat, we put more emphasis on increasing the force you can create through the legs. GPT leg workouts are notoriously difficult. They consist of intense plyometrics, stability work, progressive resistance lifts, olympic lifts, and as many single-leg ground based movements as possible. Baseball is played upright on your feet, so your training should be done the same way.
To get started on a baseball specific training program, contact Georgia Personal Training today.
9420 Willeo Road, Suite 105, Roswell, Georgia 30075