Baseball has endured the test of time as one of the most loved sports around the globe. There is something universally liked about finding out how far one can hit a ball or how fast one can throw it that makes it so naturally appealing.
Over time, baseball players have become more powerful, faster, and have better stamina. This is partially due to improved scientific support they enjoy more than their predecessors. Baseball has evolved into being much more competitive than it ever was. With each year’s World Series drawing more and more spectators both live and on television screens, the room for error in today’s baseball is less than it ever was before.
In this blog, we will discover the best workouts you can do to get in the best shape of your life so you can improve your readiness for the baseball pitch.
Best Workouts for Baseball Players
Moving the arm quickly to throw the ball fast and swinging the bat fast to hit the ball far have one thing in common, both are speedy and explosive movements. These movements require our body to generate immense amounts of power in short spans, which enable us to carry out the task at hand in an explosively quick manner. The best way to achieve explosive fitness is to do plyometrics.
Plyometrics, also known as jump training, is a workout based on jumping and sudden movement. While jumping may seem best for lower limbs, it has been proven that plyometrics is most effective in building up core strength, which translates into the overall body strength of an individual.
Plyometrics can be used for upper body workouts as well as there are variations of pushups that you can do to increase your upper body strength. Plyometrics will go a long way in helping anyone achieve agility, strength, and, most important of all, explosive fitness.
2. Speed & Mobility Drills
Speed & Mobility drills increase one’s agility in a profound way. Athletes all over the world use speed drills to increase agility and swiftness in their bodies. Speed drills rely on building neuromuscular patterns as well as improving your body’s anaerobic ability to cope in high-pressure time-compressed situations.
Speed drills will aid the baseball player in making him agile, which will help him during running as well as make his body more responsive to changes around him.
Speed drills are essential to improving hand-eye coordination, so these movements will help any baseball player go to the next level. Mobility drills are also fun to do and provide a significant degree of satisfaction once done, as they can be intimidating at the beginning. Speed drills also have been shown to decrease the risk of injury and add balance to one’s body. Thus, if you want to improve your fitness as a baseball player, do some speed & mobility drills.
Squats are rightfully known as the mother of all exercises. Squats are compound movements that have a pronounced positive effect on the body. They work with all the major muscle groups in the lower body and the abdominal region.
Besides the apparent benefits of having stronger lower limbs, squats have been shown to increase balance in one’s body. They have also been shown to injury-proof the body as they greatly strengthen one’s back. Having a more muscular back, a firm core, and a stable lower body will provide an ideal base for strong hitting and throwing.
4. Bench Press
As squats are for the lower body, Bench Press is for the upper body. It is a complete compound movement that works all major muscles in the arm, shoulders, and chest. Different variations hit a different combination of muscles, but overall they have been shown to drastically improve the strength that one possesses in the upper body.
Bench pressing will significantly assist any baseball player as most dynamic movements are associated with the upper limbs and shoulders.
Cardio exercises are not new to anyone. Any exercise that gets our heart rate up and keeps it consistently up is Cardio. There are great variations in cardio exercises, but broadly they can be configured into two categories.
The first one is High interval intensity interval training (HIIT). In HIIT, we focus on alternative intervals of keeping our heart rate significantly up and close to our max heart rate and then periods of low intensity where we allow our heart rate to come down. We alternate these cycles 6-8 times for the best effect. HIIT has been shown to improve explosive and anaerobic strength. These would be ideal for increasing speed and agility.
The second type is Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS). In LISS, we focus on continuous movement, which raises our heart rate only slightly but for a longer duration of time.
An example could be jogging for an hour at a moderate, comfortable pace. LISS has been shown to improve our endurance and aerobic capacity, which makes us go further than we could have previously. This form of Cardio is ideal for the baseball player who wants to outperform his tired opponents till the last innings.
6. Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight training is one of the most primitive yet most effective tools available to us to improve our fitness. Bodyweight training is when you use your body’s weight to improve your fitness. Examples of this could include doing Push-ups, Pull-ups, squats, etc.
While these may seem to be easier than weight training, that isn’t the case necessarily; the reason is that due to the available variations, bodyweight training can be even more challenging at times.
It is important to note that bodyweight training strengthens the muscles and develops your balance and neuromuscular system, which is geared up to provide better responses. Bodyweight training can be a great start for any baseball player to improve their fitness.
Baseball is not only a great recreational activity, but if taken seriously, it is one of the most physically demanding sports that exist in the world. Unlike soccer, where only stamina and lower limbs come into play, Baseball requires strength, conditioning, and coordination amongst significant muscle groups in the body.
In summary, there are many options available to a baseball player now to improve his physical fitness. There will always be more that can be done. Like any sport, to make it to the top, you have to give it your all.