Four Strength Exercises All Baseball Players Should Add to Their Training Program
July 11, 2016 7:49 pm / Category: Baseball
BY JONATHAN MELTZER, DPT, RAUSCH PHYSICAL THERAPY
In my blog “How to Keep Injuries from Killing Your Big League Dreams,” I discuss four ways youth baseball players can take better care of their bodies and get in the most efficient shape possible so that injuries don’t keep them from playing ball at the next level. One of these ways is to implement a global strength program into your training regimen, which emphasizes building entire body strength rather than simply focusing on your throwing arm.
The Best Exercises for Building Entire-Body Strength
A proper strength training program will not only will this improve your overall athletic performance, but it will also help you to avoid the common overuse injuries that are plaguing youth sports today. However, I’m not just talking about strengthening the arm, but rather the entire body. I really can’t emphasize enough how important it is for baseball players to work on their shoulder stabilizers to improve their back, core and lower-half strength, as well as balance.
Here are my four favorite stabilization and strength training exercises for preventing injuries:
Planks are great for total body stabilization and core. Perform this plank series every day to increase your strength.
Front Plank – Hold for 45 seconds.
Side Planks – Hold for 45 seconds on each side.
2. I.T.W.Y. on Swiss Ball with Weights
For this exercise you’ll need 1, 2 and a 3 lbs. dumbbells and a swiss ball. As you move through the sequence below, keep your abs tight and lifted so your back is flat. Perform 2 sets x 15 reps (2 x 15).
” I – 3 lbs. weight”
” T – 1 lbs. weight”
” W – 2 lbs. weight”
” Y – No weight”
3. Side-Lying Dumbbell Pyramid
To perform this series, lay on your side with 1, 2 and 3 lbs. dumbbells in front of you. Place a rolled towel between on your side and top arm, just below the elbow. Grab the 3 lbs. dumbell first, and lift up and down, keeping the elbow glued to the hip and shoulder blades squeezed together. Do 30 lifts or until fatigue, then move to the next lowest weight, repeating the same movements. Once you have completed reps with each dumbbell, roll over and do the other arm.
3 lbs. weight first.
Then, move on to the 2 lbs. weight.
Finish up with the 1 lb. weight, then switch sides.
4. Swiss Ball Core Series
This tricky series will strengthen your core and improve your balance.
Roll down the ball until you’re in a plank position, then do a push up. (2 x 15)
Tuck knees toward your chest. (2 x 15)
Lift your hips into the pike position. (2 x 15)
By implementing these four exercises into your current strength training program, you can begin to greatly improve your entire-body strength and stability, two very important keys to athletic success and a long, healthy baseball career.
Jonathan Meltzer graduated from the University of Redlands with a bachelor of arts in biology and a minor in physical education. Following graduation, Jonathan discovered his passion for physical therapy while working as a Physical Therapy Aide. After graduating top of his class from Loma Linda University in 2012 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Jonathan began his career at Rausch Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. Jonathan’s goals are to identify limitations and treat his patients with the most recent and innovative techniques in order to maximize functional independence and obtain his patients’ individual goals.