Taking a more detailed look at your strength training program can benefit your game. Training for baseball and softball isn’t the same as going to the gym, though.
Allegheny Health Network Director of Sports Performance Frank Velasquez says many athletes can make the mistake of training only the front of their body in the weight room, “Because they can see the development of these muscles with their pecs and their core and their biceps and their quads.”
Instead, try to incorporate exercises with back-centric movements as well, such as lat pulldowns, rows and Romanian deadlifts. “That’s going to help put your body in a better position to help protect your joints for playing baseball and softball,” Velasquez adds. “It will also help you generate more power playing baseball and softball.”
In balancing your strength training program for baseball and softball, you should also consider how many days you plan to train. According to Velasquez, you should try to work multiple muscle groups in a single day.
“If I’m going to work out three days a week, I’m going to have one day that’s focused primarily on my legs with a little bit of back work,” Velasquez notes. “My next day, which may be a couple days later, will be primarily on my upper body with a little bit of glute/hammy. And then, my third workout for the week will be a true total body program.”
Velasquez warns against working out one muscle group per day – the type of strength training routine that is better suited for bodybuilding.
“Less athleticism, definitely not what you want for baseball and softball,” he adds.
You also want to vary the intensity of your workouts throughout the week. For example, if you’re working out three days per week, Velasquez recommends training at a high intensity for only one day. For your other two sessions, aim for lighter, more functional exercises. This, again, helps balance your program for a more well-rounded result.
Finally, Velasquez notes to remember your rotational power. Exercises like chops and rotational lifts using cables or medicine balls can help add variety and purpose to your sessions.
A well-balanced strength training program can help you solidify your abilities as a baseball or softball player. With a proper routine, you can start to take your training to newfound heights.