Weight Training for Baseball

Kris Benson’s Story

Kris Benson was cut from the USA Baseball National Squad in the spring of 1995. This goaded the Clemson University pitcher to hang up his glove and head directly for the weight room in the summer of 1995 to start a very heavy weight-training program. He gained 17 pounds of lean muscle and 10 mph on his fastball, and earned the number one overall pick in the 1996 baseball draft, going to the Pittsburgh Pirates with a two-million dollar signing bonus.

Working Out In The Off-Season

Championships are won and lost in the off-season, just as games are won and lost in practice. Farther hits, quicker base-running and stronger throws are a result of stronger muscles, which can be developed in the off-season. Mental training is a further aspect of off-season training that can put you miles ahead of rivals. Other great ways for you to get ready in the off-season are speed, agility, quickness, and cardiovascular programs.

When the professional baseball season ends, you can start to prepare for the next season. You are not struggling to keep your job in amateur baseball, but you still have a lot on the line. You have to give your body time to recover once the baseball season ends. Make running a big part of your off-season program once you are sure your body has recovered.

Can baseball players who do not employ proper weight room exercise methods be as successful as those who engage in the off-season and in-season weight room training? Baseball has definitely jumped on the “get stronger” bandwagon since the book Nolan Ryan’s Pitchers’ Bible was printed back in the early ’90s by Tom House and Nolan Ryan, showing Nolan Ryan doing weight training.

Strength training is much more than quickly lifting a few weights. The majority of people who train with weights usually use two different types: free weights, which comprise barbells and dumbbells, and weight machines, which are made by companies like Nautilus. Free weights work a group of muscles at the same time, while machines are frequently designed to help you isolate and work on a particular muscle.

Better performance, injury avoidance/career longevity, improved recovery rate, preserving pitching speed, sustaining/increasing muscle strength and balance, and improving upper body strength are the benefits of a sensible, planned program. Your attitude/mentality should center on the training of movements, not just muscles. Here are some recommended exercises to focus on:
Shoulders: Internal/external rotation at 90 degrees · bent-over raises · medial rotation raises · Dumbbell shrugs · Lateral raises

One of the chief responsibilities of a baseball manager is good arm care. It is not the number of innings pitched but the number of pitches thrown that is pertinent to arm health. Leagues often set guidelines to keep an eye on athletes’ throwing levels. One of the most trying aspects of running a baseball team is the issue of sore arms. A plan must be put in place to make sure that the players’ arms have plenty of time to build strength and endurance, regardless of age, size or athletic ability.

Pitching throwing speed determines the success of baseball pitchers. A study by Toyoshima revealed that in an overhand throw the velocity was determined 46.9% by the stride and body rotation whereas 53.1% of the velocity was due to the action of the arm. This study recommended arm, trunk, and lower body exercises to improve throwing velocity.

HITS! (High-Intensity Training Systems) has publicized a new and unique training system for baseball and softball teams. The HITS! Pro Model is a hitting strength and bat speed training system intended for the college and professional levels and could also be used at private sports training centers. Because of HITS! uses a real baseball swing, it builds up the precise muscles and muscle groups used in hitting. It is a very efficient use of strength training time, and baseball players can use this program all year.

Baseball Speed

Swiftness is the only gauge of a ball player’s athleticism, from a coaching and scouting standpoint. Teams not only want good ball players but also good athletes. Running and throwing speed, hitting, hitting for power and fielding are the five tools pro and collegiate scouts typically use to rank players. If you don’t hit for power then you’d better be able to run.

Acceleration and absolute speed are of supreme importance. Speed becomes much more significant as the level of competition increases, with maximal, functional strength at its core. An athlete’s capacity to produce a greater power level basically requires the ability to do more work as quickly as possible under game or event conditions.

Proper Nutrition

You may be coming up short if you are relying on your diet to provide all of your nutritional requirements. Today’s food loses value due to the processes it is subject to. The FDA Food Pyramid suggests the following:

  • Fats, oils, sweets – use in moderation.
  • Milk, yogurt, cheese – 2-3 servings per day
  • Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs, nuts – 2-3 servings per day
  • Vegetables – 3-5 servings per day
  • Fruit – 2-4 servings per day

Introduction To Psychological Skills

Mastering the mental game of sport will let you arrive at greater heights as a player than you could otherwise accomplish by focusing completely on the physical side, whether you are an athlete or a coach. Both research and anecdotal evidence support the view that it is not the physical abilities that divide athletes and teams, but the psychological dimension.

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