Sep 012010

Baseball is a very unique sport. It centers around long periods of standing quietly waiting, and then the instantaneous need for blazing speed to track down the ball or run the bases. You need to have amazing hand quickness and power to hit the ball deep into the pockets or over the fence. Baseball workouts need to work on building explosive speed and power, not amazing endurance.

While many power hitters in recent times have been accused of using steroids there are even greater numbers who have learned the importance of resistance training in their baseball workouts. Where at one time many coaches hesitated to have their athletes hit the weight room for fear of losing hand speed, today most top coaches agree proper resistance training is crucial to the highest levels of success.

The big difference in the requirements for baseball is the absolute essential of maintaining or improving explosive speed in both your feet and hands. You cannot focus on only becoming a powerful lifter or you are at high risk of losing speed.

You can improve your leg speed and power by applying plyometrics in your workout. One of the most popular forms of plyometrics is the box jumps, or hurdle jumps. Standing flat on both feet you leap either over a box, or you leap up onto the box. Both methods are very effective. A twist which was added in the University of Southern California’s football training program is very beneficial to baseball players. Instead of landing and sticking the landing, land and move. Practice hitting the floor and instantly running sprinting a couple yards one direction or the other. This improves explosive starting, and the ability to react fast.

While lifting heavy weights is the surest way to increase massive power it is not the most effective method of training for a baseball player. All your efforts need to focus on the power and speed combination.

In your upper body you need to focus on the speed and power of your arms, shoulders, and waist rotation. Military presses, barbell curls, tricep extensions, and bench presses are all great exercises. Use weights in the 70 to 80 percent of maximum range and lift explosively. Focus on speed and power not just power. Use great form and control.

For the waist use cross body crunches and plate twists. The cross body crunch is the classic abdominal crunch but bringing the opposite elbow and knee up towards each other. Work on increasing speed over time along with increasing repetitions. The plate twist is simply sitting on the floor, feet in front of you, holding a weight plate and twisting side to side. Both of these exercises focus on rotational strength with is crucial in powerful hitting.

The most important aspect of weight lifting baseball workouts is to not focus on power alone. Focus on applied speed by moving quickly with a full range of motion. Learn to increase power slowly while working to increase speed, too. Soon you will be moving around the field with greater explosive starts, faster sprinting speed, and hitting the ball with power.

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