Major League Baseball (MLB) training programs are often “timed.” They are divided into three or four stages over the year, each focusing on a different fitness skill. Each step consists of other goals, and each succeeding stage develops the preceding one.
Carl Kochan, the San Francisco Giants’ strength and fitness coach and a successful team for MLB picks, says that “the goal of weightlifting is to simulate the three planes of movement and rapid pace that occur during a game.” He emphasizes the importance of weight training in MLB, citing its ability to develop core and existing muscles.
Read on as we explore some weight training exercises that can positively impact MLB athletes:
Top 6 Weight Training Exercises for Major League Baseball
Many athletes can lunge, but few can execute a lunge matrix, which requires players to do a curtsy lunge, otherwise known as a deep, quad-burning plunge in all four directions. In terms of lower-extremity function and movement suggestive of sport-specific patterns in baseball, says Kochan, “it’s a pretty excellent bang for your money.”
The workout receives excellent marks from the Giants’ strength coach because players can perform it anywhere, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. While some weight rooms are better than others, he claims that MLB players can complete the workout anywhere and at any time.
The biceps curl is a well-known weight-training exercise that targets the upper arm muscles and, to a lesser extent, the lower arm muscles. The workout is excellent for building strength and definition.
Athletes can perform the exercise with various tools and grips, including dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, resistance bands, and cable machines. It is a common exercise for upper-body strength training.
Rear-foot Elevated Split Squat
Next time you’re in the gym, try standing with one foot on a bench before you and lunge forward with the other. Then, with two dumbbells or a large kettlebell, do the same with your back foot suspended in a swinging contraption.
The good thing about this exercise is that you can advance it up to placing your back leg in a TRX(Total Body Resistance) while holding dumbbells in your hands, according to Dodgers strength coach McDaniel. The exercise is one of his favorites since it improves hip flex or range of motion.
McDaniel refers to the pre-push-up abdominal bridge as “the beginning.” “It works the shoulders, core, and trunk and is a closed-chain exercise for the entire body. Who would have thought that a move used by millions of amateur athletes throughout the world would be so crucial to major league baseball players?
Even a small amount of glute activation is possible. Simply put, it is a beneficial drill to reinforce many baseball concepts. For the “21-year-old boys out of college who can do a front plank for three minutes,” the Dodgers strength coach says, he makes it more complex by having them plank on a physioball or with their feet hanging in a TRX trainer. “Whatever you’re doing, this is a fantastic workout to challenge yourself.”
Traditional Step Up
Kochan describes the classic step-up, which involves players stepping up with one leg onto a box or bench, as being as close to a sport-specific movement as one can get without holding a bat in their hands. However, the Giants’ strength coach switches things up by having his athletes perform crossover step-ups and lateral step-ups while adding dumbbells, barbells, or weighted vests to increase the instability. He claims that as if you were hitting, “this offers you extension across your ankle joint, hip joint, and knee joint.” Again, you can perform the exercise anywhere.
Try throwing a heavy medicine ball like a shot put toward a target instead of swinging a bat by loading up your back leg first. The motion, known as a “hitter’s put,” is essential for enhancing a player’s hitting power. “By doing this before games, you’re conditioning your muscles and gait patterns on the field that particular day. That is a win-win situation on its own”, claims Kochan.
McDaniel claims he performs a similar workout with his pitchers to raise their throw volume in the early part of the season. The L.A. strength coach explains that as pitch counts increase, “we’ll use the medicine ball to build up some of that volume and intensity.” However, as their pitch