DEVELOPING SUCCESSFUL WORKOUTS FOR HITTERS
Baseball fitness training is a very important aspect of success in baseball players. Hitters looking to improve their performance need not only focus on their mechanics, they also need to hit the gym. With the right workouts for hitters, any player can become stronger, quicker and more explosive with the bat, and ultimately more capable when it’s your turn to take a few swings. You can also learn to prevent injuries before they happen, keeping yourself on the field where you belong. Use these tips to help design a workout specifically designed for hitters that you can utilize to see some fantastic results.
FUNCTIONAL BASEBALL FITNESS TRAINING
One of the most important rules you have to remember is that you want functional and transferrable strength. Functional weight training for baseball means the work that you do in the gym should be able to directly translate to what you’re doing on the diamond. You have to remember that at all times while you’re lifting and working out. You’re not going to the gym to see the highest number you can put up on the bench press. You’re going there to develop functional strength that will improve your performance on the baseball field. You’re still a baseball player, not a bodybuilder, and you want to develop a workout that will improve the way you play the game.
90% OF YOUR WORKOUT
In light of this focus on functional baseball fitness training, your focus while in the gym should be on compound movements and baseball exercises, and powerful, explosive motions. As much as 90% of your workout should be geared around these kinds of exercises. This includes the well-known compound exercises such as squats, dead lifts, cleans and presses and more, and also more moves utilizing chains, medicine balls and other objects as well.
The key when you’re performing these movements though is that you don’t want to be maxing out. As mentioned, you’re not a bodybuilder going to the gym just trying to see the highest numbers that you can lift. The baseball bat you swing with is literally just a few pounds. You need to be explosive, quick and controlled with your swing, and that’s what you want to be mimicking in the gym. You should focus on performing these compound exercises at just 40-60% of your max. Using these weights you can really hone in on explosive strength, fantastic speed and great bat control. Going too heavy will only mess up your hitting mechanics.
Another mistake that many players make is trying to perform the exact movements they do with weights. It sounds like a smart strategy, but once again will only mess up your mechanics and technical movements. If you try to mimic swinging a bat with some cables and heavy weights for example, you’re only teaching your body to perform that motion with the slower strain of heavier weights. You want to be using exercises that develop your explosive strength while leaving your technical skills and learned motions in place.
PRE-HAB – THE OTHER 10% OF YOUR BASEBALL EXERCISES
If 90% of your workout is focused around compound, explosive movements, the remaining portion of your baseball fitness training plan should be spent on pre-hab workout. Pre-hab baseball training drills are those that are designed to prevent injuries before they ever occur. They focus a lot on improving the smaller, stabilizing muscles all throughout your body, and on isolating existing weak spots and hashing them out. By focusing on the right pre-hab techniques, you’ll keep yourself in the game, and also improve your all-around body strength by eliminating those weak spots and trouble issues.
BASEBALL FITNESS WORKOUT – SUMMARY
If you can successfully incorporate all of these different elements into a workout plan, then you’ll see great results on the field. You will improve your speed, explosive power and even bat control, and you’ll keep yourself healthy at the same time. Remember, weight training for baseball isn’t about trying to outdo your buddy by benching more than him. This is about spending your time in the gym with moves and tactics that directly will transfer over to the diamond.
Additional reading: check out Jon Doyle’s baseball training website, where you will find more insights on baseball strength training, hitting techniques, baseball warmup workouts and more.
Offseason Home Baseball Workout
Check out a great offseason home baseball workout from our friends at Baseball Zone.
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