So the baseball season is over and the cold weather has arrived. It may be a long way until the next baseball season is here, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about how to stay in shape and get yourself or your players prepared.

The first thing players should do after a long season is to give their body a rest. This is probably most important for pitchers who need to give their arm a break from the strain they have put on it but it’s also important for all players not to just jump right in with a training program.

The rule of thumb is to try to take 6-10 weeks off before begin a new training and conditioning program. This gives the body a break and allows you to start fresh when you begin preseason conditioning.

So let’s talk a little bit about some conditioning exercises that baseball players can do once they start preseason conditioning.

Conditioning Exercises

Stretching is an important part of injury prevention and your performance. These types of exercises should normally be done in repetitions of five with each stretch being held for about 30 seconds. Take a short break between each set of repetitions and as well as each set of exercises. You should also stretch the muscle to its end range of motion.

Strengthening exercises should also be included in your conditioning program. For these, the recommendation is between 8 and 15 repetitions of each. The athlete will normally start to feel the burn by the 8th or 9th repetition and feel like putting the resistance band or weight down by about the 12th repetition.

Here are just a few important exercises that baseball players should be aware of. Make sure to consult your doctor before starting any workout program and workout under the supervision of a professional if possible.

External Rotation

  1. Secure a resistance band onto a surface at shoulder level.
  2. Face toward the secured end and hold arm out to the side at shoulder level and elbow bent at 90* with forearm parallel to the floor.
  3. Rotate your hand up towards the ceiling keeping your back straight.
  4. Relax and return to starting position.

Internal Rotation

  1. Secure a resistance band onto a surface at shoulder level.
  2. Face away from the secured end. Arm should be out to the side at shoulder level and elbow bent at 90* and hand pointed toward the ceiling.
  3. Rotate the hand downward toward the floor.
  4. Relax and return to starting position.

Posterior Capsule Stretch

  1. Start with your throwing arm. Bring your arm across the front of your body towards your opposite shoulder.
  2. Hold your elbow with the other hand.
  3. Pull arm across your chest until a stretch is felt in the back of the shoulder.
  4. Complete this required hold time and sets. Repeat on the opposite side.

Sleeper Stretch

  1. Lie on the side of your throwing arm.
  2. Put your throwing arm to the side and at a 90* angle. Your forearm should point to the ceiling.
  3. Using your non-throwing hand, gently push the forearm of the throwing hand toward the floor.
  4. You should feel a stretch along the backside of the bottom shoulder.
  5. Complete the hold time and number of sets and repeat on the opposite side.

These are just a few basic strength and stretching exercises that can be added to a conditioning plan. There are many others that can be found.

In baseball, the position the athlete plays can also determine which type of exercises may benefit them the most. For instance, a pitcher will need strong muscular endurance in order to pitch longer. Outfielders need a strong arm for long throws while an infielder needs to be quick and accurate.

Preseason baseball conditioning should typically begin anywhere from 8-12 weeks before the start of the season. Daily flexibility exercises can be done while drills for speed and agility may be scheduled for 2 or 3 days per week.

Strength exercises should be included 3 to 4 times per week. They should start with higher repetitions on lower intensity and move to lower repetitions with higher intensity. And don’t forget to have a cool down period after each workout and make sure that you take at least one day a week off to rest up.

As mentioned there are many conditioning drills targeted at baseball players, far too many to list in this article. I would recommend doing some research and incorporating some of them into your workout program.

The most important thing is to get yourselves into baseball condition before the practices and the season begin. It will help to get you off on the right foot.

 

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