Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baseball Exercises

RT Staff Note: We are busier than ever and sometimes we rely on others to do our work for us. Todays article is from Jon Doyle of Baseball Training Secrets. Enjoy.

By Jon Doyle, MA, CSCS

While you search around the Internet for baseball exercises, you no doubt come across some odd and strange looking exercises. The problem is a great deal of these "exercises" is not only worthless, but potentially dangerous. So I figured I'd write up a quick article so you can determine if an exercise you come across is worthy of you adding to your program.

1. Ground-based Exercises - Not all baseball drills need to be "ground-based" or standing up with your feet in contact with the ground, but 99% of the good ones are. Baseball is played standing up. So you should workout that way. Nuff said.

2. No Machines - If an exercise is done on a machine you can kiss it goodbye like an Adam Dunn bomb. You should focus on free weights, body weight and medicine ball -related exercises. Cables are ok, but if it's a machine it won't help your baseball performance and may even hinder it due to lack of stabilizer muscle working and improper execution of range of motion.

3. Explode - Baseball happens at lightning speeds and so should your training. Now, this does not mean exercising out of control, what it means it learning how to properly execute each exercise in a very explosive and controlled manner, just like you do with a bat and ball.

4. Posture - As soon as you lose posture, whether it's in your swing, your throw or when you run, you lose the majority of your strength and power. Same goes in the weight room. Make sure all of your baseball exercises not only maintain proper posture, but they should help build it as well.

5. Similar Joint Movements, Not Exact - This may be the biggest rule broken when it comes to baseball exercises. Don't try and replicate a throwing motion or swinging motion with an object a lot heavier than your game-used equipment. For example, if you use a 30 ounce bat, don't swing a 45-60 ounce bat thinking it will make you a better hitter.

In fact, it will make you worse. Studies prove that any implement over 15% heavier or lighter than your normal piece of equipment will alter your mechanics significantly. If you swing a heavy bat you're practicing a different swing! Same goes with throwing a ball. Drop the weighted balls. It's too much of an injury risk and virtually impossible to maintain your mechanics when you use them.

Same goes in the weight room. Don't use a baseball exercise that tries to mimic a specific movement on the field. This is NOT baseball-specific and stems from the brains (or lack there of) of idiot strength coaches who have no clue what they're doing and, most likely, have never worked with a real athlete in their life. Or in other words they are an Internet Hero. Be wary, they are everywhere trying to steal your money.

Stick to these five basic rules and you will eliminate most, if not all of the terrible exercises floating around the Internet. And you will have a program comprising of many very good baseball exercises to help you become the best possible player you can be!

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