Improving your fitness in key areas will help you fine tune your baseball skills and give you the edge over your opponents. It takes hard and regular work to start seeing the gains but make no mistake about it: it can be done. Try these exercise ideas and see if your game improves.
At The Batter’s Box
Want to hit the ball harder and faster? Then you are going to need to work on the core and upper body strength. Push-ups will help you develop your chest and shoulders while crunches will increase your core strength. Start slowly and build yourself up – once every other day is more than enough. Once you have developed your strength a little, you can move up to pull-ups. Rest one of your feet on a chair if you are struggling, and it won’t be long until you are pulling yourself up easily.
You are going to need speed if you want to make it around the field, either for your first home run since high school or just to make a catch. Forget about jogging ten miles a day – you need high-intensity interval training to increase your speed over short distances. The best thing about HIIT sprinting is that you can achieve a lot from a single workout, and it only takes up a small amount of your day. Hit up this workout from Shape.com to get started.
Baseball is also a game about your response times. You need to be able to move from one place to another in a split second to get the edge over your opponents. Try plyometrics training to give your legs the ability to explode into action and you will develop your all-important pace over five yards. Plyo will help you get out of the blocks quicker, and help you cover short distances to make a catch.
Let’s not forget about pitching. Grab yourself some resistance bands – these work a treat – to work your shoulders and chest areas. You will also need to have a good range of turning motion, so try some twisting exercises with a medicine ball. It will help you develop strength in your torso area.
Finally, catching. Get a few balls and a good glove – something like these Louisville Slugger gloves will be just the job – and get a friend or family member to start throwing at you. Try and develop a good rhythm and catch one low to the side, in the middle, and low to the right. Keep testing yourself at different heights and when you feel confident enough, mix it up. One high right, one low, middle one mid-left, and so on. This will increase your reaction times and help you get used to holding your glove at the optimum angle, whatever position you receive the ball.
If that doesn’t help your game within a few weeks, then you’re probably a lost cause! But seriously, keep working and you never know how far it could take you. We’re not saying it will earn you millions like some of these guys, but here’s hoping!