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Strength Training for Baseball Players

December 16, 2014

Motor Skill plus Muscular Strength

While the brain controls all the movement in a baseball game, it is the muscles that create it.  If you are like nearly every other player in the world, you are missing half the equation. Muscle strength is the missing factor in baseball.

 

The development of skill in baseball serves one basic purpose:  it enables you to use the strength of your muscles with greater efficiency.  Your hours on the practice field hone your ability to use your muscles, but what are YOU doing for your muscles?

 

Skill training and strength training must be attended to.  The benefits to your game will go far beyond longer hits. Proper full range exercise will simultaneously develop strength, increase flexibility, and provide cardiovascular conditioning.  The cost to you and your busy schedule? Not more than one hour of high intensity exercise per week.

 

Motor Control - Where does the hit, throw, catch, fielding, come from?

A muscle is nothing more than a machine made out of proteins and water.  It has no knowledge of the use to which it is being put.  It is purely the brain and not the muscles that differentiates a bat from a ball.

 

Proper skill training improves the ability of the brain to coordinate large numbers of muscles in complex movements. Great changes in skill may result from attention to the neural or motor control component alone.  But what of the muscles?  How will a stronger muscle fit into the baseball equation?

 

Proper strength training simply gives the brain a more efficient and more powerful tool to control.  Given continued skill training while strength is developed the brain easily learns to control its improving engines. Skill clearly does not suffer from proper strength training.

 

The Benefits of Strength Training

Perhaps more so than home runs the baseball player should be concerned with consistency.  The ability to grove a swing or throw is critical to baseball success.  While skill training is essential, properly performed strength training can enhance consistency.

How is this so?  Picture a muscle of a given strength level.  A typical skeletal muscle contains several thousand muscle fibers.  Swinging a bat or throwing a baseball necessitates that the brain call upon some large percentage of that muscle – say 75%.  It is not hard to imagine the complexity involved in controlling such a large number of muscle fibers.  Now take that muscle and strengthen it.  Research has documented massive strength gains in short periods.  It is not unusual for the average player to double his strength in a year.  Calling on that same muscle the brain now finds that for the same bat head speed velocity it only needs 40% of the muscle and 40% is far easier to control than 75%.  Choose to call upon more than 40% of the muscle and bat speed velocity will increase.

 

The Other Benefits of Strength Training

Research has documented increases in flexibility, a clear increase in the ability to withstand injury since strength training improves connective as well as muscular tissue, a clear increase in metabolic endurance, and a marked improvement in cardiovascular function.  All it takes is a training tool that follows accepted principles of biomechanics, provides effective variable resistance, and places the limbs in stretched initial positions to enhance flexibility.  At One Body, our specialized Med X equipment fills that role well for the baseball player.

 

For best results in all strength training programs, the intensity of the exercise must be as high as possible and force as low as possible throughout the full range of movement.  It is easily possible to provide both maximum intensity and minimum force at the same time.

 

HIGH INTENSITY STRENGTH TRAINING FOR BASEBALL 

  • Productive, Efficient and Safe

  • Body parts to emphasize:  buttocks, thighs, back, chest, shoulders, arms, forearms, and core.

  • Hip Abduction and Hip Adduction

  • Leg Extension and Leg Curl

  • Pullover

  • Chest Press

  • Lateral Raise

  • Bicep Curl

  • Tricep Press

  • Wrist Curl/Reverse Wrist Curl

  • Plank Program

Improve your game by incorporating our HIIT sessions in your baseball training! Try a session FREE today: 407-256-9291

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