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Whether you're focused on speeding up your fastball or putting the ball over the fence, your baseball training should include resistance workouts. One particularly powerful training method is plyometric training, which helps you develop explosive power. Plyometric training unites strength and speed, which aids players who have to generate a lot of force quickly, such as pitchers, infielders and batters. Explosive strength can give you the edge necessary to stand out and be noticed by scouts as you move into higher levels of competition.
Plyometric training requires the use of some pieces of equipment not used in traditional weight training. These include boxes, platforms and benches, which must be sturdy and able to support your weight so you're not injured when you jump on and off. Additionally, grass, turf and rubber surfaces can be useful or some plyometric exercises. For lower-body plyometrics, you can work out on stadium stairs.
Plyometric training is intense, so it should not be performed by players who are not sufficiently physically mature. You should not perform plyometrics until you reach age 15 if you do not have a coach's supervision. Also, you shouldn't perform plyometric training unless you have developed a good base of strength. One test for assessing your readiness is your ability to perform five consecutive clap push-ups and the ability to squat 1 1/2 times your body weight.
Lower-body strength and power is vital for running, and it can also improve your hitting and pitching. Transferring power from your lower body to your upper body when batting and throwing will provide significant force. Box jumps, depth jumps, drive step bounding and single lateral jumps are effective lower body plyometric exercises that can help improve your baseball skills. Both box jumps and depth jumps require the use of a platform or box about 1 foot high. Single lateral jumps require a simple barrier with a width of about one inch, such as a broomstick or ruler to lie on the floor as you jump over it, moving from side to side.
Everyone from outfielders to catchers has to throw the baseball at some point, and the same goes for batting. Thus, upper body power is crucial. Plyometric exercises such as the one-handed baseball throw, clap push-ups, side throws, medicine ball slams and overhead throws can help you develop strength and may help you prevent injuries such as rotator cuff tears. Perform clap push-ups on surfaces that have some give, such as turf, rather than hard surfaces such as concrete, which could encourage injuries. Before beginning a set of medicine ball exercises, such as slams, overhead throws or side throws, warm up with a light medicine ball to get a good gauge of what weight would be appropriate for a working set. Beginning with too much resistance can lead to injuries, particularly when making quick, explosive movements.