Every sport has its own set of requirements, and baseball is no exception especially when you want to Train Like an MLB Pitcher. As an intense game requiring agility, strength, and endurance, players must adhere to a year-round strategic training program. Our complete strength training program is designed to improve field performance, reduce injury risk, and increase overall fitness. Let's look at the various seasons and the training exercises that go with them.
Overview of How to Train Like an MLB Pitcher
A well-rounded baseball strength training program is frequently periodized, which means it is separated into several phases over the course of the year. Each step focuses on a different component of fitness, building on the previous phase's basis. A typical yearlong training regimen looks like this:
Early Preseason (January through February)
Early in the preseason, players are getting ready for the season and regaining strength following the off-season. The emphasis is on:
- Strengthening the foundation
- Increasing muscular endurance
- Muscle growth (hypertrophy) stimulation
Late Preseason (March to April)
As the season approaches, players ramp up their training to achieve peak performance. The focus in the late preseason is on:
- Increasing your strength
- Increasing output power
In-Season (May to September)
When the competitive season begins, players should be well prepared for the obstacles that await them on the field. During the season, the emphasis is on:
- Strength preservation
- Maintaining power production
Off-Season (October to December)
The off-season allows athletes to recover from the pressure of the competitive season while enhancing performance for the new season. Among the goals for this phase are:
- Rest and recuperation
- Hypertrophy training
- Performance Enhancement
Baseball Strength Training Exercises to Train Like an MLB Pitcher
The following workouts and more are included in our comprehensive baseball strength training program:
- Squat with a barbell, dumbbells, or a sled
- Bench press with dumbbells at an angle
- RDL Romanian Deadlift
- Arm curl using a dumbbell for the biceps
- Triceps extension with dumbbells or machine pushdown
- Cable rowing while seated
- Front lat pulldown with a wide grip
- Crunch in the other direction
- Clean variations, clean pull, hang clean, power clean
- Wooden cable chop
- Shoulder routines
- Push press with a medicine ball, a dumbbell, or barbell
- Standing medicine ball twist with a partner
- Box Jumps
- Vertical leap
Each workout is intended to target certain muscle areas that are necessary for baseball performance. Incorporating these into your workout routine can help you improve your strength, agility, and endurance on the field.
Train Like an MLB Pitcher: Warm-Up Routine
Before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, it is crucial to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for the workout ahead. A proper warm-up routine helps prevent injuries and allows you to perform at your best. Here's a suggested warm-up routine:
- Dynamic Stretching - Begin with dynamic stretches that activate major muscle groups, such as arm circles, leg swings, and torso rotations. Perform each movement for 10-15 repetitions.
- Cardiovascular Exercise - Incorporate 5-10 minutes of light cardio exercises, such as jogging or cycling, to increase your heart rate and warm up your body.
- Joint Mobilization - Perform exercises that focus on joint mobility, including wrist circles, shoulder rolls, and hip circles. Aim for 10 repetitions for each joint.
Train Like an MLB Pitcher: Upper Body Strength Training
Developing upper body strength is crucial for baseball players, as it enhances throwing power, bat speed, and overall performance. The following exercises will target your chest, shoulders, back, and arms:
1. Bench Press
The bench press is a fundamental exercise for building chest and triceps strength. Here's how to perform it correctly:
- Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Grip the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lower it to your chest.
- Press the barbell back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
- Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions, gradually increasing the weight as you progress.
2. Shoulder Press
The shoulder press targets the deltoid muscles and strengthens the shoulders. Follow these steps:
- Sit on a bench with back support, holding dumbbells at shoulder level.
- Extend your arms upward, fully extending your elbows.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder level.
- Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions, gradually increasing the weight over time.
3. Bent-Over Rows
Bent-over rows are excellent for strengthening the upper back muscles and improving posture. Here's how to do them:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold a barbell with an overhand grip.
- Bend forward at the hips, maintaining a flat back, and let the barbell hang at arm's length.
- Pull the barbell up towards your lower chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Lower the barbell back down with control.
- Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions, gradually increasing the weight as you get stronger.
4. Bicep Curls
Strong biceps play a significant role in bat speed and overall upper body strength. Follow these instructions for effective bicep curls:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at arm's length by your sides.
- Keep your elbows close to your torso and curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders.
- Pause for a moment, squeezing your biceps.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions, gradually increasing the weight as you progress.
Train Like an MLB Pitcher: Lower Body Strength Training
A strong lower body is essential for generating power, speed, and agility on the baseball field. Incorporate the following exercises into your training regimen:
Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple lower body muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Here's how to perform squats correctly:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly turned out.
- Lower your body by bending at the knees and hips, as if sitting back into a chair.
- Keep your back straight and your chest lifted.
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
- Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions, gradually increasing the weight as you become more comfortable with the movement.
2. Hang Clean
The Hang Clean is a terrific workout for building lower-body explosive power. The Hang Clean is performed as follows:
- Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and an overhand grip on a barbell.
- With your knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips and descend the barbell to just above your knees. This is your starting point.
- Triple extend ankle, knee, and hip flexor explosively, and launch the barbell upward, maintaining it close to your torso.
- When the barbell reaches chest level, dip under it swiftly and catch it in a front squat stance, elbows high and the barbell resting on your shoulders.
- Reverse the exercise and drop the barbell to the hang position just above your knees to return to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise as many times as necessary.
The Hang Clean works the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, as well as the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles. It is a dynamic and explosive movement that simulates the explosiveness required in numerous sports, including baseball.
Lunges are great for developing lower body strength and stability. Follow these steps to perform lunges effectively:
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Take a big step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle.
- Push through your right heel to return to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement with your left leg.
- Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each leg.
Train Like an MLB Pitcher: Core Strength and Stability Exercises
A strong and stable core is vital for generating power, maintaining balance, and preventing injuries. Incorporate the following exercises into your routine:
Planks are excellent for strengthening the entire core, including the abs, back, and hips. Here's how to perform a plank:
- Start in a push-up position, with your forearms on the ground and elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
- Engage your core, keep your body in a straight line, and hold the position for as long as you can.
- Aim for 3 sets, gradually increasing the duration as you get stronger.
2. Russian Twists
Russian twists target the oblique muscles and improve rotational power. Follow these steps to perform Russian twists:
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and lean back slightly.
- Clasp your hands together and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your glutes.
- Rotate your torso to the right, touching the ground with your hands.
- Return to the center and repeat the movement to the left.
- Perform 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions on each side.
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