3 Killer ways to train like a Baseball BEAST

3 killer ways to train like a baseball beast

1. Build a strong and powerful lower half

Your lower half is your engine and power generator.  Without a strong and powerful engine you will not reach your maximum potential as a baseball player.  Imagine trying to build a house on sand, what would happen? The house would eventually crumble and fall because it has no foundation.

Here is the progression I follow for my baseball players:

  • Bodyweight squat
  • Goblet squat
  • Trap bar deadlift
  • Box squat w/ front squat grip
  • Sumo deadlift

Simply put, I want my baseball players to be strong as hell! While maximal strength isn’t the end all be all for baseball players, it is important for producing power and keeping the body healthy. The bigger the engine you have, the more potential power you will have, so lift heavy weights!   Look at the best power hitters in Major League Baseball today, their legs are built like tree trunks. Building a strong and powerful lower half should start with mastering your bodyweight and then adding external resistance.

Albert Pujols legs

Check out the size of Albert Pujols legs. Do you think he has a solid foundation of strength?

2. Create a stable and active core

Anyone who has ever played baseball can tell you how important the core is in performing basic baseball movements such as swinging and throwing. A strong core is critical to a baseball player who wants to perform optimally and stay healthy. The issue with “core training” is many coaches and baseball players do not understand the true meaning of it. True core training should help stabilize and brace the spine for an explosive movement (such as swinging a bat or throwing a ball). Unfortunately, many coaches and baseball players think of spinal flexion, spinal extension and lumbar rotation exercises when it comes to “core training”. From a baseball performance perspective, exercises like crunches, sit ups, side bends and Russian twists and other forms of spinal flexion, spinal extension and lumbar rotation exercises are completely dead.

In order to train the core probably, we must understand the role the core plays in baseball performance. One of the roles of the core is to redistribute force throughout the body. Redistributing force is critical to staying healthy and durable. The second role of the core is to redirect force. In the baseball swing the hips and thighs generate power, but the core transmits this power and redirects it. This same example can be applied to the pitching motion. While the pitcher is going through his windup, the legs and hips generate the power and the core transmits this power throughout the body and redirects it to the ball. If a baseball player has a weak core, clearly they will be limited in their ability to maximize hitting power and throwing velocity. It doesn’t stop here. The core’s ability to transmit power generated from the legs throughout the body is critical to running the bases, tracking down a fly ball and even blocking a ball behind the plate. Any athletic movement in baseball involves the lower body and the core.

Read more about Core Training For Baseball…

kneeling pallof press

3. Focus on becoming efficient in the transverse and frontal planes

For awhile I was guilty of doing most power exercises in the sagittal plane. After speaking with Eric Cressey and reading his article, What I learned in 2010, I realized that I needed to cut back on the amount of  power exercises on the sagittal plane and start incorporating more rotational medicine ball exercises and lateral jumps. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this terminology, in a nutshell the sagittal planes consists of strength exercises like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups and power exercises like box jumps, vertical jumps, sprints, broad jumps, olympic lifts etc…

While these exercises are important to build a solid foundation of strength, you need to build power and explosiveness in the transverse  plane (rotational) and frontal plane (moving laterally) to have a real carry over to the baseball diamond. This means performing a ton of rotational medicine ball exercises and lateral jumping and landing exercises. The best resource on these type of exercises is Eric Cressey’s YouTube channel. Not only does he have a ton of medicine ball exercises on there, but they are all free!  

power core training for baseball

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