5 Awesome Lower Body Exercises for Baseball Players

5 Awesome Lower Body Exercises for Baseball Players

One of the biggest mistakes I see baseball players make is in their off season training program. I’ve talked to many coaches and parents who believe that running is the key to building strong legs. If you have read any of my articles on baseball training, you know how I despise long distance running for baseball players, especially pitchers. The lower body is of the utmost importance for baseball players and in order to build a strong and powerful lower body there are certain exercises that all baseball players need to include in their off season training. These exercises should target the muscles of the posterior chain-the gluteus, low back and hamstrings and give you the best bang for your buck to help you optimize performance.

Front Squats

Squats are the king of all lower body exercises because they are the best exercise to improve strength in the lower body. Unless you have access to a safety squat bar, I highly recommend front squats for baseball players. While back squats are a great exercise, I don’t recommend them to baseball players because of the position it puts the shoulders in. Why force a baseball player into this vulnerable position when the shoulders are already taking a beating from playing the sport.

Check out this video by Ben Bruno

 

Sets: 3-6

Reps: 4-6

Deadlifts

If squats are the king of all lower body exercises, deadlifts are the king of full body exercises. It trains just about every muscle in the posterior chain and is an important exercise to build a solid foundation of strength in the lower body. There are many different variations of the dealift that are effective. These include trap bar deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlifts and romanian deadlifts.

Sets: 3-6

Reps: 3-5

Glute Bridges

While the glute bridge is a great activation exercise in the warm-up, a weighted glute bridge is the best exercise to strengthen and activate the gluteus. You can load this exercise with just your bodyweight, or load it with chains, sandbags or a barbell.

Use this progression…

Glute brdige==>single leg bridge==>weighted glut bridge==>weighted single leg bridge==> hip thruster==>single leg hip thruster==>weighted hip thruster==>weighted single leg hip thruster

Check out these videos below by John Gaglione:

Bilateral Glute Bridge. 

Single Leg Hip Thruster

Sets: 3-4

Reps: 8-12

 

Glute Ham Raises

Want to bullet proof your hamstrings? GHR’s are one of the best ways to strengthen the muscles of the posterior chain. Do them for high reps with bodyweight or hold a plate across your chest for a moderate amount of reps. You can also throw an EliteFTS band around your neck and do them for a different variation.

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 8-15

Unilateral Leg Exercises

Overcoming muscular imbalances are critical to preventing injuries. In order to overcome muscular imbalances caused from pitching, swinging, throwing and running, unilateral training is critical. Unilateral leg exercises are also a great way to help improve hip stability  Lunges, split squats and step-ups are excellent for this. Hold dumbbells, kettlebells or sandbags to do these exercises. You can also make these more challenging by holding them in different positions such as overhead, near your chest (rack position) or by your side (farmer or suitcase position).

Sets: 3-4

Reps: 8-12

And there you have, the 5 lower body exercises all baseball players should be doing. Do you want a program that integrates all these exercise into a 16 week complete off season program for baseball players? Check out the Real Deal Baseball Training System.

 

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Leave A Reply (6 comments so far)

  • njama

    I’m curious about how hood work with youth players that are very raw in skill and fitness. I don’t want to involve them with weights until I see how they work with body weight first. I’m thinking of the basic square, various pushups, and core work along with footwork and initial speed drills. Any reccomendations?

  • Hey bro,

    Youth players are totally different. The main goal for my youth athletes is to establish a solid foundation of athleticism. This includes, coordination, mobility, flexibility, stability. Basic bodyweight exercises is the way to go. Squats, lunges, push-ups, rope climbing, hand walking, bear crawls, crab walks, various planks, pull-ups, rows.

    My partner on RDBT, Dan Huff, said it the best- you have to earn your right to use weights. If an athlete can’t perform a proper bodyweight squat then there is no way I am going introduce an external load. Agility ladder drills are even fine for young athletes. Teach them how to land, proper running mechanics etc… Young athletes absorb info like sponges. If you can ingrain great technique at a young age, that will page huge dividends in the future.

    Hopefully this gives you some insight into how I train my young athletes. Let me know what other questions you have!

    Coach Megz

  • Njama

    I tried to click on the subscribe button because the information looks top notch, but it wont complete the process.

  • Njama,

    Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner. Are you looking to subscribe to baseball newsletter or my regular newsletter? Let me know so I can hook you up!

  • girl doing the glute bridge

    my favorite was the girl doing the glute bridge 🙂

  • guy doing the glute bridge

    yeah shes hot

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