At Home Baseball Workouts
Now that the World Series is over and fall baseball is concluding for most players, it is time to begin preparing some off season baseball workouts. Taking a break from baseball practice at this time is a good idea because year round playing can lead to burnout and monotony. A two or three month break from baseball practice should be a sufficient amount of time to rekindle the fire for baseball, without totally losing one’s skills. Competing in other sports during this period can also help to condition athletes, as well as giving them the mental break needed away from baseball.
However, serious ballplayers should not forget about gaining the edge for next season. The best way to do this is by gaining strength, both mentally and physically. Strength training for baseball does not require a great amount of equipment and definitely does not involve advanced equipment or machines. The one ingredient necessary though is motivation.
The following baseball workouts are easily done in the comfort of the home. Players, who dedicate just a few minutes each day, will notice a difference in strength. Players can do one of the following each day, combine a couple each day or do them all in the same day. Doing each one, even once a week is sufficient for young ball players, but older players should strive for two to three times per week. Combining the break from baseball practice along with the physical training builds up the mental “eye of the tiger” necessary for the up-coming baseball season. Parents can try the following motivation tactics also, especially for un-enthusiastic or low motivated kids.
Baseball Workouts for Strength Gain and Motivation
1. Nothing is more important to get the ball to jump off the bat and for controlling the thrown ball than hand, wrist, and forearm strength. There are many useful items on the market designed to help build hand and forearm strength, but something as simple as squeezing water out of a towel works just as well.
* Motivation tactic – Have kids squeeze the water out of their bath washrag when taking a bath. Players should squeeze it completely dry and then increase the number of times they do it every time they take a bath, or shower.
2. Ball players often neglect developing the core muscles of the midsection but this is a big mistake. Doing fast hip turns while holding a weighted object are good for the explosive power needed in hitting and throwing. Gradual increases in weight held develop this core strength. Old- fashioned sit-ups, or any variation of those, are beneficial too.
* Motivation tactic – Parents challenge kids to a sit-up contest. Loser cleans the child’s room. (Parents reminder – you do not have too much to lose, as you are the one that will have to do it usually, anyway.
3. Pushups are great strengthening tools and good for all ages. Pushups develop the bigger muscles around the chest and shoulders as well as the speed muscles around the forearms and hands, all muscles that are involved in hitting and throwing a ball. Performing different variations like hands wide, hands together, fingertip, and feet elevated push-ups work different muscles.
Motivation tactic – players begin with one pushup before bed the first night, add one each day and see how many days they can keep adding on.
4. Lunges, knee bends, or simply stepping up on a stool or chair will help develop the leg and rear end muscles, which are also a major source of power for both hitters and pitchers.
Motivation Tactic – Players choose their favorite, or any football team, each week, and perform as many lunges or knee bends as the chosen teams’ defense lets up. When their team wins, they only have to do them once a week, but twice if the team loses that week.
Parents can invent their own ways of trying to motivate young players as long as they do not use the “Work out or else” method, which usually backfires. After an off-season of this conditioning, players will notice the difference with increased bat and arm speed. Working to be bigger, stronger, faster helps players reach their full potential, without future regret of what they might have done differently.
Conditioning and strength work should continue year round but players should scale back their baseball workouts during the season to avoid physical exhaustion. Additionally, advanced players and unmotivated players may need to join a workout facility for the necessary strength equipment and/or for the help and motivation provided by a physical exercise specialist. An expert should supervise any use of heavy weights, at least at the beginning of an athlete’s workouts. Good high school baseball programs usually include and encourage offseason baseball workouts, which can be conveniently done at the school or at home.