Baseball strength training is one area of the sports world that’s a bit behind in terms of training methodology. Thoughts of training with light weights, emphasizing stretching only and performing long slow bouts of endurance training are still around today. It’s my opinion this idea leads to more opportunity for injury and reduced performance. This article’s focus is not on giving out a cookie cutter program, but about providing ideas for improving your baseball strength training program.
Weight Training for The Baseball Athlete
A baseball strength training program should look similar to training programs of other athletes. Sport specificity is the big term used today, but really should only apply to conditioning. The idea of sport specific strength training implies the use of loading movements associated with the sport. I feel mimicking sport skill under load is inherantly dangerous to the athlete and the load (weight) used during these activities is typically too low to produce any real result.
The early pre-season is used for more general workouts, such as running. These workouts will gradually shift into more intense workouts – the key here is to not start off too intensely, because that will add stress and strain to rested muscles, increasing the chance for injury. You want to get your body back in shape after the off-season before you start pushing it too hard. You want to start building your foundational strength, which basically your overall strength. The core muscles are most important to a baseball player; they facilitate movements such as turning, jumping, and twisting. Body weight exercises are great when used in a circuit because they lower the risk of injury by depending only on body weight.
External Chi Healing (Wai Qi Zhi Liao) helps the healer to tap into the healing energy of nature and channel it through their body. The exercises that are involved are used to increase the healer’s sensitivity to energy fields as well as the efficacy of treatment. The base concept is that the more a person practices this art, the more effective their healing treatment will become. The techniques are appropriate for stand alone practice as well as in combination with other therapies such as massage, acupuncture and osteopathy.
Spiritual Qi Gong (Fo Gong or Tao Gong) is a discipline that is spiritual in nature. Its practice can open the person to self awareness, tranquility and harmony with nature. This aspect of Chi Kung has its roots in Buddhism and Taoism.
Shuttle MVP Circuit
Although originally created for injury prevention and rehabilitation, the Shuttle MVP has athletic performance benefits for healthy athletes. The machine consists of a padded board that runs along a horizontal track. To add resistance, attach elastic bands to the board.
Lie on your back on the board and place your feet flat against the metal plate. Then, push off the plate in a jumping motion to propel yourself (and the board) along the track against the bands’ resistance. Because the landing element is removed, explosive jump training with little or no impact results.