Build Muscle to Make the Starting Lineup Next Baseball/Softball Season

November 8, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

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Did low percentages or nagging injuries keep you out of the starting lineup last baseball or softball season? Assure your position on the diamond next spring with the following multi-joint, bodyweight medicine ball combo exercises. Each one is designed to add power to your swing, throws and/or pitching velocity.

Explosive Push-Ups/Squat Thrusts

Sets/Reps: 3x10

An excellent upper- and lower-body combination for enhancing power production in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, legs, hips and core to improve batting, throwing and running.

  • Perform 10 explosive Push-Ups (hands leaving floor between reps)
  • Follow immediately with 10 Squat Thrusts (remaining in push-up stance, quickly thrust legs back and forth towards forearms)
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat twice more

Medicine Ball Woodchoppers and Twists/Walking Front Lunges and Overhead Raises

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Whether you're fielding, reaching high overhead to catch the ball or running bases, these exercises will effectively strengthen your abdominal, shoulder, hip and leg muscles.

  • Assume athletic stance holding moderately heavy (15- to 20-pound) medicine ball with arms extended at chest level
  • Explosively raise ball overhead while simultaneously lifting toes, then drive ball through legs as you bend knees (Woodchopper movement)
  • Pause one second
  • Bring ball back to start position and, with arms extended at chest level, rapidly alternate rotating ball from side to side (Twists)
  • Return to start position and do nine more reps
  • Rest 30 seconds (water break)

Now perform med ball Walking Front Lunges and Overhead Presses.

  • Hold med ball just below waist level
  • Simultaneously raise ball overhead and lunge forward with left foot
  • Pause one second
  • Bring ball down to waist and lunge with right leg while raising ball overhead
  • Continue sequence nine more times

Pull-Up and Hold Movement/Medicine Ball Side Lunges and Press-Outs

Sets/Reps: 2x5

Pull-Ups train your body for better bat control and ball grip for pitching and throwing, while Side Lunges engage the leg muscles needed for generating power. Press-Outs efficiently build upper-body muscle necessary for improving your hitting, throwing and pitching skills.

  • Perform five Pull-Ups (one second up and three seconds down)
  • Hold fifth rep in the up position (arms bent with eyes nearly even with bar) for 15 to 20 seconds
  • Release, then immediately grab 20-pound med ball and hold close to chest
  • Lunge laterally with right foot and simultaneously explosively press ball forward with arms extended at chest level
  • Bring left foot toward right and continue lateral right foot Lunges/Press-Outs four more times
  • Switch to left foot Side Lunges/Press-Outs for five reps
  • Rest 30 seconds (water break)
  • Repeat Pull-Ups/Side Lunges/Press-Outs sequence once more
Want more workout tips? Check out STACK's Baseball and Softball pages.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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