Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...

Push-Up Workout to Build Needed Baseball Muscle

January 3, 2013 | Eric Bunnell

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During the transition from off-season to in-season, baseball players have a tendency to either go too heavy or too light with their workout loads. Those who continue with high volume workouts risk injury and sacrifice flexibility, while those who neglect in-season training may maintain flexibility but hurt their strength toward the end of the season. (Read How to Construct a Baseball Workout.)

That's why bodyweight training is the great equalizer for baseball players. This push-up workout will strengthen your upper body, abdominals, glutes and quads while helping you maintain the flexibility you need to perform on-field tasks. (Want more ideas? See Football, Baseball and Basketball Push-Up Variations.)

Sets/Reps

If you're performing these as a part of a full-body workout, pick two or three exercises and perform three sets of at least 10 reps. The exercises can also be done as a circuit routine, in which you can vary between two and three sets of 10 reps.

Push-Up Workout

Traditional Push-Ups

 These build the base for each of the following variations.

  • Start with hands shoulder-width apart, elbows locked, and feet close together
  • Descend with control and explode on the way up

Triangle (Triceps) Push-Ups

The Triangle Push-Up has the added bonus of working your triceps.

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  • Start in traditional position except hands are closer together and angled at 45 degrees
  • Descend with control and explode on the way up

3-Point Push-Ups

With only three points touching the ground, you are forced to keep yourself balanced while performing the Push-Up. In addition to your chest, this will help target your core strength, which is essential for any baseball position. (See it in the Steve Nash workout)

  • Start in a traditional position with hands shoulder-width apart
  • Lift right leg in the air so only left leg and both hands touch the ground
  • Perform 10 reps, then switch feet

Incline Physioball Push-Ups

Another variation is the Incline Push-Up. But instead of using a bench or solid platform (such as a wall), use a physioball for resistance. The instability of the ball forces you to balance during the exercise, and this will pay dividends on the mound and in the batter's box.

  • In push-up position, place hands on ball slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Your body should form a straight line from ankles to head
  • Lower until chest nearly touches ball
  • Tuck elbows as you lower, forming 45-degree angle between elbows and body
  • Pause at bottom, then explode on the way up

Elevated Push-Ups

This final exercise is an inverted or Handstand Push-Up. You can alter the difficulty by changing your distance away from the wall. The closer you are to the wall, the more difficult the exercise.

  • Find a wall or something stable to place your feet against to keep you elevated during the exercise
  • Place hands shoulder-width apart
  • Start with elbows locked as you would with a traditional Push-Up
  • Lower to the ground while keeping feet on wall
  • Push back up into locked position.

Note: If you are a pitcher or have shoulder issues, be careful when performing this. If done properly, this should not be a dangerous lift, and should not inhibit your throwing motion.

 

Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...

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