Baseball Weight Training: A Beginner's Guide

January 21, 2013 | Gabe Lazzaro

Must See Baseball Videos


The era of overweight ball players eating hot dogs and fried chicken between innings is dead. Although it's clear that long and successful playing careers are a product of outstanding physical preparation and skill practice, the world of baseball weight training still remains cloudy.

Should baseball players lift weights? How should they train? Which exercises are good and bad? If you're a beginner who is just starting to lift weights, you've probably already asked yourself these questions.

Look no further. The five key principles outlined in this article constitute a basic outline for baseball weight training, and they will help you put together a program that will make you a better ball player.

Baseball Weight Training Principles

Principle #1 - Forget About the Beach

If you've been pulling your workouts out of bodybuilding magazines, stop! These programs will increase muscles size, but most will not make you a better athlete. "Beach muscles" may look good, but they are only a part of your performance. There's nothing wrong with throwing in a "bro day" to get a pump here and there, but do it toward the end of the training week, and make sure it isn't having a negative impact on your training.

(Check out the top ten practical strength exercises for baseball players.)

Principle #2 - Build a Strong Lower Half

If you're the type of athlete who doesn't mind skipping out on leg training, that's fine. There are plenty of roster spots for weak and slow guys, right? If you don't want to fit that profile, then start building up those tree trunks. Stronger legs will have an immediate carryover to better running, jumping, throwing and hitting.

There are literally hundreds of leg exercises that can make you stronger, but start with the basics. Learn how to Squat and Deadlift. The key word in that sentence is learn. These aren't extremely complicated lifts to perform, but proper technique takes practice. Put your ego aside and keep the weight light until you know that your technique is up to par, then focus on getting stronger. When you're ready for more exercises, check out STACK's Lower-Body Exercise Guide.

Principle #3 - Bulletproof Your Back

Whether you're a pitcher or a position player, a strong back is crucial for protecting your arm during the baseball season. Think of your upper back muscles as the brakes and your throwing motion as the car. The better your brakes work, the faster the car can go (i.e., faster arm action equals greater throwing velocity). If the brakes don't work, the car is going to crash (i.e., you could suffer a shoulder or elbow injury). Incorporate exercises like Chin-Ups, Dumbbell Rows, and Inverted Rows to build a strong back.

(Learn how to perform the most effective back exercises.)

Principle #4 - Jump, Throw and Sprint

You can't get fast until you get strong, which is why lifting weights to build muscular strength is so important. However, once you build strength, you should incorporate exercises that will help you display that strength quickly (speed). Always remember that baseball is played with quick, max-effort sprints and plenty of rest in between. Train your body the same way.

Jumps can be performed vertically, laterally, forward and backward—and off either one or both legs. Medicine balls throws should be a staple in every athlete's training program. Slams, rotational and backwards throws are just a few options. Sprints should be done over short distances of 10 yards up to 60 to 100 yards

Principle #5 - Recover

Your body takes a beating from all the work you do in the weight room and on the field, and recovery is a big factor in the sports performance equation. Perform foam rolling and stretching regularly to manage muscular imbalances and prevent injury.

Start building your baseball weight training plan with STACK's Baseball Workout Guide.

Must See
Brandon Jennings: Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 5,512,701
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 32,485,714
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 8,027,087

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Views: 243,040
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,319
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,097
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,576,211
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,865
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,918
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,269,514
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,560

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

Grip strength and endurance are important factors in many sports; baseball, wrestling, hockey, golf, and of course strength sports such as powerlifting...

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

YardBarker