Baseball Weight Training: A Beginner's Guide | STACK

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.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

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.

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Your Lifts

Breathing Power Powerful Breathing. Breathe Your Way To Stronger Lifts. Take a deep breath in though your nose. More...More... More... Great. Now,...

5 Exercises to Keep Your Shoulders Healthy All Season Long

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

4 Tips to Rebuild Your Body When Your Performance Suffers

7 Tips to Master Single-Leg Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Hanley Ramirez's Overhead Tire Pull

Why Bear Crawls Are All the Rage Right Now

4 Easy Fixes for Your Bench Press Routine

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

Develop Speed With a Power Bag Workout

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Build Rock Solid Glutes With This 30-Day Workout Plan

The 12 Best RDL Variations

Sumo Deadlift for Football Strength

5 Exercises to Maximize Your Down Time

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

The Hardest Plank of All Time

Why You're Not Reaching Your Strength and Speed Potential

Improve Your Durability With 3 BOSU Exercises

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size

Do Your First Deadlift

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

3 Athletic Arm Exercises for Big Guns

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

The Softball Dugout Workout

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Develop a Bulletproof Core With Advanced Barbell Rollouts

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Build Toughness With This Weight Vest Basketball Workout

Hockey Training Designed Specifically for Goalies

Build Hockey Speed and Power with the Hang Clean

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Man Does 4,300 Pull-Ups in One Day

3 Simple Tips to Deadlift More Weight

Should You Train for Absolute or Explosive Strength?

How to Get Fit Like a Marine

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout