Fit For a King: Miguel Cabrera's Off-Season Workout

February 25, 2013 | Featured in the Winter 2013 Issue

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A slugger like Miguel Cabrera is seldom content with a single; he’s got extra bases on his mind every time he steps up to the dish.

For Cabrera, Major League Baseball’s reigning Triple Crown king, that mentality extends from the plate to the weight room, in that each exercise he completes during his off-season workouts has multiple performance benefits.

Supplementing Miggy’s natural hitting skills, the lower-body routine he completes in the off-season is designed to help him generate force from the ground and convert it into raw hitting power. “This workout is great for conditioning and learning how to use your body, muscles and joints to be able to produce more power into the ground,” says Detroit Tigers strength coach Javair Gillett.

Complete this four-exercise routine for a grand slam effect on your off-season baseball training.

Prowler Sled Push (pictured above)

  • Start with hands on sled and body at 45-degree forward lean
  • Powerfully drive legs to begin sprinting
  • Stay on balls of feet and drive knees up for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 3x20 yards

Gillett: “At this point in time, we’re not worried with how fast he’s running; we’re trying to make him more mechanically efficient.”

Rotational Contrast Throw

  • Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Stand with partner or wall five yards to left
  • Explosively rotate through core and throw med ball at partner/wall
  • Catch med ball and repeat for specified reps
  • Perform exercise with lightweight med ball and use tighter, more compact motion for specified reps
  • Perform set with partner/wall to right

Sets/Reps: 2x10, 2x10

Gillett: “The med ball works core stability, balance, reaction and hand-eye coordination. You can swing a bat fast, but that doesn’t mean the ball is going to travel farther. This exercise will help you get through the baseball and increase batted-ball velocity.”

Detroit Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera Med Ball Throw.

Squat

  • Assume athletic position with bar on back and feet slightly wider than hip-width
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and lower into squat until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Extend hips and knees to drive up out of squat position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Squat

Sets/Reps: 3x6-10

Gillett: "There’s no better exercise to strengthen your lower body if you’re trying to be functional. It mimics what you’re doing on the baseball field."

Skaters

  • Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Pushing off right leg, hop laterally left for distance
  • Land on left leg; hold landing
  • Pushing off left leg, hop laterally right for distance
  • Land on right leg; hold landing
  • Perform continuously for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3-4x6 (3 each leg)

Gillett: “He’s going heavy with the Squat and then will go right into the Skaters to build more stamina and improve his lateral, side-to-side movement."

Skaters Exercise

Photos: Alan Clarke

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
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