The 6-Week Baseball Tune-Up

Get your body in shape for baseball season with this six-week baseball workout from STACK Magazine.

Baseball Workout

AP Images

Off-season lifting has you feeling stronger than ever, and you're ready to kill it in tryouts. But when you get there, your swing doesn't feel any more powerful. Your throws don't have extra zip. What happened to all that hard work in the weight room?

According to Tony Gentilcore, who trains some of baseball's top players, athletes often fail to transfer their gym-built strength gains into attributes they can use on the field. The reason is simple: Many lifts don't translate to the movements they make during games.

Thankfully, the fix is also simple: In the weeks before tryouts begin, instead of always pushing to lift heavier weights, focus on explosive, baseball-specific movements. Gentilcore recommends power-focused workouts featuring lower-body plyometric and rotational exercises, which improve mobility, build core strength, and teach muscles to fire faster. He says, "You'll improve your explosiveness by using drills that emulate a hitting or throwing motion. A more powerful player is always going to win out over a weaker opponent."

Developing stronger baseball-specific movement patterns comes with a bonus: it helps to prevent injuries. By improving often-hurt areas like shoulder and back muscles before camp starts, you'll reduce your chance of breaking down over the course of a long season.

"These exercises will prep your body for what you're going to do when practice begins, so you're not shocking your system," Gentilcore says.

To see your numbers skyrocket this season, try this two-day-per-week program for six weeks before the start of camp. Perform the exercises in each superset back-to-back with no break, resting for one to two minutes between sets.

Workout 1 

Superset 1

Med Ball Overhead Stomps

Med Ball Overhead Stomps

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a med ball at chest height with your arms extended.
  • Rise up onto your toes, lift the med ball overhead and slam it straight down, generating power through your hips and core.
  • Catch the ball off the bounce and set up for your next rep.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 (8- to 10-pound med ball)

Side-Lying External Rotation

Side-Lying External Rotation

  • Lie on your right side holding a light dumbbell in your left hand with your elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  • Keep your upper arm pinned to your side.
  • Lift the dumbbell into the air as far as your range of motion will allow.
  • Lower slowly with control and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each arm

Superset 2 

Med Ball Rotational Recoiled Shot Put

Med Ball Rotational Recoiled Shot Put

  • Stand with your left side facing a wall about 10 feet away.
  • Hold a med ball with both hands in front of your right shoulder.
  • Step your right foot behind your left leg, then step toward the wall with your left foot.
  • Drive through your right hip and explosively throw the med ball at the wall with your right arm.
  • Catch the ball off the bounce and set up for your next rep.

Sets/Reps: 3x3 each side (4- to 6-pound med ball)

Pallof Press

Pallof Press

  • Stand perpendicular to a cable machine or resistance band.
  • Hold the handle at your chest with your arms bent.
  • Press your hands away from your chest to straighten your arms.
  • Hold for a two count.
  • Bend your arms to return to the starting position and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side

Superset 3

Med Ball Crow Hop Overhead Throw

Med Ball Crow Hop Overhead Throw

  • Stand facing a wall about 10 feet away with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a med ball overhead.
  • Hop forward with your left foot, then your right foot, and throw the med ball against the wall.
  • Catch the ball off the bounce and set up for your next rep.

Sets/Reps: 3x2 each side (2- 4-pound med ball)

Heidens

Heidens

  • Stand on your left leg with your hips and knees slightly bent.
  • Extend your left hip, knee and ankle to jump laterally to the side.
  • Land on the ball of your right foot with your hips and knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.
  • Immediately push through your right leg to jump in the opposite direction.
  • Continue jumping from leg to leg to complete the set.

Sets/Reps: 3x6 jumps each leg

Workout 2

Superset 1

Med Ball Rollover Recoiled Stomp

Med Ball Rollover Recoiled Stomp

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a medicine ball in front of your hips.
  • Bend your hips and knees and lower into a quarter squat.
  • Lift the med ball through a half circle motion to the side, extending at your hips and knees and rising up on your toes as the med ball travels overhead.
  • At the top of the movement, change direction to forcefully slam the med ball on the ground.
  • Catch the ball off the bounce and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 4x5 each side (8- to 10-pound med ball)

Band Pull-Aparts

Band Pull-Aparts

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a resistance band with a shoulder-width, underhand grip.
  • Keeping your shoulders pulled back and in to your torso, spread your arms out to your sides to form a T shape with your upper body.
  • Slowly allow your arms to return to center and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Superset 2 

Med Ball Rotation Scoop Toss

Med Ball Rotational Scoop Toss

  • Stand with your left side facing a wall about five feet away with your knees and hips bent, holding a med ball in front of your waist.
  • Shift your weight to your right foot and swing the med ball to your right hip.
  • Drive through your hips, rotate at your core and throw the med ball against the wall with an underhand toss.
  • Catch the ball off the wall and immediately repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each side (6- to 8-pound med ball)

Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, heels on the floor and arms to your sides.
  • Drive your hips up to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold for two counts.
  • Lower your hips to the ground and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Superset 3

Med Ball Split-Stance Overhead Throw

Med Ball Split-Stance Overhead Throw

  • Assume a half-kneeling position facing a wall about 10 feet away, holding a med ball at your waist.
  • Raise the ball overhead.
  • Drive off your front leg and throw the ball against the wall, allowing momentum to carry your back leg off the ground.
  • Catch the ball off the bounce and set up for your next rep.

Sets/Reps: 3x3 each leg (4- to 6-pound med ball)

Repeat Heidens

Heidens

  • Stand on your left leg with your hips and knees slightly bent.
  • Extend your left hip, knee and ankle to jump laterally to your side, landing on the ball of your right foot with your hips and knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.
  • Quickly step onto your left foot, then jump to your right again.
  • Perform all jumps in one direction, then switch.

Sets/Reps: 3x5 each direction

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swing

  • Assume a quarter-squat stance holding a kettlebell with both hands between your legs.
  • Keeping arms your straight, forcefully extend your hips to swing the kettlebell forward and up, until it reaches about chin height.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Lower and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 (rest for 45-60 seconds)


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASEBALL | BASEBALL WORKOUTS | POWER | MED BALL | THROW | STANCE | SWING