Spring is here and pitchers have to get in shape for baseball season. Unless you do, you will be unable to stay strong and healthy over a grueling season. (Watch Justin Verlander's full off-season workout.)
During the pre-season, pitchers commonly run poles after bullpen sessions. This involves jogging along the warning track from foul pole to foul pole. This practice started decades ago as a way for pitchers to "get in shape" and lose weight when pitching wasn't their only full-time job.
The practice of running poles is outdated. Pitching is an explosive and coordinated movement that happens in seconds. So, why would you train your aerobic endurance? Instead, you need to train your anaerobic system, which facilitates short bouts of strength, speed and power. (See Throw Harder With This Med Ball Workout.)
To become dominant on the mound, focus on interval training that matches the work-to-rest ratio of pitching. Interval training involves performing an exercise at max effort for a short duration and then resting the same amount of time as you take between pitches.
To get ready for a long baseball season, do this workout twice per week between bullpen sessions. Rest for about 30 seconds between sets.
- Dynamic Warm-Up
- Shuffle and Sprint - 5x10 yards each side
- Lateral Bounds - 10x10 yards
- Full Sprint - 10x10 yards
- Med Ball Russian Twists - 5x10
- Med Ball Rotational Throws - 6x8 each side
- Medicine Ball Pitching Mechanics - 1x20
Stand sideways about a foot from a wall, in pitch-ready position. Hold a lightweight med ball like you would a baseball, with your dominant hand behind the ball and your glove hand on the side. Make a figure eight with the med ball, and then go through your regular mechanics like you would a pitch. Instead of throwing the ball, push it into a wall.
- Front Squats - 5x10 (as quickly as possible)
- Lunge with Twist - 5x10 each side
- Farmer's Walks - 5x20 yards (progress to Single-Arm Farmer's Walks)
- Arm Care: Rest, Ice, Massage and Recover
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