Softball summer training program by Lauren Harris, strength and conditioning coach for the University of Nebraska softball team.
As a softball player, you're probably playing consistently over the summer. This is the time to focus on maintaining your performance with an in-season program. Two workouts per week should help keep your entire body strong and injury-free. The workouts feature multi-joint lifts, which work several muscle groups at once, so you can challenge most of your body with a few exercises. The number of total reps throughout he program is low, and the exercises are to be performed with light to moderate weights. Don't go heavy. You don't want to be sore for your games, which are your first priority. If you complete this program over your summer, you will be just as strong at the end of the season as you were at the beginning.
Start each workout with a 10-minute dynamic warm-up and finish with a 10-minute cooldown.
Choose weights that are challenging but allow you to complete each rep with perfect form.
Many exercises call for breaths instead of reps. For each breath, take a full inhale through your nose and exhale fully through your mouth.
The program does not include a specified duration of rest between sets. Perform your next set when you feel your body is recovered and ready to go.
Scheduling Your Workouts
Your training schedule should complement your game schedule so that your body has enough time to recover fully from your workout before your next game.
Option 1: Weekend Tournament
Monday – Recovery Workout
Tuesday – Day 1 Lift
Thursday – Day 2 Lift
Option 2: Mid-Week Tournament
Monday – Day 2 lift
Tuesday – Day 1 lift
Benefits: Improves single-leg and glute strength and balance.
How to: Stand on one leg, holding a dumbbell in your opposite hand at your hip. With your balancing leg slightly bent and your back flat, bend forward at the waist. Keeping the dumbbell close to your shin, lower as far as your flexibility allows. Flex your glute to stand up and return to the starting position.
Dumbbell Single-Leg Squat
Benefits: Increases single-leg strength, improves stability and reduces muscle imbalances.
How to: Stand on one leg and hold two lightweight dumbbells with your arms straight in front of your shoulders. Lower into a Single-Leg Squat, keeping your non-working leg in front of your body. Drive up out of the Squat to return to the starting position.
Cable Low Pull
Benefits: Develops strong glutes similar to a Deadlift.
How to: Hold a cable handle or resistance band in front of your body with the cord passing between your legs. Hinge at your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Drive your hips forward to stand up. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.