Baseball is a game of repeated bouts of explosive movements (swinging a bat, throwing a ball, accelerating on the base path and in the field). In fact, throwing a baseball is the single fastest movement in all of sports. Therefore, the ability to produce force rapidly is necessary to perform at a high level.
Since baseball is such a dynamic sport, training for baseball power requires training multiple planes of motion.
Here are a few key exercises to incorporate to get baseball players throwing faster, hitting harder and becoming more explosive in the field and on the base paths.
1. Single-Leg Broad Jump
Start by standing on one leg. Drive your hip back while maintaining an upright trunk position, then drive through the heel, pushing your hip forward. Land on both feet with your hips back, heels down and chest tall. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 1-3 per side.
2. Split-Squat Jumps
Start in a split-squat position with your chest tall, core tight, glutes engaged, back toe in the ground and front foot pressed in the floor. Drive your front foot into the ground and jump up explosively, then load your hips as you catch back in the split-squat position. Try 3 sets of 3-5 per side.
3. Lateral Broad Jump
Start in an athletic position. Keeping your chest tall, sit down and back into your back hip, then explosively push through your heel and hip to drive out in the opposite direction. Land with your chest tall, hips back and heels down. Try 3-5 sets of 1-3 jumps/set to train maximal power.
4. Lateral Rotational Broad Jump
Start in an athletic position. Begin the same way as a Lateral Broad Jump: sink back in the hip and jump out in the opposite direction. As you push off, begin to rotate through the hip. Rotate your whole body in mid-air, landing on both feet facing 90 degrees away from the start position.
5. Rotational Med Ball Throw
Start with your front shoulder toward the wall in an athletic position. Hold the med ball by your hips. Shift your weight back, load your front hip and reach the ball toward your back hip. Shift your weight forward, drive off your trail foot and rotate through your hips and upper back. Aim for 3 sets of 5 throws/side.
6. Med Ball Slam
Start in an athletic position with med ball at chest level. Reach the med ball overhead, getting extension through your thoracic spine, hips, knees and ankles. Drive your hips down, following through with your arms, then slam the med ball into the ground. Repeat for sets of 5-10.