The long haul that is the baseball season is underway, and in order to maximize performance and reduce risk of injury, baseball players need to have an efficient and effective in-season training program.
So what can you do to maximize your time? The key is to perform exercise combos that kill two birds with one stone. They allows you to maximize time and have a quality training session in a short period of time.
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Baseball is unique in the rotational and overhead demands it places on players, as well as in the large number of games played. Coaches need to know that baseball players will lose shoulder internal rotation, scapular upward rotation, and elbow extension, in addition to overall strength. The goals of in-season training should be to minimize losses in these areas and to target them in the 15-20 minutes you have available for lifting.
Here are some of my favorite in-season combination lifts. Give them a try to maximize your training time.
1. Bottoms Up Step-Up
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This exercise combo is great because it reinforces quality shoulder blade movement and stability. The Step-Up is primarily a concentric movement so it reduces the chance of causing soreness.
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2. Valslide Lateral Lunge with Overhead Reach
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This is a great exercise in the frontal plane, or when you move sideways. It builds strength and length in the adductors while also challenging shoulder flexion, upward rotation and core control—all important to facilitate the lateral movement required during a swing, throw or when moving sideways to field a ball.
3. Serape Fat Grip Bent-Over Row
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This exercise combo involves a lot of pieces to provide a great bang for your buck. The serape portion with the band wrapped around the back requires great anti-rotation control. The fat grip forces the flexors to work extremely hard, which is beneficial to elbow stability. Finally, you get a great single-arm exercise in a hip-hinged position, which is great for athletes.
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4. Side Plank with Band Row
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The Side Plank with Band Row is an outstanding lateral trunk stabilizing exercise. Adding the row allows for a quality horizontal pull while again improving shoulder blade function, which is critical for keeping your shoulder healthy and stable.