Build Muscle to Make the Starting Lineup Next Baseball/Softball Season

If you finished last season with disappointing results, take advantage of the off-time to improve your game and come out even stronger next spring.


Did low percentages or nagging injuries keep you out of the starting lineup last baseball or softball season? Assure your position on the diamond next spring with the following multi-joint, bodyweight medicine ball combo exercises. Each one is designed to add power to your swing, throws and/or pitching velocity.

Explosive Push-Ups/Squat Thrusts

Sets/Reps: 3x10

An excellent upper- and lower-body combination for enhancing power production in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, legs, hips and core to improve batting, throwing and running.

  • Perform 10 explosive Push-Ups (hands leaving floor between reps)
  • Follow immediately with 10 Squat Thrusts (remaining in push-up stance, quickly thrust legs back and forth towards forearms)
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat twice more

Medicine Ball Woodchoppers and Twists/Walking Front Lunges and Overhead Raises

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Whether you're fielding, reaching high overhead to catch the ball or running bases, these exercises will effectively strengthen your abdominal, shoulder, hip and leg muscles.

  • Assume athletic stance holding moderately heavy (15- to 20-pound) medicine ball with arms extended at chest level
  • Explosively raise ball overhead while simultaneously lifting toes, then drive ball through legs as you bend knees (Woodchopper movement)
  • Pause one second
  • Bring ball back to start position and, with arms extended at chest level, rapidly alternate rotating ball from side to side (Twists)
  • Return to start position and do nine more reps
  • Rest 30 seconds (water break)

Now perform med ball Walking Front Lunges and Overhead Presses.

  • Hold med ball just below waist level
  • Simultaneously raise ball overhead and lunge forward with left foot
  • Pause one second
  • Bring ball down to waist and lunge with right leg while raising ball overhead
  • Continue sequence nine more times

Pull-Up and Hold Movement/Medicine Ball Side Lunges and Press-Outs

Sets/Reps: 2x5

Pull-Ups train your body for better bat control and ball grip for pitching and throwing, while Side Lunges engage the leg muscles needed for generating power. Press-Outs efficiently build upper-body muscle necessary for improving your hitting, throwing and pitching skills.

  • Perform five Pull-Ups (one second up and three seconds down)
  • Hold fifth rep in the up position (arms bent with eyes nearly even with bar) for 15 to 20 seconds
  • Release, then immediately grab 20-pound med ball and hold close to chest
  • Lunge laterally with right foot and simultaneously explosively press ball forward with arms extended at chest level
  • Bring left foot toward right and continue lateral right foot Lunges/Press-Outs four more times
  • Switch to left foot Side Lunges/Press-Outs for five reps
  • Rest 30 seconds (water break)
  • Repeat Pull-Ups/Side Lunges/Press-Outs sequence once more
Want more workout tips? Check out STACK's Baseball and Softball pages.

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