Detroit Tigers' Lower-Body Complex

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Work three cornerstones of solid diamond play without a marathon weight room session, courtesy of Detroit Tigers strength and conditioning coach Javair Gillett, who says, "I use three-exercise complexes [during] in-season [workouts] so we can accomplish what we need in a short period of time."

Here's a lower-body complex Gillett uses to shore up his players' strength, explosiveness and agility. Perform the exercises with 60 to 90 seconds of rest between each.

1. Dumbbell Deadlift

• Assume athletic stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder width
• Hold dumbbell with both hands between legs
• Sitting back with hips and keeping weight on heels, squat until dumbbell touches ground
• Drive up to starting position
• Repeat for specified reps

In-Season Sets/Reps: 2x10
Off-Season Sets/Reps: Replace Dumbbell Deadlift with Back Squat; 3-4x5-6
Coaching points: Keep back straight, head up and ankles stiff // Bend from hips and knees // Go through full range of motion

2. Skaters

• Assume athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart
• Pushing off right leg, hop laterally left for distance
• Land on left leg; hold landing
• Pushing off left leg, hop laterally right for distance
• Land on right leg; hold landing
• Perform continuously for specified reps

In-Season Sets/Reps: 2x10 [5 each leg]
Off-Season Sets/Reps: 3-4x6 [2-3 each leg]
Coaching points: Perform movement with control and make sure to hold each landing at least one second // Concentrate on pushing off inside of foot // Keep back straight, head up and knees inside ankles // Drive through hip, knee and ankle

3. Lateral Steps Over Hurdles

• Place two 10- or 12-inch hurdles two feet apart
• Begin in athletic stance with hurdles to left
• Step laterally over first hurdle with left leg, then right leg
• Step over second hurdle with left leg; lift right leg off ground, then pause
• Step back over hurdles in opposite direction with same pattern
• Repeat pattern in continuous motion for specified time

In-Season Sets/Reps: 2x10 seconds
Off-Season Sets/Reps: 3-4x20 seconds
Coaching points: Keep knees up as you step over hurdles // Go through pattern with control // Maintain balance throughout exercise // Keep back straight and head up // Concentrate on pushing off inside of feet

Related link:

Watch video of Justin Verlander's lower body strength training for baseball.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock