Stretching routine with the Marlins

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For guys who despise stretching, or who don't get enough flexibility work on the field, I add functional movements to their weight training. These exercises improve flexibility by putting a player into positions he doesn't get into with traditional lifts. Basically, the flexibility work is disguised behind strength training. And since these exercises are dynamic and functional, they seem more baseball-related than just sitting and holding a stretch for 30 seconds.

We address flexibility of the abductors, adductors (groin), hip flexors and extensors. Increased range of motion in your hips helps you get over your front leg better when throwing a baseball, gives you a better push off the mound and improves your rotation at the plate. Documented evidence shows that flexible hip flexors also improve first-step quickness.

Our everyday players and starting pitchers use the following three functional movements twice a week; other players do them up to three times a week.

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By Paul Fournier

For guys who despise stretching, or who don't get enough flexibility work on the field, I add functional movements to their weight training. These exercises improve flexibility by putting a player into positions he doesn't get into with traditional lifts. Basically, the flexibility work is disguised behind strength training. And since these exercises are dynamic and functional, they seem more baseball-related than just sitting and holding a stretch for 30 seconds.

We address flexibility of the abductors, adductors (groin), hip flexors and extensors. Increased range of motion in your hips helps you get over your front leg better when throwing a baseball, gives you a better push off the mound and improves your rotation at the plate. Documented evidence shows that flexible hip flexors also improve first-step quickness.

Our everyday players and starting pitchers use the following three functional movements twice a week; other players do them up to three times a week.

Perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift on 2x4

• While holding baseball or dumbbell in right hand, place left foot on 2x4; hold right leg off ground
• With slight knee bend, fold over at waist and raise right leg behind you until ball/weight reaches floor outside left foot. Keep back flat
• Return to start position
• Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite side

The Payoff: Improved strength, balance and hamstring, glute and abductor flexibility

Reverse Lunge on 2x4

• Place left foot on 2x4
• Step back into lunge position with right foot on ground
• Lower until right knee almost touches ground
• Drive forward into start position
• Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite side

The Payoff: Improved balance, glute and hamstring strength, and hip flexor flexibility

Multidirectional Lunge

• Standing on flat surface, step forward with right foot and lower into lunge position until left knee almost touches ground
• Drive off front heel into standing position
• Repeat motion to 1 o'clock position
• Repeat motion to 3 o'clock position
• Perform specified reps for each position then switch legs

The Payoff: Improved hip flexor and adductor flexibility, and glute and hamstring strength

Paul Fournier, head strength and conditioning coach for the Florida Marlins, considers himself a prehabilitation specialist. He focuses on working the whole body through a flexibility routine as a way to prevent injuries.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock