Talk to Adam Beauchamp, and you'll learn that your obliques serve a better purpose than giving the ladies something to stare at. "Having strength and flexibility in your obliques allows for greater potential to maximize your power," says Rice University's baseball strength and conditioning coach. Your obliques affect every rotational and explosive movement you perform on the diamond:
Throwing When you flex or extend your torso.
Defense and base running When you rotate your body from a lateral to linear movement.
Fielding When you bend your torso.
Hitting When you rotate back and through.
Following is a routine the Owls use 2 to 3 days a week. Once you complete the Med Ball Rotary Pass, move directly to Low Back Hip Bridge, then repeat the sequence. Perform 3 sets with minimal rest time between.
Med Ball Rotary Pass
In athletic stance, face a cement or brick wall
Hold med ball in front of body with elbows bent 90 degrees
Dip hips and rotate right, making sure to keep elbows close to body
Snap hips to rotate explosively back toward wall. As you rotate, throw ball at wall from belly button level using long-arm release
Catch and perform to left side
Perform 8 reps on each side
Variation: Once you're comfortable, move further away from the wall. You create more tension in your body to explode the ball off the wall from a greater distance.
Coaching Points There should be little or no movement below your knees. The more tension you hold in your body as you rotate back, the more power will come from firing your hips. Harness the power you've created; then release it in a controlled fashion. Make sure the ball explodes to and from the wall with a flat trajectory.
Low Back Hip Bridge
Lie on ground on back; bend knees so feet are flat on ground
Drive hips upward by squeezing glutes together; only your feet and shoulders/ base of neck should be supporting you
Hold position for one count
Lower hips to starting position
Perform 12 reps
Coaching Points When you're in the holding position, flex and hold for a full count to get the full stretch. Don't drop to the ground; lower yourself in a controlled fashion, releasing your glutes as you lower.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock