7 REASONS WHY BASEBALL PLAYERS SHOULD BE STRENGTH TRAINING
By: Bobby Fioritto M.S.
1. Injury Prevention
You could be the best pitcher or baseball player in the world, but if you can’t stay on the field due to an injury none of that talent matters. Overhand throwing athletes (IE baseball players) are some of the most injury prone due to the repetitive, and harsh, overhead throwing motion. Engaging in an effective strength and conditioning program can help offset this overuse injury and keep you healthy.
2. Improve Core Stability
The core is one of the most overlooked and underrated areas that absolutely needs to be addressed - not only in baseball, but all sports. The core is used for every movement, and most people truly don’t understand the function of the core or how to properly train it. The main function of the core is to transfer power generated from the legs and arms. Having a weak and unstable core will cause an athlete to lose a lot of power, reduce speed, and slow down change of direction. If your core isn't properly trained, it doesn’t matter how much power you can generate with your legs as you will lose a lot of that power with a weak core. Movements like pitching, hitting, and fielding all require a strong and stable core if optimal performance is desired.
3. Improve Maximal Strength
When you increase your maximal strength, you increase your body’s ability to apply force. Force is the name of the game when it comes to athletics. Think about it. When you increase your lower body’s ability to apply force to the ground you jump higher, you run faster (because your stride is longer), you throw harder and faster, you swing more powerfully. You need a solid strength foundation in order to build other athletic qualities such as speed, agility, acceleration, etc.
4. Improve Rotational Power
Rotational power is vitally important in a sport like baseball. To take yourself from warning track power to home run power, you need to increase and improve your rotational power. Rotational power requires direct training as it is a complex synchronization of the body that involves a whole host of muscle groups. Again, without directly focusing on and working those muscle groups in a synchronized pattern you will not be able to improve it.
5. Improve Speed and Agility
Getting out of the box and down the first base line faster, improving your range in the infield/outfield, stealing more bases all require great acceleration and top end speed. We improve our athlete’s speed by 1) Improving their body’s ability to apply A LOT OF force 2) Improving the body’s ability to recruit or express that force quickly and 3) improving their biomechanics and movement efficiency. We get our athlete’s freaky fast by getting them stronger, improving their ability to recruit and express that strength quickly, and then teaching them how to move properly and EFFICIENTLY.
6. Improve Endurance
While it is important to start off strong, it is also just as (if not more) important to be able to finish strong. A proper Sports Performance Program will ensure that you develop muscular and cardio endurance to finish the game strong and seal the deal.
7. Improve Recovery
Recovery is often times a neglected area or component, but one that needs to be addressed in every Sports Performance Program. The truth is, recovery is needed to help the athlete “recharge” the batteries and allow them to continue training and competing at a high level. We use both nutrition and recovery techniques to help keep our athletes recovered and able to go at a high level all year round.