The fall classic is here – the hunt for pennants, MVPs, World Series titles, and maybe a few ballpark hotdogs is underway, and baseball fans everywhere are flocking to their TVs or their favorite team’s stadium to witness another great run of postseason baseball. We’ll be on the edge of our seats as MLB’s heavyweights duke it out in a show of physical ability, power, and precision that can rival any other sport, and the guys who are playing today’s game make it look more effortless than ever before. But there is a lot more work behind the scenes that goes into keeping baseball players in top shape for 6 months and 162+ games worth of a season, and it starts with workouts that you can incorporate into your routine at home.
Players today are more focused on movements that build dynamic strength that provides power and prevents injury, as opposed to traditional weight-room exercises.
- TRX Row – doing rows off of a suspension trainer like the TRX adds an element of destabilization that forces your body to use more of your back, core, and glutes to stabilize your body.
- Lunge Matrix – these sets of front, back, lateral, and angled (curtsy) lunges will force you to stay in a deeper position that adds more consistent burn, which improves your lower extremity function. These can be done without weights, but weights can be added for more of a challenge.
- One-arm dumbbell chest press – yes, you read that right. This is another exercise that will activate muscles all over your body in order to stabilize itself when the dumbbell rocks back and forth. This is one way Luke Voit, Yankees first baseman, works to hit multiple homers in a game.
- Planks – a simple workout that can be so crucial to a ballplayer’s workout repertoire. The plank is a great way to work your shoulders, core, and back all at once, and is the perfect way to challenge yourself no matter what form of physical shape you’re in.
- Hitter’s Put – this involves swinging a heavy medicine ball in place of a bat. Load your back leg and throw the ball like a shot put towards a wall or a target. This exercise is ideal for building a powerful swing.
Other non-traditional ways that baseball players today are staying in shape range from the moderate to the crazy. Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs has ventured into aerobics to break a sweat, perennial MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels takes to rolling a giant tire filled with weights to do a little bit of light training, and Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios casually moves cars to get his daily workout in.
While the more extreme tactics should probably be left to the professionals (please don’t try moving a car at home), you can take some workout tips from these championship-caliber athletes and apply them to your everyday routine.
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