This week was the more official opening day of major league baseball, which used to not happen until April 1 for about a century. In honor of the historic opening day, I've put together a workout for those of you who play or would like to play baseball or softball.
Power and Explosion instead of Endurance and Strength
When thinking of baseball, the first thing that should come to mind is that everyone is just standing there and then need to jump into action! Here's a few exercises to put some spring in your step for baseball or softball
Lateral Ladder Drills:
Working on lateral movements is really important because not everything in this game comes right at you.
For this workout, if you have a ladder, then use it like you see in the video.
If you don't have a ladder, you can still do this.
Take ten lateral steps leading with your left (or until you finish the ladder) and then turn and straight sprint 15 yards. Repeat leading with your right, finishing with the sprint.
Perform this for each side 5 times
Medicine Ball Tosses:
This excellent video from Eric Cressey shows you how to build power through your hips- perfect for either throwing or hitting.
Repeat this drill 20 times for each side.
If you don't have a medicine ball, just throw something else. It's about building speed and power, so the weight isn't as important
(Landmine) Lunge Press:
This is a great exercise for transfer of power from leg to arm. You can do this at the gym with the landmine press, or at home with a small weight.
Reverse lunge and then press overhead with the opposite arm ten times per leg.
Jump Squat (or Box Jump):
This exercise helps build explosive power through the legs. You can do this with or without the box.
Perform 20 box jumps or jump squats, each time dropping the legs to above parallel (no need to deep squat).
Indoor Defensive Drills (for when it rains):
This video has some great ideas for indoor practices, working on fielding balls, and other drills that don't require a field to perfect.
It goes without saying that better performance goes hand in hand with better nutrition. Make sure you are getting enough protein (I wrote about this), eat good carbohydrates before games (did this too!), and avoid processed and fried foods (empty calories).