Should Baseball Players Lift Weights?
The benefits of implementing baseball weight lifting programs into your training.
Baseball Weight Lifting Programs: Yes or No?
Throughout the years, baseball players have been treated differently than other athletes for no reason besides people seeing them as “gentle” athletes. Because it is a sport of precision, coaches and teammates want baseball players to be careful to avoid injury. Fear has been instilled in these athletes and their coaches that heavy lifting can negatively affect their perfect arm or outstanding swing.
This idea is tied with the “nocebo” effect, “where the expectation or fear of an injury can actually induce physiological changes that weren’t already there.” This mindset that these athletes should be babied to avoid injury and that lifting weights can cause that injury is only setting baseball players back. To improve their game, they need to lift weights.
Lifting weights can heighten baseball players’ velocity, endurance, and strength. Continuing to work and improve will allow the athlete to reach a new level of performance in the sport rather than staying stagnant.
Baseball weight lifting programs do not have to be dangerous. Lifting weights is crucial to developing your game even further and maintaining your physical health. The mindset surrounding weight lifting for baseball players needs to be changed. Lifting heavy weights, in a safe way, is important for increasing your strength and endurance.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone in the world of fitness is the only way to grow and improve. However, when pushing yourself and trying new workouts, you must take care of yourself. Maintaining a healthy mindset and strong form when working out can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
So, how can you take your training to the next level?
Baseball Training highlights the importance of baseball players taking the time to lift weights. “Incorporating bodybuilding movements into your training plan is one of the most functional things a baseball player could do for their performance.”
Weight lifting is only functional if it can contribute to a player’s game and overall performance.
Workouts for baseball players vary on position. Strength and power are skills. To continue to refine and improve those skills, you must participate in workouts that are healthy for your body and game.
There is fear in every action of life. It is those risks that provide us with the greatest rewards. The benefits of weight lifting in baseball are endless. Utilizing time in the off-season to develop your skills will better your overall performance on the field in-season.
The power developed from weight lifting increases overall performance for baseball players. “Throwing builds arm speed - which is power. Power is heavily reliant on muscular strength. If you can’t apply much force, you can’t apply much force quickly.”
To maximize these programs, you must “master the basics.” The programs should focus on:
- The warm-up
- Reaction and power
- Sprinting, speed, and agility drills
- Plyometrics and jumping exercises
- Med ball exercises
- Strength training
While all aspects of these programs are crucial, we are focusing on strength training and how lifting can improve your game and make you a well-rounded player.
Baseball weight lifting programs should increase throwing velocity, speed, and in-game performance. To learn more about weight lifting in baseball and the benefits of strength training, keep reading - we have got you covered!
Benefits of Baseball Weight Lifting Programs
There are many debates in the world of baseball on whether or not players should lift weights and if they do, what exercises they should explore and implement. While many are afraid of these players getting injured or changing their pitch and swing, if weight lifting and workouts are done correctly, the player can benefit from it on and off of the field.
Misinformation is found everywhere including baseball. There are many common myths surrounding baseball weight lifting programs and what is and is not good for the athletes. While these myths have been disproven, they are still discussed and harped on today.
Common myths about strength training for baseball players are:
- Kids should not lift weights
- Lifting weights can cause growth plate issues
- Strength training will make you bulky
- Players should use resistance bands over weights
- You should not lift weights until you are in college
- Baseball players do not need to lift weights
- Lightweight and higher reps do the trick
These myths have been disproven, yet they still remain a concern for players, parents, and coaches. With the proper workouts for baseball players and implementing safety measures, lifting weights can only be beneficial.
The benefits of strength training for baseball players are endless. Not only do they increase overall strength, endurance, and velocity, but it also does much more.
Utilizing these programs can help athletes not only physically but mentally as well. Weight lifting for baseball players improves:
- Balance and body control
- Range of motion
- Transfer of power
- Overall performance
Along with these benefits, baseball weight lifting programs can provide the athlete with the strength to prevent injury from happening later down the road. Every position in baseball uses all parts of the body to perform its specific function.
Baseball strength conditioning has become a norm for many athletes across the country. Participating in performance programs to refine your technique and increase endurance will put you at an advantage over competitors who are not.
How do you get to the next level?
This is a question athletes find themselves contemplating often. How do I achieve my goal of playing college ball? How do I get to the MLB?
The answer is found in the athlete’s overall performance on the field and their skill. However, to better your performance on the field, strength training must be implemented. This aspect of the sport and what an athlete puts in during the off-season are what make a difference in how they play on the field.
Highly skilled players who operate at the collegiate or professional level train year-round to build and maintain their strength to keep their performance consistent while continuing to grow. When weight lifting during the season, players must be strategic so their training does not interfere with games and practices. Doing this allows them to be more aware of their actions and will lessen the risk of injury during the season as well.
According to SportsRec, “professional strength and conditioning coaches suggest that weight training should occur after practice, not before it. In some cases, a high school may schedule pregame weight training because of scheduling limitations with the school’s weight room.” Regardless of the conflicts found in high school, per recommendations, it is imperative that players work to lift following practices rather than before if possible.
It is much easier for players to lift and condition during the off-season than in-season. While in season, the focus is the game and their team. Rather than focusing on getting stronger and stronger each day, there should be a shift in the mindset. Players should focus on maintaining the strength they gained in the off-season and “incorporating that strength and power into their games.” While it may seem easiest to avoid weight lifting programs altogether while in season, without it, the strength developed outside of the season will be lost.
All in all, the results shown from weight lifting confidently display the benefits of baseball weight lifting programs. Participating in these programs allows players to develop lean muscle mass to enhance game performance.
Ryan Weiss Baseball offers custom programs specializing in weight lifting, throwing, mobility, and conditioning. His baseball weight lifting program increases player performance, velocity, and power.
To learn more about baseball weight lifting programs and how they can up your game, check out the rest of Ryan Weiss Baseball’s blogs!