What Muscles Should You Strengthen as a Baseball Player
Baseball players work on strengthening their muscles throughout their season and the off-season. As a baseball player, it’s important to focus on strengthening some muscles more than others. By focusing more on strengthening your muscles it can help you elevate your game to the next level. We will explain what muscles baseball players should focus on strengthening.
Baseball players sometimes need to rely on their skill more than their physical strength, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t strong! Each position in baseball is unique and the muscles you use and should be strengthening will vary by the position you play. All together baseball players use their upper body and lower body while playing so there are many muscles to focus on.
Most Important Muscles to Strengthen
Each position in baseball is slightly different and should focus on certain muscles more than others. We have compiled the most important muscles for all positions of baseball to strengthen. Here are the 4 different groups of muscles we will focus on in the rest of the blog that we have found are the most important muscles for baseball players to strengthen, these include
- Forearms and wrists
Below we will go into detail about the importance of strengthening each group of muscles as well as some good strength training exercises you can use to strengthen the specific muscle.
Find the Right Balance
Before we get into the details, we should mention these are only suggestions and it's important to find a strength program specialized to your specific wants and needs. Each position in baseball is fairly specialized enough that each position can focus on strengthening different muscles. Ryan Weiss has amazing training programs specialized to each individual based on what you are looking for, be sure to check it out!
The first muscle we want to talk about is strengthening the core. This is an important muscle for all positions in baseball and creates a strong foundation for a player through stabilizing their spine.
Hitters need a strong core for when they are swinging the bat, the motion they make when twisting goes throughout their entire core. Having a strong core can give a hitter a much more powerful and accurate swing.
Pitchers can also benefit from a strong core as well. When a pitcher winds up to throw a ball the motion starts in their legs and a strong core will help transition the power of their throw from their lower body to their arm.
Here are some of the best core strengthening exercises for baseball players to do:
- Abdominal crunches might be the most simple core exercise but they are also some of the most beneficial.
- Planks, to do a plank, get into a pushup position or rest on your forearms, now keep your back and the rest of your body straight and hold this position as long as you can.
- Alternating seated leg raises, this exercise can be done a number of ways, you can sit on the ground, or on a chair. Now you just raise your legs up and then lower then back down making sure to do this exercise slowly and controlled.
The second muscle we want to focus on is the legs, as you might have guessed it is also a very important muscle to strengthen as a baseball player.
Pitchers should focus on strengthening their calves and thighs which can help generate the power they need off the mound. In addition, strengthening their legs can also help to increase the velocity of their pitch.
Hitters also can benefit from strengthening their legs to help them create more power while they are at the plate. Stronger legs can also create more speed as they run around the bases or when they are running to catch a ball in the outfield. Each step they take matters and the faster they can get somewhere, the better player they can be.
Here are some of the best leg strengthening exercises for baseball players to do:
- Squats are a great strengthening exercise to do throughout the year, you can focus on building more muscles or maintain where you are at.
- Lunges, another great leg exercise you can do with weight or without.
- Burpees is one of the best full-body burn exercises you can do for any sport. You start by standing, then you jump up and reach up, next you go down into a pushup position by jumping your legs out, at this point, you can add in a pushup if you would like to make the exercise even more difficult, you then jump your feet back between your hands and stand up, then you repeat again as many times as you want.
Forearm and wrists
The third muscle group we wanted to focus on is the forearms and wrists, which are very important muscles to strengthen specifically as a baseball player. Many of the injuries we see from baseball players are usually from their forearm or wrists so strengthening these muscles can help prevent further injury.
Pitchers need strong forearms and wrists to help them grip the ball better. It can also help increase their precision when they throw the ball.
Hitters should definitely be focusing on strengthening their wrists and forearms because that is how they can increase the power of their swing and control over their bat. If you can increase your strength in your forearms and wrists you can generate a higher level of power in your swing when you bat.
Here are some of the best strengthening exercises for forearms and wrists that baseball players can do:
- Squeezing hand grippers or wrist balls, there are various exercises to increase the strength of your wrists and forearms. These are some simple ones you could do each day.
- Dumbbell wrist rotations, for this exercise, start with low weight and work your way up. Pick up your dumbbells and sit down, now lay your forearms on your knees and try to keep your elbows at 90 degrees, your dumbbells should be palm-up in each hand, start to curl your wrist upwards.
The fourth muscle that is important to strengthen as a baseball player is the shoulders. This is another muscle that some players find to be more injury-prone, so focusing on strengthening your shoulders can also reduce your risk of injury.
Pitchers tend to be the players who are more prone to injuring their shoulders because of the repetitive stress they put on their shoulders from pitching. It's especially important for them to keep their shoulders healthy and strong so they can play their best. In addition, stronger shoulders can help decorate their arm when they are throwing, which reduces the stress they put on their shoulder.
Catchers and fielders should always be working on strengthening their shoulders to keep them strong so they can throw fast and accurately to their teammates.
Here are some of the best shoulder strengthening exercises for baseball players to do:
- Pushups, another simple exercise but very effective to strengthen your shoulders.
- Overhead shoulder press, grab two dumbbells and lift them overhead, align your body to maintain a 90-degree bend in your elbow, begin to raise the dumbbells up and then down, then repeat.
- Bar hanging is similar to pushups but it is less straining and much simpler. Grab the bar and pull yourself up and lower yourself back down while keeping the rest of your body as straight as you can.
It's important for every athlete to stretch before and after a workout, it's even more important for baseball players to work on their flexibility. Make sure to make time to get a decent amount of stretching in each day to loosen up your muscles. In addition to stretching, foam rolling is another great way to relax and loosen up your muscles after a workout.
Baseball players put a lot of stress on certain joints and muscles and this can sometimes lead to an injury from overuse. Strength training is one of the best ways to decrease the risk of injury because you are continuously building more muscle and strength. Be sure to always listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard to the point of injury.
Overall strength training is a great way for baseball players to build muscle and strength to benefit parts of their game like a more powerful swing or a more powerful throw. Working on muscles specific to not only baseball but your position is even better!
Maintaining a schedule to work on strengthening your muscles can yield high benefits to your game and also decrease the risk of injury. After reading this blog hopefully, you have learned a few new exercises to strengthen some of the most important muscles baseball players use.