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Excercising baseball-specific muscles, such as those that develop rotational power, will improve performance in games.
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Strength training is a crucial component of any exercise program for a prospective baseball player. However, it requires the performance of lifts that will provide benefit on the diamond, rather than aesthetic appeal. The two primary goals of a baseball player's program should be to reduce chances of injury and enhance performance for their position, primarily hitting and throwing. Thus training with lifts that develop stability and power will be most beneficial to baseball players.
The romanian deadlift, sometimes referred to as a straight-leg deadlift, is a key movement to develop stability and strength in the posterior chain and explosiveness in the hips -- both of which will improve hitting and throwing motions. To perform a romanian deadlift, hold a barbell or dumbbell in front of you in a standing position with the knees slightly bent. Push the hips back and lower the weights toward the ground, keeping the back flat. When the back is parallel to the ground or the heels begin to leave the ground, return to the starting position.
Developing powerful back muscles, particularly those of the upper back, is crucial to shoulder health and power. The back muscles work to keep the shoulder steady and prevent hyperextension during the throwing motion. Use a cable machine or resistance band to perform the face pull exercise. Stand facing the band or machine with your knees slightly bent and core engaged. Pull the band toward you with the thumbs up and push the elbows out, pinching the shoulder blades together. Pull the band to your upper chest, hold the contraction for one second, then return to starting position.
Farmer's walks are grueling but very effective lifts that develop posture, core stability, and a strong grip and forearms for hitting performance. To do a farmer's walk, select a pair of weights that are fairly heavy. Using proper form, pick up the weights and stand with a good posture, letting them hang at your sides. Keeping your core tight and a firm grip, walk between 10 and 20 yards without dropping the weights. Make sure you maintain your posture by pulling the shoulder blades back and flexing the core as you walk. Begin with three or four sets, and progress to more as you become more familiar with the exercise.
Anti-rotation exercises are incredibly powerful and effective for building scapular stability, core strength and rotational power. While there are many variations, the key principle is to move through a fluid range of motion while using the core and back muscles to prevent rotation. The best example is the anti-rotation twist. Using a cable or resistance band, stand perpendicular to the band, holding it with your arms extended in front of you and a wide stance. Pull the band across the body without rotating the hips or shoulders, hold for one second, then return to the starting position.