In-Season Training For Baseball

Hey Guys,I hope you are doing well and enjoying what’s left of the summer!  I just enjoyed my 11th Anniversary weekend with my wife changing diapers on our 2 month old and potty training our 3 year old… What can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic.

Anyway, I received a great question via email the other day and I wanted to share it with everyone instead of responding privately because I think it’s something that most coaches struggle with. The question was:How do you combine the anaerobic, aerobic and strength training In Season with the techniques-tactical? Well, let’s get the simple part of the answer out of the way first… we don’t do aerobic training in-season… or pre-season… or off-season… so we don’t have to worry about fitting a 30 minute jog of bike ride into our training/practice sessions.

anaerobic and strength training

We incorporate at least 5 minutes of high intensity anaerobic work into just about every practice session & weight room workout.  These are circuits or primarily body weight exercises (sometimes medicine balls) that can be done anywhere and all you need is a stop watch. Arrange your exercises as follows:

Explosive Power (Squat Jumps, Split Squat Jumps, Medicine Ball Slams, Sprints, etc)
Lower Body Strength/Endurance (Speed Squats, Alt. Lunges, Rotational Lunges, Med Ball Overhead Squats, etc.)
Conditioning Drill (Mountain Climbers, Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, Ladder Drills, Cone Drills, etc.)
Upper Body Strength/Endurance (Push-Ups, Medicine Ball Throws, Pull-Ups, etc.)
Full Body Conditioning (Squat Thrusts, Burpees, Up Downs, etc.)

Each exercise combined with its rest period will take 1 minute.  5 exercises = 5 minutes and you’ve got a great anaerobic workout completed. The work:rest times will vary depending on the age & conditioning level of your ballplayers. Begin with the shorter work:longer rest and progress to longer work:shorter rest according to your guys abilities.

In-Season Strength Training for baseball players

One thing that I absolutely can not stand is when guys tell me that they are too busy with games & practices to get into the weight room.  That’s like saying you have to far to drive to fill your car with gas.  It just doesn’t work and something is going to break down! I’m not suggesting that baseball players need to spend a few hours in the weight room each day. 

In fact, the opposite is true.  I have my guys in & out of the weight room in 30-45 minutes with our warm-up & cool-down included. Our weight room time is focused entirely on 2 things: Recovery & Progression.

The first thing that our guys do is take care of their muscles with the foam roller & light stretching (10 minutes).  Once the muscles are cared for we warm them up with some movement drills geared toward either acceleration or agility (5-10 minutes).  Now that we are warmed up we get busy with a circuit of 3 exercises focused on strength & power (low reps, heavy weight) for lower body, upper body pushing, & upper body pulling (10 minutes).  Then we finish off with another light stretch for 5 minutes and kick them out of the weight room.

The lifts that we do are all big compound movements where you will get the most bang for your buck.  Where else do you think you are going to generate all that power from…your baseball bat? We do a lot of lunging (forward, backward, lateral, walking, dumbbell, barbell, you get the idea.  With all of the variations it’s easy to keep the guys interested in the workouts.Our upper body pushing is really anything that you can think of other than shoulder presses.  We do shoulder presses off-season but not in-season.  We also favor dumbbells over barbells for pressing movements for a few reasons.  First, they allow your body to move more freely.  Second, they encourage right/left symmetry.  Third, they are a lot faster than having to load/unload/change weights on a barbell.Our upper body pull is always the opposite of our upper body press.  We look at the angle of the press and pull in that same path.  If you are going a flat press (bench press, push up) we will do a rowing type movement (DB row, seated cable row, inverted row).  If our press is an incline we will do more of a vertical pull (pulldown, chin up, pull up, etc.).

We also vary the grips on our upper body from pronated to supinated to neutral grip to change the shoulders involvement in the movements.I hope that helps give you some insight into what we do with our guys during the season.  To be perfectly honest, I just kinda brain dumped my info here and it all makes sense to me, but if you have any questions, comments, or snide remarks don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section down below.

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