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Lifting Program for Baseball and Softball

Baseball is all about speed and power. When I was playing, I unfortunately didn’t have the knowledge of exercises like the power clean. We had a great conditioning workout after practices, but there wasn’t a structured lifting program. That was to be done on our own time, and unfortunately few of us really knew what we were doing. This meant massive amounts of bicep curls and tricep kickbacks.

Each movement in baseball starts slow and ends with explosive power. In the batters box you step forward, then violently rotate your hips to swing. A pitcher has a slow wind up, then snaps and crashes like a wave. A fielder or base runner waits patiently in the a squat, then explodes into a sprint.

Power is first generated from the ground, then moves up the kinetic chain to produce a swing, throw or sprint. You want to train your body in a way that it is going to be used. This means that doing isolated, slow exercises like bicep curls is a complete waste of time. You want to lift explosively out of bottom of the major lifts: squat, power clean, overhead press, pull-ups and dips. Due to the high rates of shoulder injuries in baseball, I do not advise bench pressing and instead recommend pushups, overhead press and dips to build the chest, shoulders and triceps. If dips bother your shoulders, take those out as well. Also, if you live in a place where you can chop wood, this will be one of the best exercises you can do for your swing.

Start light and add 2.5 to 5lbs. each week on each lift. If you plateau at the weight for two attempts, drop the weight 10-15% and build back up and you will pass it on the next attempt. Make sure to adequately warm up and roll out before each workout.

MONDAY (90 seconds between sets)
Squat 5×5
5×10 sets weighted chin-ups
5x 20 knees to elbows
5x10 weight dips
5x 10 ball slams

Power Clean 5×3
5 40 yard sprints for time

Circuit 5 Rounds for Time
20 double unders
5 farmer walks (dumbbells in each hand, heavy as possible) 90 feet and another 90 feet lap is 1 rep
8 chin-ups
10 clapping pushups

Lift of the Day: Overhead Press: 5×5
Sprints for time: Home to 1st, home to 2nd, home to 3rd and home to home (or equivalent distance)

Circuit 5 Rounds for Time
5 Overhead pushup
Rope climb or alternating rope swings 20 seconds
20 box jumps
10 side ball throws (each side is 1)


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