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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How To Maximize Baseball Strength & Conditioning

How To Maximize Baseball Strength & Conditioning

By John V. Doyle

Now that can mean very different things to different players. If you're in the Major Leagues that can mean a grueling six day per week program that can last up to four hours each day. Or if you're in Little League that can simply mean tossing a light medicine ball around with your father or teammates. Wherever your level of playing is at this moment, there is a strength and conditioning solution for you. And my goal with this baseball tips article, is to help you best maximize that!

Here are my 5 Rules to Maximize Baseball Strength & Conditioning

Rule # 1 - Always focus on Posture

As soon as you lose your posture you are robbed of over 90% of your power! Whether it's pitching, hitting or throwing, when your posture if off so is your performance. Now this doesn't mean being stiff, it simple means be loose at all times, yet have a solid athletic base in order to generate power from your hips and legs.

You've certainly heard the term "off balance". That's another way of saying "lost posture".Whether you are tossing the medicine ball around, running or performing Olympic weight lifting, maintain posture and you will develop. As soon as posture is lost, terminate the exercise immediately as you will just begin to engrain poor habits that will lead to bad performance and possible injury.

Rule # 2 - Don't Isolate!

Please, I'm begging you, unless you have a specific injury you are rehabbing from, NEVER try to isolate a muscle group. Do you hit, pitch, run or throw with one muscle? Of course not! So why would you train that way?

Utilize ground-based, multi-joint movements that will develop your athleticism and allow your body to work together in harmonious fashion. This is what creates world-class athletes.

Rule # 4 - Don't "Train Like The Pro's"

If I had a dime for every time a teenager asked me for ARod's workout program I would be almost as rich as ARod himself! Listen the pros are just that, pro's. When they were teenagers (or whatever age and level you may be) they didn't train like they do now. You must train differently at the many different levels of baseball you go through. Worry about the "advanced" training when you get to the advanced levels and your body is ready for it.

For now stick with the basic ground-based multi-joint movements with various mediums such as barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, bands etc. Whichever levels you're at, there is a training medium that suits your needs.

Rule # 4 - Squat!

I don't want to hear they are bad for your knees. Did you know Olympic weight lifts (who squat every single day of the year) use the highest percentage of weight in comparison to bodyweight and have among the lowest incidences of knee injury among all sports?

Squatting correctly, and I stress correctly, will increase strength, speed, power, endurance, and actually LOWER your chance of knee injury/pain!

And it simply can be done at any age and any level. The young ones can simply hold a medicine ball or use bodyweight, while the advanced trainees can use the many barbell variations such as overhead squat, dead start squat, front squat and drop squat. The possibilities are endless.

I don't care how you do it, just do it often!

Rule # 5 - Work Hard & Have Fun

One thing I tell my players is "Don't be afraid of hard work." With that said, always try to have fun. Remember, the training you do now will comeback to you with a tremendous amount of return on your investment in the near future. These and other baseball tips will pay dividends.

Jon Doyle, MA, CSCS is considered the world's foremost authority of effective baseball training, having worked with tens of thousands of professional and amateur ball players. His baseball training website is the largest site in the world of it's kind. Be sure to check it out and sign up for his FREE baseball tips Newsletter.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick