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Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Importance of Weight Lifting For Baseball

By Jim Bain

Traditionally, for the most part baseball players are not as ripped or bulked muscle definition wise as football players. The vision of rippling muscles flexing under the tremendous strains of lifting weights does not seem to compute for a MLB player in the gym as it does for a football player in the weight room. Although it's true football players normally require additional and different muscle bulk for the tasks they must perform vs. the baseball player, that doesn't mean a baseball player isn't suppose to be muscular or work out with weights. Alas, just the opposite is true.

The core strength of a baseball player, shoulders, hips and legs must be very strong in order to produce the explosive energy which propels baseballs 410' or throws a 100 mph fastball.
Core strength is produced by muscle bulk and muscles are built by lifting weights of varying sets, reps and amounts. The heavier the weight, the bigger the muscle mass which is created, while the more sets and reps performed, the more toned and lean the muscle.

Let's exam just one aspect of building muscles through lifting weights which increase core strength and how it enhances our baseball abilities. The legs are the foundation of the core, giving the body balance and an ability to coil and explode much as a snake when striking.

The legs must be strong enough to carry and balance the entire weight of the body as it prepares to begin the starting mechanism of the swing, or being able to hold the hands back as the body begins its motion forward.

Most non-baseball people mistakenly believe the power for hitting originates in the shoulders and chest area, which is not correct, not totally that is. The explosion of power originates from the turning of the hips, which when turned with speed and power, leads the rest of the body into a powerful pin wheel reaction increasing the velocity and speed of the baseball bat as it travels through the hitting zone.

This speed of the bat, as we know, is what actually transfers the body's strength and power into the baseball as contact is made. Simply defined, slow bat speed equates into weak hitting, while quick bat speed equates into powerful hitting and the sum of it all...weak core strength equals slow bat speed. Increasing core strength through exercising with weights is the best method to achieve results in the shortest period of time.

That's not to say other forms of training, cardio, stretching, pilates or yoga are not essential for perfecting our body strength, flexibility and limberness in order to prevent injury, but for pure muscle building.. Lifting weights in the proper manner is the Best method to build strength through muscle bulk.

Jim ( Coach ) Bain is a former Minor League Player and Coach of Youth Baseball for over 10 years. He has drawn from fellow successful coaches' experiences and combined them with his own extensive experience to create a Baseball Teaching Website. The site is packed with 100s of tips, drills, history and instruction on how to play and coach the game of baseball.
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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