Baseball Exercises: Build Core Strength for Hitting and Pitching Power
Baseball pitching drills and baseball batting drills provide great opportunities for baseball players to develop their stance and technique during the game, but these positioning drills can only take hitting and pitching power so far. Players will also need to spend some time in the gym developing the core strength that places power behind the throw and the swing.
In both hitting and pitching motions, the power that moves through the arms to deliver force and speed will always begin in the hips and core. Since hip strength is central to both of these elements of the game, this superset of baseball exercises can be worked into any baseball-focused strength training program. Both coaches and players can follow along with the video below as Trevor Theismann from Kbands training.com breaks down the workout one move at a time. As these moves become part of an effective training routine, players should concentrate on the rotational power of the hips, which operates on the stable foundation of the legs and core. Success comes from a clear transfer of force and momentum up from the ground, through the foundation, and into the rotating motion.
Each of these moves will require some cleared floor space so that players can achieve a full range of motion in the arms and legs. Each player will also need a set of Kbands resistance training bands that can be secured in place around the upper legs. Once the bands are attached and players have warmed up, the superset can begin.
Baseball Exercises: Speed Skaters
The first move in this set of baseball exercises is called the speed skater, and this move is designed to help baseball players develop hip strength on a lateral plane. Baseball players will begin the move to the far left of the designated floor space, and will leap laterally to the right as far as possible. The resistance of the Kbands will place targeted pressure on the hip flexors and core muscles as this happens, so players will get the most out of the move if they work hard against this resistance.
With each leap, baseball players should fully engage the arms as well as the hips and legs. The goals of this move should be keep in mind with each rep. Players will need to:
1. Develop hip strength
2. Stay balanced
3. Explode to the other side
4. Develop body control
In order to maintain a full range of motion, the arms and shoulders should contribute their momentum to each leap and increase the distance that players are covering from one side to the other. Baseball players should complete as many leaps as possible in a 30 second period. If this is too advanced, the move can be broken down into two 15 second sets with a very short break in between. For the first set the bands can remain in place, and for the second set they can be unclipped.
Baseball Exercises: Split Squats
After a 10 to 15 second pause after the first move, baseball player can begin the second baseball exercise in this superset. This move is called the split squat, and like the other moves in this workout, this exercise can build control and explosive power in the core, hip flexors, and upper legs.
Players will execute this set by jumping vertically into the air and landing in a squat position, with one foot extended forward and the other extended behind. Upon landing, players will drop their hips down toward the floor into a controlled lunge position. Then they’ll immediately jump back up, reverse their foot position, and repeat the move again. Players should keep these goals in mind:
1. Utilize the arms
2. Increase the distance between the feet to build split position strength
3. Reverse the feet at each rep
This move should be repeated for 10 to 12 seconds, which will usually mean about 8 to 9 reps. This is a very high impact exercise that will elevate the heart rate. To gain the maximum benefits from this move, players should maintain a fast pace, stay explosive, and complete a full range of motion in both the arms and legs.
The final move in this set of baseball exercises will take place on the floor and is designed to build power, flexibility, balance, and increased range of motion in the core. These moves are called extension crossovers, and with the Kbands in place, they can be very challenging if players are giving their all.
Players can start by adopting a four point stance with the weight centered on the palms of the hands and the balls of the feet. As the move begins, players will lift one foot off the floor and roll the body so the knee bends, moves under the body plane, and reached toward the elbow on the opposite side.
When done correctly, this move helps players develop the rotational strength that they rely on during the rotating aspects of the throw and the swing. These goals should stay central to the execution of this part of the workout:
1. Maintain high intensity
2. Close the gap between the knee and the elbow
3. Stay balanced
4. Keep it simple
Players should complete 10 extension crossovers on each side, and should repeat this cycle for three sets. This will mean 30 crossovers total, and each on should be executed with maximum energy and focus.
Baseball Exercises: Final Notes
Combine the strength training exercises above with baseball pitching drills and baseball batting drills that build rotational power and control in the hips, and watch your game rise to the next level. For more sample drills and exercises like these that build the skills necessary for powerful hitting and pitching, visit the baseball section of Kbands Training.com. The site offers point-by-point tutorials on the mechanics of the swing, plus expert advice, trouble shooting, and strength training guidance using the support of the Kbands, KB Powerbands, and KB Duo.