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One of the most important aspects for a baseball player is having core strength. Every movement a catcher, pitcher, infielder or outfielder makes involves the trunk so it is really important to learn how to strengthen the core in order to prevent injury and build the power to be explosive. The core includes the oblique muscles, abs, hips and the lower back. A strong, balanced trunk and torso are necessary in baseball so that the limbs are able to be in control and move powerfully. Many rapid movements take place through the extremities when playing baseball, so baseball players need to make sure their core is strong and stable in order to generate explosive power directly to the limbs.
Lower back pain and injury have been associated with weakness and lack of control in the core muscles. A baseball player needs strong back muscles for flexibility of the spine, extension and great rotation in the trunk. This Kbands Training workout will work the oblique muscles, abs, hips, and lower back in minutes.
Kbands Side Bridge: This exercise helps strengthen the spine, works the oblique muscles, and forces the entire core to stabilize the body. Lay on the right side and hold the body up with the elbow and forearm. As the baseball player raises his torso off the ground he should have all of his weight on his elbow/forearm and feet. The feet should be stacked one on top of the other. Maintain a flat torso all the way down through this exercise and rock the hips forward. Shifting the hips forward is the most important part of the side bridge. Leaving the butt back will leave the spine out of alignment and give little benefit for improving core strength. Hold the side bridge for 15-20 seconds and work up to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side. When athletes can hold a side bridge for 60 seconds on each side they then can expand the workout to many different modifications. Work through bridging on one side and rolling over to the other side with no break. 20 second holds on each side. Refer to the Athlete Performance Pack for advanced level training.
Kbands - The Pointer: The pointer is a great exercise for the low back, glute muscles, and stabilizers all through the core. Get in the four point position with a flat back while bridging up and put hands in the push-up position underneath the body. Lift and straighten the right arm forward and the left leg backward at the same time, hold for three seconds, and then bring back down. It is important to get to the flat position at the top and then hold for three seconds. Do about 8-10 on each side with opposite arm and opposite leg squeezing through the core. Be sure to have Kbands strapped around each leg and clipped up. Kbands will enhance the effects of this exercise by increasing the resistance. The added resistance will increase muscle stimulation and produce greater stabilization effects on the core.
Kbands Modified Iron Cross: The purpose of this exercise is to work the IT bands, glutes, and to fire the hips while controlling the body's movements with the core. Lay flat on the ground with arms straight out from shoulders and place hands flat on the ground or floor. Work hard to fire the glutes and hips while working the core. Straddle legs and lift them straight up to rock side to side like an iron cross. Make sure to keep the legs apart and straight the entire time keeping the hands flat and straight out from the shoulders to support the core. This puts all the pressure on the oblique muscles and low back while the Kbands are firing the glutes, hips, and IT bands. This is a multi-joint movement exercise that works a lot of stability muscles. Athletes can measure reps by simply timing themselves. Each week look to improve the amount of reps and work to improve.
Kbands Exercise Ball Roll: The next exercise is great for the abdominals, balance, and shoulder stability while utilizing the Kbands and an exercise ball. Place both feet on the ball, flatten back, and stretch out with the hands and body in the pushup position. Roll the ball with the feet until the knees touch the chest. Control the movement and do not move too fast. A fast pace will use momentum more than the body's stabilizers. Stay slow and controlled for optimal results. 3 sets of 20 is a great place to start with this exercise.
Kbands Exercise Ball Walks: Now we move on to an exercise that builds shoulder stability and core strength. Begin with feet and knees on the exercise ball, the body stretched out, the hands in the pushup position,
and the back flat. Walk in and out on the ball with the hands while keeping the abs tight and the core flat the entire time. Do not sag because the pressure on the back while sagging could injure the spine. Continue walking out with the hands until the shoelaces are back on the exercise ball, then bridge up on the shoulders and walk back towards the ball. Continue walking in and out and make sure not to let the shoulders roll back. Work through the resistance and bridging up on the body. 3 sets of 12-15 is a good place to start.
Baseball players should not underestimate the importance of core strength and stability. The core is where the power comes from. If the core is strong then the baseball player is strong. Strength or weakness in the core will have a vast impact on the ability of a baseball player to perform in their position on the field. If the trunk and torso are not strong and balanced, then they will not be able to generate explosive power through the limbs. Baseball, like other sports, utilizes the body as a whole. Power is generated through the legs and up through the core. A strong core will transfer the energy through the upper limbs for great athletic performance, while a weak core will only deliver minimal amount of energy from the legs. The core is involved in many movements. Hitting, running, sliding, twisting, and throwing are just a few. The core is the base for all movement and balance. Whether a baseball player is running for a deep fly ball, landing on one foot, or diving for a ground ball and having to jump up to throw to first, the strength and stability of their core will make a huge difference in whether or not they are successful. The power to make routine plays or the highlight of the week comes from the core strength and stability of a baseball player. Baseball players need to be explosive at the plate and on the field. Peak performance for a baseball player requires a strong and stable core. This will enable catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders to all be explosive on the field and at the plate.
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