Baseball Workouts | Shakedown Drill For Infield and Outfield
Athletes looking to enhance their playing ability with a baseball speed drill should look no further than the Kbands Wall Drill. This simple baseball speed drill is one of the most effective speed training exercises due to the resistance challenging the athletes on the knee drive and as the foot is driving back toward the ground. By increasing hip strength on both the downward and upward phase of the run athletes can use this baseball speed drill to increase the power in their entire running motion.
To set up this baseball speed drill athletes will need a set of Kbands and a wall or other sturdy object athletes can safely place a large amount of pressure on. Athletes will begin by securely attaching the Kbands just above the knees and then stand in front of a wall. Baseball players will begin the hip strengthening and baseball speed drill by placing their hands on the wall just around their face or head area and positioning themselves so their body forms a 45 degree angle with the wall, athletes need to maintain a flat back throughout the hip strengthening exercise. During this baseball speed drill athletes are trying to mimic the positioning and the movements of the body to simulate an athlete running at full speed. Therefore, it is essential athletes and coaches take the time to ensure athletes are in the correct starting position and maintain proper body positioning throughout this speed and hip strengthening exercise. Be sure backs are straight and butts do not stick out too much.
Once baseball players have the correct body positioning they will begin the Kbands Wall Drill. Athletes will begin by explosively driving the knees up working through the resistance and driving the knees high. On the downward movement athletes will work off the balls of the feet and try to make each contact with the ground as quick as possible. A good knee drive will help athletes strengthen the hip flexors on the front of the leg, increasing stride length, while focusing on quick contacts with the ground will help athletes improve on their stride frequency. Stride length and stride frequency are the two factors which determine the speed at which an athlete can run. Simultaneously increasing both of these running skills is what makes this one of the best baseball speed drills an athlete can execute.
To execute the Kbands Wall Drill athletes will complete 4-6 resisted sets of 12-15 seconds allowing 40-90 seconds of rest between sets. Since sets are short athletes need to really push the tempo and challenge themselves for the entire set of this hip strengthening exercise. Following the completion of the resisted sets athletes will remove the Kbands and perform 2-3 unresisted sets of 12-15 seconds. During unresisted sets it is important athletes really push the tempo and be even quicker and more explosive than when performing the resisted sets. Unresisted sets will allow athletes to really challenge themselves as their legs will feel lighter due to the total muscle activation which was achieved during the resisted sets of the baseball speed drill.
Improving Lateral Quickness With The Hands And Foot Speed Drill
Training to increase later quickness will enhance a baseball player’s ability to field the baseball. By improving lateral quickness athletes will be able to maintain better body positioning while fielding the ball, resulting in fewer fielding and throwing errors. This lateral quickness drill teaches athletes how to be quick, while maintaining proper body positioning and hand placement when fielding a ground ball.
To perform this lateral quickness exercise athletes will need a set of Kbands, 2 baseballs, 2 Speed and Agility Cones, and a partner. After athletes securely attach the resistance above the knees and set up the Speed and Agility Cones the lateral speed drill will begin. The Speed and Agility Cones will act as a mark the athlete is attempting to reach. This means athletes need to set up the Speed and Agility Cones at a challenging distance so athletes must really work to try to reach the other Speed and Agility Cone. Athletes will perform the lateral quickness exercise by beginning in the middle of the cone setup and laterally shuffle to one Cone. Partners will throw ground balls to them as they move laterally. Every time a ball is thrown toward the athlete, the athlete will return the ball with an underhand throw, and begin to quickly shuffle laterally the opposite way. Athletes will perform 10-15 second sets of this lateral quickness drill before taking a 40-90 second rest between sets, perform 4-6 sets of the baseball speed drill. Remember the athletes are working on quickness and speed in this drill. Keeping sets short and breaks a little longer will help athletes to perform the lateral speed exercise at full speed on every set.
While performing the lateral quickness drill athletes need to maintain proper body position. Athletes need to keep knees bent, butts out, back flat, eyes and toes should be facing forward. Athletes also need to focus on not letting their hips rotate during the lateral quickness drill. This drill is striving to achieve great activation in the glutes which cannot be accomplished if the hips and chest begin to rotate and face the Speed and Agility Cones. Athletes also need to be sure they are not over extending their butts or overreaching their chest. Both of these incorrect body positions will take pressure out of the glutes and hips and lessen the benefits the athlete will receive from the lateral quickness exercise. Proper hand positioning is also critical as athletes do not want to field the ball in between their legs, but instead need to keep their hands in front and field the baseball in front of their body.
Best Baseball Speed Drill For Improving Hip Strength And Lateral Quickness
The Kbands Mobility 40’s is one of the best baseball drills for improving speed and strength in the hips and legs. By implementing forward sprinting with quick unexpected lateral movements athletes will be better prepared for similar game like situations. This baseball speed drill also challenges an athlete’s ability to change direction and body control as partners will introduce game specific stimuli into a simple resisted 20-yard sprint.
To begin the hip strength exercise athletes will need 4 Speed and Agility Cones, multiple baseballs, a baseball glove, and a coach or partner to assist in the speed drill. Athletes will attach the Kbands above the knees and place the Speed and Agility Cones in two rows of two, approximately 20 yard apart. Partners will stand about 5 yards behind the finishing line to throw ground balls and a fly ball at the end of the drill. Athletes will begin at the opposite row of Speed and Agility Cones and begin to sprint, under control, toward the finishing line. Partners will randomly throw ground balls, which force the athlete to move laterally to field the balls while performing the sprint. Once athletes reach the finishing line their partners will throw one final fly ball over the shoulder, which must be caught by the athlete.
While performing the lateral quickness and speed drill athletes need to maintain proper footwork especially when moving laterally to field the ground balls. Athletes need to keep butts low and chests forward while working off the balls of their feet. During the final over the shoulder catch athletes and coaches need to be sure athletes open up the hips and take a proper first step in their pursuit of the ball. A false step, or wasted step, will only cost athletes time while trying to make this final catch. Complete 8-12 resisted sets of this baseball speed drill before performing one final unresisted set, allow 40-90 seconds of rest in between sets of the baseball drill. Athletes need to remember to not let the resistance move them but to work against the resistance in order to achieve the proper muscle activation in the hips and glutes. Athletes should also be careful not to let their feet or legs cross during the baseball speed drill. This will not only slow athletes but can also result in tripping or losing balance.
Why These Baseball Drills Work
In baseball athletes are never simply moving in one direction. One attribute which makes athletes successful is their ability too quickly, and under control, move in any direction they need to. These baseball speed drills not only help athletes improve the strength in their legs and hips but also is a great way for athletes to practice multi directional movements while implementing sports specific tasks and movements.