Body weight exercises for baseball strength training can be extremely beneficial for any player. Many baseball pitchers underestimate the effectiveness of body weight exercises.
Unfortunately, they are missing out on a great opportunity to build strength, muscle, explosiveness, and muscular endurance. In addition, it's not always convenient or cost-worthy having a gym membership.
Yes, weightlifting is an essential element towards developing strong and explosive pitchers, but not every pitcher has access to the necessary equipment.
Body weight workouts can be particularly useful for youth pitchers because it's not also advisable that they lift weights at a young age or at least before high school.
If you're a high school or college pitcher, and you are on vacation without any type of training devices, body weight exercises can help you maintain your strength.
Before I give you some examples of body weight workouts, I want to define body weight training, and explain its advantages and disadvantages.
Definition of body weight exercises for baseball
Body weight workouts for pitching require the player to use his or her own body weight and the force of gravity as a resistance mechanism.
Many of the exercises will require movements such as pushing, pulling, jumping, and flexion. Depending on your fitness level and size, some body weight workouts may be easier or more difficult. Let's take a look at the advantages of these exercises.
Advantages of body weight workouts
There are several advantages that body weight training can provide. First, these exercises will rarely ever require any type of equipment or gym membership. Secondly, body weight exercises utilize muscles that are not normally trained during weightlifting such as the smaller muscles within the rotator cuff.
Training the smaller muscles within the rotator cuff is essential for injury prevention, arm endurance, and pitching velocity.
Lastly, many of these exercises will require a significant amount of flexibility and balance while performing the repetitions.
Disadvantages of body weight exercises
Although there are many advantages of using these exercises, there are still a few disadvantages. Since all body weight workouts require only the unique body weight of that individual, he or she will never be able to exceed that weight.
In most strength training regimes, adding additional weight to the exercises is essential for building strength and muscle.
This is one main reason why I will always promote weightlifting over body weight exercises for baseball pitchers and players.
However, as listed above, body weight workouts do have their advantages that should be recognized so that you can utilize them if you're in a situation when you cannot access weight training devices.
Best body weight exercises for baseball
There are dozens of body weight exercises that target almost every muscle of the both the upper and lower half of the body.
Upper body weight workouts include push ups, pull ups, chin-ups, tricep dips, bridges, burpees, planks, crunches, russian twists, leg raises, and super mans to name only a few.
Lower body weight exercises include squats, explosive squats, split squats, single-leg squats, lunges, side lunges, and calf raises. Plyometric exercises are also a great form of body weight training. There is doubt that body weight exercises can be an excellent alternative to weightlifting when necessary.
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To get to the next level, preparation matters. Your work ethic matters. Being committed to the process matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching. The journey is just as important as the end result.
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