The Baseball Zone Blog

Mike McCarthy | Dec 11, 2014 3:12:00 PM

3 Reasons To Invest In A Baseball Strength Training Program

Learn what strength training can do for your game and what to look for in a program

Baseball is America’s past time and it has become the same for many Canadians as well, so it’s no surprise that many young athletes choose to make it their chosen sport to participate in. While some kids play baseball just for fun or to be a part of a team, there are those who live and breathe baseball. To these individuals, baseball is more than just a hobby, but what they excel at. Many hope to one day make it to play collegiately, and perhaps even professionally.

And to get to that point, these passionate individuals need more than just a couple of practices a week to really perfect their craft and hone in on their skills. Instead, they need serious training so that they can reach their baseball goals. That’s where baseball strength training programs come into play (for players such as MVP Mike Trout, pictured).

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Topics: strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball functional training, off-season strength training, weight lifting, mobility, personalized training, group training

Rick Boutilier | May 14, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "External Rotation w/ Elbow Away"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Elbow Away from the body from our Rotator Cuff Series. 

Using a relatively light dumbbell, the athlete sets their elbow on the inside of the knee and slowly lowers the weight for 3-4 seconds. It is important to try and maintain good posture ( chest out and shoulders back). Raise the weight back up in a controlled manner for 1 second without using momentum or swinging the weight. We'd often place it at the beginning of a lifting program, especially for baseball players and athletes with shoulder issues, and keep the rep range from 8-12 reps and 2-3 sets. As with all lifts, tempo and grip and repetitions can be varied depending upon purpose, timing, experience, variability, etc.

In the second part of the video we abduct the arm to shoulder height and keep the elbow bent at 90 degrees for a slight variation.

In the video we have Jamie Richmond and Coach Boots (@tbzboots) demonstrating this baseball strength training exercise. Jamie coached and trained with us in the Winter and spent several years with orgranizations such as Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals.

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Topics: strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, shoulder injury, rotator cuff, throwing deceleration, shoulder strength

Rick Boutilier | May 7, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "External Rotation w/ Pulleys"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Pulley from our Rotator Cuff Series. 

Using a pulley system with relatively light weight, the athlete locks the elbow of their pulling arm at the same hip and externally rotates the pulley away from the body. It is important to try and keep that elbow as close to the body as possible throughout the movement to maintain focus on the Teres Minor. We'd often place it at the beginning of a lifting program, especially for baseball players and athletes with shoulder issues, and keep the rep range from 8-12 reps with a tempo of 1 second out (away from the body) and 3-4 seconds back to the body. As with all lifts, tempo and grip and repetitions can be varied depending upon purpose, timing, experience, variability, etc.

In the video we have John Mariotti demostrating the exercise. At the time, John was training with us in preparation for his representing Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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Topics: in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, pitching velocity, shoulder injury, rotator cuff, throwing velocity, glenohumeral joint

Jeff Overholt | Feb 27, 2014 1:30:00 PM

Peak Height Velocity & Its Implications for Youth Baseball Players

This blog comes from our colleague Jeff Overholt, Co-Founder of Golf Performance Coaches and PGA of Ontario 2013 Coach of the Year. This entry was initially published on the Golf Performance Coaches' blog under the title of "'Growing Up' - Acorns Becoming Oak Trees". Please visit their site for more excellent junior athlete development information.

Can you guess which of these junior golfers is the oldest? Which player would have an advantage if they were all competing on a golf course which was around 5500 yards?

Believe it or not the player on the left is actually the youngest (chronological age), but he is the oldest from a development age standpoint. Developmental age refers to the child’s age of physical, mental, emotional or intellectual maturity as opposed to chronological age, which represents the number of years and days which have elapsed since birth.

These concepts are very important for coaches and parents to understand if they have athletes of any sport between 10 – 15 years of age. During this time, children typically go through their growth spurt and hit a critical marker in their development called Peak Height Velocity (PHV).

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Topics: baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball exercise, baseball skills, Motor Skills, physical mistakes, LTAD, peak height velocity, Long term athletic development

Rick Boutilier | Nov 21, 2013 10:33:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "Med Ball Shot Puts"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is Med Ball Shot Puts.

This is a great exercise that helps baseball players develop rotational power. We really want to focus on transferring weight from the back foot to the front foot while remaining balanced. Just like when we hit, we want to use momentum and make sure are hips are travelling towards the pitcher. We then use our top hand to "punch" the ball forward. It's important for hitters to make sure the top hand is strong through contact. Many young baseball players tend to release the top hand too early or not stay strong with that top hand through contact. This can negatively impact ball exit speed.

Here is a short video demo below:

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Topics: baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball functional training, rotational power, baseball exercise, med ball drills

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