Adult baseball/slowpitch softball training tips

Chances are that high school or college baseball, and women’s fast pitch softball players, will have regimented offseason workout programs to follow that their coaches gave them.
For adult recreational athletes who play baseball or slowpitch softball, they might not be quite as sure what kind of workout plan to use. Usually, there’s no coach to guide them, unless you’re talking about where to head after the game for beer and chicken wings.

Here are some baseball/slowpitch workout tips for adults based on my experience as a player and in talking to many different trainers:

* Legs, legs, legs – The first thing I hear from retired players who had to give the game up before they were ready is they say their legs went out on them. That they couldn’t run well anymore.
Legs are key for any age, though, in baseball and softball. You have to be able to run well and even for a team’s big, heavy power hitter it can still help a lot of they can improve their running.
The offseason is the time to work the most on your legs. Stretch well before, after and even a little during the workout. Strengthen your legs by doing squats, leg curls, leg extensions and dead lifts.
Also, build your cardio in the offseason with lots of time on a treadmill and/or elliptical. Check past blogs I’ve written for tips on these, such as the benefits of interval training.

* Upper body strength – It sure helps to have a strong upper body as well, but don’t confuse bulk with strength. It’s better to be strong and flexible for baseball/softball than so big you have trouble moving well.
You may have to adapt your workout some as you get older.
The biggest change I’ve made is in the way I exercise my chest. I used to really enjoy the flat-bench, barbell bench press and made excellent progress in the weight I could use. However, years of grinding away took its toll and I developed a shoulder Impingement in my mid-30s.
In consulting a sports doctor, I began doing a lot of rotator cuff and other stretches for the shoulders and started back lightly with dumbbell bench presses.
I have felt just as strong doing dumbbell bench presses, gradually increasing the weight the last few years, and my shoulders feel a lot better.
Besides dumbbell bench presses, other excellent upper body lifts for softball and baseball are pushups, dips, triceps kickbacks and pushdowns, barbell curls, seated rows, front lat pulldowns, upright rows and pull-ups.

* Keep the core strong – Work out your abs and core at least 3-4 times a week and make sure to hit the stomach muscles with different types of crunches, not just straight ahead. Side bends and side twists also work.

* Start swinging, throwing early – When it gets closer to your season, you can get ahead of the competition by starting to throw and swing the bat indoors. If you have access to a batting cage, that’s even better.

Even though there’s snow on the ground in many parts of the country, including where I’m at in Ohio, the sunny days of summer will be here before you know it. A good workout program is a great way to help pass the time until then.