Baseball isn’t usually a sport one automatically thinks of as part of an exercise routine. Perhaps it’s the idea of outfielders just standing around waiting to catch batters’ pop flies, or maybe it’s the occasionally comical parodies of said outfielders bumbling around to snag a stray ball. If any physical activity is taken seriously as exercise, it’s the running that players do.
Nothing could be further from the truth, though, in terms of baseball and fitness. The sport can provide great conditioning and strength training to all who play it. The pitching, throwing, turning, running, and batting all lend themselves to great muscular development and cardio health. Today, pro players hit farther and more frequently, and their physiques often show it. Amateur players, too, can benefit from playing.
To improve one’s power, which lends to their baseball playing skill, a few exercises are necessary. Weight training, for example, is a key component for many players today, as it builds strength, bone density, and endurance. Power lifting is very helpful for many athletes, as is plyometrics, or “jumping exercises” such as squats and burpees. Exercises such as this use the body’s weight as resistance in a lateral (side-to-side) movement. Strength can also be developed through exercises such as push-ups, lat pulls, etc.
Speed is also a skill that must be developed if one is to improve one’s game. It’s crucial to steal and make bases, field balls, and win games. Though it’s often overlooked, speed’s importance is huge. The faster a player is, the better the team is. To improve speed, a player might do band runs (pulling a strong elastic band from behind), sled pulls (running while pulling a “sled” of weights, for example), and hill runs (obviously, uphill running). These grueling drills can leave an athlete exhausted, but they’re worth the toil to improve.
Agility is important as well. An agile player has a great advantage over one who is stiffer and less able to move quickly. To improve agility, exercises such as agility ladder drills, hurdles or running around and between poles can be helpful.
Naturally, nutrition plays a huge role in a player’s skill as well. Eat right, play better. A diet rich in protein and nutrients, low in fat, and devoid of processed sugar is ideal for increasing energy, keeping weight off, and building muscle. Colorful vegetables, too, provide necessary antioxidants, boost the immune system, and add to heath in many other ways. And water’s importance cannot be overlooked or underrated. Hydration through an unprocessed beverage is crucial. Highly processed, sugary “energy” drinks don’t help, though their marketing campaigns aim to deceive.
Finally, once you have improved your own game, kick back and enjoy your favorite team playing America’s game. The MLB Shop has all the baseball equipment, paraphernalia and memorabilia a player and fan could possibly want. Purchase every team jersey or product you like. Find your MLB Shop coupon at Groupon Coupons today! Now, play ball!