Baseball In-Season Training… All Serious Athletes Do It – Part 2

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, FMS, PES)

In-Season Part 2 - New Top

In Part 2 of this 3 Part series, we’ll go a little more in depth as to some (but not all) of the work we do here at RPP during the in season to keep our guys on field performance consistent.

Other than the beginning of the season, when believe it or not injury rates are the highest (due to a lack of “off season” training), the next highest rate of injuries occurs at the end of the season.  This occurs in many instances due to a loss of “strength” and “mobility” as the season progresses, hence the importance of “strength” training while in-season.

The great thing about a well written strength training program is that it’s a “controlled variable”, which means that it can fluctuate in volume/intensity from week to week or even day to day depending on an athlete’s practice/game schedule.  As I’ve said before, it’s not just “what you do”, it’s what you “don’t do” in a program that makes it effective.

Here are a few examples:

1. Rotator Cuff Exercises: As the baseball (or any overhead sport for that matter) season begins, the amount of rotator cuff exercises we do in our programs decreases. Because of the amount of volume/intensity already being placed on it on the field, there’s no need to crush it anymore with 30 sets of pre-game band drills (which by the way are usually done incorrectly).

   

(Half Kneeling Band Stabilization)

2. Med. Ball Work: Our med. ball work is done predominantly on the opposite side of a player’s throwing/swinging side to balance out the amount of torque already being placed on the body, thereby keeping it as close to symmetrical as possible.

(Quick Pick Med Ball Throw)

3. Chin-ups and Pull-ups: By replacing all chin-ups and pull-ups with horizontal pulling, we take undue stress off of the elbow (trust me it’s going to get enough stress in-season!!).  As for pitchers, we will use push up variations always and only throw in a landmine press if they’re training more than 2x per week to change it up.

       

(Landmine Press)

4. No Long Distance Running!!  And by that I mean more than a minute at a time. Other than long distance running, there is no sport where you run more than a minute without stopping (including soccer).  If you are in a running sport and are in-season, you’re already running every day.  Long distance running makes you less explosive (as in SLOW!!).

5. Mobility Work is of the essence because of the amount of it that is lost due to eccentric stress through throwing, hitting, etc.  Although we cut back on the amount of scap work we do in-season, we never decrease the mobility work.

Many times when poor on field performance occurs midway through the season parents and coaches will say that the team is “out-of-shape”. The bottom line is that they’re tired and weak from playing and not maintaining their strength in the gym on off-days.

In-Season Part 1 - 3

Here at RPP, our in-season programs are approximately 75 minutes (including 20 minutes of foam rolling and mobility work), leaving roughly 35-40 minutes for strength training. We just want to maintain the strength we acquired in the off-season without creating any soreness.

We haven’t even touched on injury. Injury happens most when players are tired. This is either towards the end of the game or the second half of the season. For what it’s worth, your best players are of no use if they are sitting on the bench injured.  So if you’re not strength training during your in-season, you’re missing out on staying at the top of your game all season.  Just make sure your program is written in conjunction with what you’re doing on the field.

In Part 3 of this Series we’ll talk about how to manage these workouts during and in between games, starts etc.

See ya’ in the gym.

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