Too many players at all levels either (a) treat their warm-up like a hassle or (b) simply don’t do it properly. The baseball warm-up routine for position players below is meant to provide you with a comprehensive and easy protocol similar to that being done by top professional baseball players (pitchers click here). A proper baseball warm-up program before a game should take 15-20 minutes before you pick up a ball. It’s in four parts as follows:
- Breathing (16+)
- Foam Rolling (16+)
The following is listed in order. Since every athlete is different, I designed this program to cover just about all the bases. You can click each drill for a “how to” video on proper form.
1. Breathing (16+)
Breathing is something we do all day every day, but if we aren’t breathing through our diaphragm (which is most of the athletic population) and instead are breathing into our chests, the rib position displaces the scapula from its proper place. This ultimately can lead to poor scapular upward rotation, excessive tone in the lats and closing down the acromial space causing alignment issues, restricting mobility and possibly causing impingement issues at the shoulder.
2. Foam Rolling (16+)
Foam Rolling or Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a great way athletes can help increase tissue quality without over stretching, especially for those with laxity (loose joints). The process stimulates a contraction in the muscle, triggering a reflex known as “autogenic inhibition”. In layman’s terms this is where the muscle will relax as a protective device. Basically, you can get many of the benefits of stretching without the lengthening of the muscle which may not always be the best thing for certain athletes.
- Upper Traps (30 sec)
Let me start by saying that not all athletes need extensive mobility work. Those with laxity (excessive joint range of motion) need to get stronger through strength training but should be careful as to how much mobility work they do. For these athletes foam rolling may be all that’s really needed.
Shorter stockier athletes generally have adequate amounts of weight room strength but tend to be a bit tighter from a mobility and flexibility standpoint. For these guys some foam rolling and mobility work to the lower half may be all that’s needed to help increase stride length and increase hip mobility.
- S. Leg Glute Bridge (L-R-L, 5 sec hold / side)
- Bretzel (30 sec / side)
- Prone Cobra (5x 5 sec holds)
- Prone Hip Rotator (30 sec / side)
- Quad. Adductor (R-L-R, 8x / side)
- Quad. T-Spine (8x / side)
- Cat/Camel (8x / ea way)
- Wall Quad Stretch (30 sec / side)
- Wall Slides w/ Liftoff (8x)
- Tri-Planar Ankle Mob (3x / ea way)
- Forearm Circuit
Playing an explosive sport such as baseball requires extremely dynamic movements and can be very ballistic across the entire body. Before placing high amounts of torque, a proper baseball warm-up should include movement prep to get the entire body warmed up and ready to withstand these forces
- Butt Kicks (1x 20 yds)
- Carioca (1x 20 yds)
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)
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