Are you looking to enhance your performance on the baseball field?
Strengthening your core muscles and improving your flexibility can be a game-changer, and you don’t necessarily need a gym membership to achieve this. Bodyweight exercises are a fantastic option, offering convenience and efficiency at no cost.
In this article, I will be sharing the top bodyweight exercises that can help baseball players hit harder, run faster, and field more effectively.
Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out, incorporating these exercises into your routine can aid in building a stronger and more agile physique.
Read on for tips on how to execute these exercises correctly to reap the maximum benefits and reduce the risk of injury.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Baseball Players
Here they are, in no particular order, my 10 favorite bodyweight exercises for baseball players.
Stick around to the end because I put these 10 exercises into a workout circuit that you can try out right now.
Why: Push-Ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, and triceps, which are vital for powerful hitting and throwing.
Push-Ups aren’t just one of my favorite bodyweight exercises, they are one of my favorite upper-body exercises for baseball players, period.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Pull your toes in so that you’re on the tip of your shoes.
- Eyes should be focused straight down or slightly up.
- Pull your hands close to about the nipple line of the chest and bring them out about 2-3 inches away.
- Take a deep breath, engage the core and brace.
- Push yourself up in one unit. There should be no sagging of the waist. The entire body from head to toe should move up and then back down in unison.
- Feel your scapula upwardly rotate and make sure the antagonist muscles (Back and biceps) are fully engaging.
- Lock out your push-up and pause.
- Slowly lower yourself back down and get ready for the next repetition from just above the ground. Do not fully relax at the bottom of the push-up unless your program specifies.
Why: Planks work the entire core, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of injuries during quick movements on the field.
- Start on the ground on your stomach.
- Assume a push-up like position on your elbows and toes. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders.
- Position your body in a straight line from the shoulders through the hips, knees and ankles.
- Brace the core tight. (As if you’re going to be punched in the stomach)
- Do not let the body slouch to the ground nor push the hips up high in the air.
Why: Burpees are a full-body exercise that increases endurance and strength, aiding in improved overall performance.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides.
- Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, just outside shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your feet back into a plank position, with your hands still on the ground and your body in a straight line.
- Do a push-up by lowering your chest towards the ground, then pressing back up to the plank position.
- Jump your feet back towards your hands, then stand (or jump) up and reach your arms overhead.
Why: Lunges help in building strong and stable legs, which are essential for running bases and maintaining a solid base while batting.
- Stand upright with feet hip-width apart, shoulders relaxed and engage your core
- Step forward with one leg and lower your body, bending both knees at 90 degrees.
- Front knee above ankle, not past toes. Back knee close to but not touching the ground.
- Push off the front foot and return to the start position. Alternate legs each rep.
Why: Bodyweight Squats work on your lower body strength, providing power for explosive movements like jumping and sprinting.
- Perform your bodyweight squat by placing feet shoulder width apart, toes straight ahead or slightly pointed out.
- Squat down by first hinging the hips back and then bending the knees and dropping the hips straight down.
- Chest should stay up, eyes focused straight ahead.
- Feet should remain flat on the floor with weight evenly distributed between the heel and ball of the foot.
- Stand tall by pushing the feet ‘through the floor’, driving the hips up and the shoulders tall.
Why: Mountain Climbers are a great exercise for building core strength while also targeting the hips and hamstrings, aiding in better stability and flexibility.
- Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
- Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
- Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
- Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
- Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Russian Twists focus on the oblique muscles, enhancing rotational power, which is essential for hitting and throwing.
- Start by taking a seat on the floor and clasping your hands together.
- Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
- Start by rotating your torso to the left, taking your right elbow toward your left knee.
- Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right, now taking your left elbow toward your right knee.
- Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.
- Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Dips build arm strength, helping players to throw with more force and control.
Dips are tricky, because yes they’re bodyweight, but they also require a piece of equipment. Worst case scenario, grab a chair or bench and do Bench Dips.
- Attach your dip rack to your rack. This process will vary based on your rack and dip attachment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
- Set your dip rack just above waist height. This will allow enough room for your feet not to hit the ground while doing reps, but not so high you feel you have to jump up into your first rep.
- Starting position is hands on bars, arms extended, knees slightly bent and feet crossed (crossing feet is optional but does help with unwanted swinging in my experience.
- Descend down by bending the elbows and slightly leaning forward.
- Lower yourself under control until the triceps become parallel with the ground and then drive yourself back up to the starting position.
Why: Bicycle Crunches target the abdominal muscles, supporting better posture and core strength for swinging the bat more powerfully.
- Lay on your back with your knee and hip flexed to 90 degrees
- Raise your shoulder blades off of the ground several inches and put your hands behind your head.
- Keep your chin off of your chest and keep your left leg off of the ground.
- Straighten your right knee while simultaneously driving the left knee in the opposite direction toward your shoulder.
- Touch your left knee to your right elbow and immediately repeat to the other side.
Why: Focusing on the glutes and hamstrings, Glute Bridges assist in building a strong lower half, contributing to a powerful batting stance and explosive running speed.
- Start by laying on your back on the ground.
- Bend both knees to about a 90-degree angle and place both feet flat on the floor.
- Begin the rep by driving your hips up into the air. Try to attain a straight line from the shoulders through the hips and knees.
- Squeeze the glutes at the top of the rep and then lower back down to the starting position.
Here’s a bodyweight circuit that you can follow to build strength and endurance utilizing the exercises above:
|Circuit 1||3 Rounds|
|Bodyweight Squats||x 15|
|Plank||x 45 seconds|
|Circuit 2||3 Rounds|
|Mountain Climbers||x 15 each leg|
|Russian Twists||x 15 each side|
|Circuit 3||3 Rounds|
|Bicycle Crunches||x 15 each side|
|Lunges||x 12 each leg|
|Glute Bridges||x 15|
Make sure to start off with a proper warm-up. I have a few sample warmups here if you need one.
Perform each exercise in Circuit 1 one after another, with minimal rest in between, until 3 total rounds have been completed.
Rest 2 minutes.
Continue on to Circuit 2 in the same manner, resting another 2 minutes between Circuit 2 and 3.
If you want to increase the challenge, try 4 rounds of each circuit instead of 3.
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Bodyweight exercises offer a straightforward and effective way to enhance your baseball performance.
Whether it’s through strengthening your core with Planks or building powerful legs with Squats, these exercises can be your go-to option, especially when the gym is not accessible.
Start integrating these exercises into your program to step up your game and become a force to reckon with on the field.