Baseball is a very unique sport to train for. Flexibility, mobility, strength, endurance, and power are all needed.
Developing power in specific planes of motion is critical. We know that training power in the transverse and sagittal planes will be advantageous for baseball players.
In my opinion, med ball work is the most specific implement pitchers can use to develop power for their position. I recommend Dynamax-style med balls between 6 and 15 pounds. A sturdy wall is also required.
In this guide, I will be going over the 7 best med ball exercises for baseball players, off-season vs. in-season, and more!
Table of Contents
- Med Ball Exercises For Baseball Players
- Off-Season vs. In-Season
- More Links and Info
Med Ball Exercises For Baseball Players
1. Seated Med Ball Twist (With Partner)
The Seated Med Ball Twist is a great movement that incorporates stability and rotation with the core. In baseball, we are often in positions that require the ability to stabilize and then rotate powerfully, so this is a very sport-specific movement.
Sit with both feet straight out and knees bent at 90 degrees. Take a med ball and twist to tap the ball on each side of you. You should tap the ball 3 times and then throw it to your partner. Stabilize and keep your legs up while your partner does their reps.
Don’t hold your knees!
2. Overhead Med Ball Slam
Creating full body power is important for any sport and especially baseball. The overhead slam is a great upper body, overhead, dynamic core movement.
Focus on a fast countermovement. Extend the ball all the way overhead. Engage the core and slam the ball as hard as you can. Take pride in breaking some med balls here!
3. Around The World Slam
The around-the-world med ball slam and other med ball slam variations do a great job training rapid force development utilizing the whole body.
The reason I like this variation the most for baseball players is because of the movement at the shoulder. This variation is great for baseball players looking to develop a powerful core while also working shoulder stability.
Standing tall, hold your med ball in front of you. Lift the med ball, rotate it around your head, and slam it to the ground as hard as you can. You will notice your opposite foot (opposite to the side you slam on) pivot similar to the way it would on the mound. Catch the ball and repeat on the other side. Alternate sides until you are done with your set.
4. Rotational Med Ball Side Toss (Into Wall)
This is one of my favorite movements for baseball players. Rotational med ball side toss is as specific as you can get to the rotary power needed on the field and therefore very important.
Take a side stance, facing perpendicular to the wall. Hold the med ball with open palms. Gain momentum with a counter movement and load the back hip. From here, rotate and toss the ball as hard as you can into the wall. The emphasis here is on the core and hips delivering that med ball to the wall. Do not “throw” the ball.
I would not focus on catching the ball off the wall. Each repetition should be fast and explosive. Take pride in breaking some med balls here!
5. Rotational Med Ball Side Toss (For Distance)
Another very specific rotary power movement, the med ball rotational toss for distance is very important in training the core to be explosive.
Once again, use open palms, focus on that counter movement, and launch the ball as far as you can.
Each repetition should be fast and explosive. Focus on being aggressive, launch angle, and distance. Take pride in setting a distance record. Keep track of each attempt!
6. Med Ball Shot Put
This is one of my favorite movements for baseball players because of how specific it is to the sport itself. The med ball shot put helps train rotary power very specific to what we see on the field.
Take a med ball and hold it with both hands. Load the med ball high near the chin. Take a step and throw the ball (or put the ball) as hard as you can into the wall.
If you are throwing with your right arm, step with the left foot. Do all your reps on one side and then switch.
Focus on the trunk and hips delivering the med ball into the wall. You should not feel any strain on the shoulder here. You are loading the scapula but you are not “pulling down” down on the shoulder. The main counter-movement would be in the trunk and hips loading prior to the throw.
7. Med Ball Reverse Toss
Hip extension and full body power are important for baseball. To throw, hit, and run as fast as we can, we need to be able to extend the hip forcefully. The med ball reverse toss is a great movement to train these movements.
Make sure you have at least 40 yards of turf. Take a neutral stance with your feet under your hips. Holding the med ball, hinge at the waist, bend the knee, and load the med ball between your legs.
From here you are accelerating and extending the hips. Transfer the momentum from your lower half and hips to the upper body and launch the med ball as far behind you as you can. Ideally, you are launching the ball at an angle that allows it to travel in the air as long as possible.
Take pride in setting a distance record. Keep track of your attempts!
Off-Season vs. In-Season
I am a firm believer in developing core rotary power in the off-season. Working on rotary power 3 days a week is ideal.
- Dynamic warm-up
- Throwing warm-up
- Throwing program
- Med ball work
- Plyos and sprints
- Weight training
I think this is the ideal setup for a day of training a baseball player.
Conversely, I do not think it is necessary to train rotary power in-season more than 1 (maybe 2) days per week. Especially for players who will play 4-5 games per week. Baseball (hitting and throwing) in and of itself is a rotary power sport.
In my opinion, the weight room emphasis in-season should shift more to anti-rotational work to avoid overuse injuries.
More Links and Info
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