By Steven Ellis
The number one purpose of conditioning is to improve a baseball catcher's ability to make the big play. Strength training is a vital part of complete conditioning. The primary function of the body’s 600+ muscles is to contract (shorten in length) to move body parts. And remember that only muscle can cause movement. The stronger the muscles and the more forceful the contractions, the faster the catcher will run, higher he will jump, quicker he will throw, and harder he will hit. It’s that simple!
Here are more than 30 functional strength training exercises performed by baseball catchers do in the big leagues.
1. Bar on back, step back out of rack slowly
2. Feet shoulder width apart, squat sitting back on your heels… heels should stay on ground (tighten abs before squatting.
3. Go down to parallel or slightly below parallel
4. Remember that keeping your back straight and keeping it upright are not the same thing
Single Leg Deadlift
1. Squat down touching DB’s on the ground… keep heels on ground.
1. Hold single DB in hands between legs
2. Squat down… hips going back should be first movement… knees should not go in front of toes and heels should stay on ground
1. Hold weight straight out in front of you
2. Take lunge step
3. Twist with your arms going over your front leg… shoulders should be turned 90 degrees
4. Step into next step, twisting while going down into lunge position
Walking DB Lunge
1. Take large step
2. Back knee drops to ground-down not forward-shin of front leg should be straight up and down… knee never goes in front of toes
3. Reach DB’s down to the ground, touching the ground at the same time as your knee
4. Back should be at about 45 degree angle… Should stay that angle while coming up
5. Step into next rep without stopping
1. Same technique as squat but use lighter weight and “explode” out of the bottom
2. Should come up onto toes at the top but not jump
Swiss Ball DB Bench
1. You are going to use the Swiss Ball as your bench. Your shoulders will the only thing on the ball.
2. Keep your hips lifted up to where you body is flat or just slightly below flat. Tighten your abs keeping your ribs and waist together.
3. Have your elbows slightly angled down toward your waist.
4. Press up towards the ceiling keeping your wrists directly above your elbows.
5. All the way up and down
DB Incline Press
Pushups w/Swiss Ball
1. Perform pushups with your hands on the side of the Swiss Ball.
2. Keep hips up… don’t let them sag.
3. Go the entire way up rounding your shoulders out at the top
Single Leg DB Row
1. Similar to DB Row but without leaning on the bench.
2. Stand on one leg and hold DB with opposite hand.
3. Reach down with DB towards the foot on the ground, then pull it into your hip.
4. Let DB back down and repeat
Seated Cable Row
1. Using a low cable machine, sit with legs extended, holding the attachment with both hands.
2. Keep torso straight up and down.
3. Pull hands into belly button, squeezing shoulder blades together.
4. Let arms all the way out, but do not lean forward.
Single Leg Cable Row
1. Using a low cable machine, stand on one leg, grab attachment with opposite hand.
2. Torso should be leaned slightly forward.
3. Pull hand into your hip.
4. Let arm back out with your shoulder stretching forward.
1. Grab bar with slightly wider than shoulder width.
2. Pull down in front bringing the bar down to your collar bone.
3. Let bar go back up all the way.
1. Grip the pulldown bar with an underhand grip or a close-grip type of attachment.
2. Pull down in front bringing hands to your collar bone
3. Let bar go back up all the way.
1. Lay on back, using either a Swiss Ball or a bench.
2. Keep arms straight, bring DB back over your head until you feel a stretch in your lats.
3. Pull the DB up until it is perpendicular with the ground.
1. Take light DB’s, with elbows slightly bent raise DB’s to your sides parallel to the floor.
2. Slowly lower and repeat
1. After desired reps, take DB’s and raise them in front of you until parallel with floor.
2. Slowly lower and repeat
Bent Over Reverse Fly
1. After desired reps, bend over at the hips until body is close to parallel to floor.
2. DB’s should be hanging down in front of you. Raise the DB’s straight out to the side until parallel with ground.
3. Slowly lower and repeat
1. Use either Bar or DB in front of body.
2. Press over head without leaning back. Keep abs tight.
3. Weight will be over the back of your skull when it is at the top.
4. Lower and Repeat
1. Lay on back on either bench or Swiss Ball
2. Hold DB’s by your ear with your elbows straight up. Elbows should be about 90 degrees.
3. Extend arms without moving elbows.
4. Slowly lower and repeat
Straight Arm Kickbacks
1. Hold a bar behind your body.
2. Keeping your arms straight, raise your arms behind you, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
3. Slowly lower and repeat.
1. Grip bar with a narrow grip.
2. Lower bar to chest keeping elbows by your side.
3. Press towards ceiling keeping elbows by your side.
4. Slowly lower bar and repeat.
1. Grip bar or rope attached to a high cable pulley.
2. Bring elbows down to directly by your side.
3. Straighten arms without moving elbows.
4. Slowly raise hands until forearms are slightly above parallel and repeat.
1. On dip bars, lower body until upper arms are parallel with ground.
2. Raise body until arms are straight.
Overhead Tricep Ext.
1. Grip bar or rope on a high cable pulley.
2. Face away from pulley and place one foot in front of the other.
3. With elbows up by your ear, straighten your arms.
4. Slowly let arms back and repeat.
1. One preacher curl bench hold bar in front of you and curl as high as possible.
2. Slowly lower until arms are straight and repeat.
1. Sit on incline bench that is back at about 45 degree angle.
2. Hold DB’s in hands and let arms hang with your elbows behind your body.
3. Keeping elbows behind your body, flex arm at the elbow as high as you can without moving your elbows.
4. Slowly lower and repeat.
DB Hammer Curl
1. You will curl both DB’s at the same time.
2. Hold the DB with thumbs up.
3. Curl keeping thumbs up entire time.
4. Slowly lower and repeat.
1. Get on forearms and toes.
2. Back should be flat or slightly above flat.
3. You should NOT feel this in your lower back. If you do, you probably need to get higher.
4. Keep breathing and try to relax. You should feel it in your abs.
5. Hold as long as you can keep your hips up. When hips go down, the set is over.
1. Get on one of your forearms and your same side foot.
2. Place other foot on top of the bottom foot.
3. Raise your hips slightly above straight.
4. Should feel in your bottom side.
5. Hold as long as you can until hips start to drop.
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STRENGTH, POWER, SPEED, CONFIDENCE
As the #1 Sports Performance Training in the South Texas, Jeff Paluseo and Sports Fitness Solutions, offers an innovative approach to strength and conditioning training geared toward the game of baseball. Jeff’s strength and conditioning knowledge is extensive in all sports, but exceptionally strong in the area of baseball where he worked as the Houston Astros strength and conditioning coach with their double A affiliate, Corpus Christi Hooks.
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The workout consists of functionally sound movement training, strength training, and conditioning with a strong emphasis on basic and proper technique. The workouts become progressively more challenging once basic techniques have been mastered. The groups of athletes are kept small, no more than 9 per group, to allow maximum individual attention.
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