Top 4 Speed Exercises for Baseball
Every single position in baseball needs a certain level of speed. Speed can be anything that requires producing force, not just running the bases or throwing the fastest pitch. Even catchers need to be doing speed exercises, even though they sit behind the plate most of the game.
So how exactly should you be training for speed if you are a baseball player? That’s what we are going to cover in this article and give you specific exercises that you need to be doing throughout the season.
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When You Need Speed in Baseball
Sure, you need to be fast when rounding the bases. What about when you have a chance to catch a foul ball for an out or maybe throw out a runner trying to steal a base? Speed is a necessity of all baseball players; even for players that are not exactly known for their speed.
Right off the bat, we can look at speed for baseball through a couple of lenses. The first once being the drive phase. The drive phase is going to be when you need to accelerate from a dead stop or close to one. This applies to batters and fielders alike to get to either the next bag or the ball.
Once in the drive phase, the next thing you have to think about is changing direction. This could be rounding the basis or moving laterally to get to an awkwardly bounded ball. When changing direction in motion, dynamic trunk control comes into play. You need to be able to keep your upper body controlled while tracking a ball in the outfield or trying to slide into a base, so you can achieve the main goal of each play. Considering that drive production and dynamic trunk control are the two main components of speed that you want to train, let’s eye-up some exercises that will improve both.
4 Exercises that Build Speed for Baseball
Side Box Jump
The side box jump is going to help us with changing direction quickly, like when you need to drive out of a batter's box or make a fielding play with some lateral agility. The premise of the side box jump is to focus on exploding literally from a grounded movement and improve acceleration.
Start on top of the box with the leg that is closest to the box. You will need to balance on one leg.
Then jump down from the box, landing on your opposite leg so that you are absorbing the fall laterally. As you begin to understand the movement, you can increase the tempo of the movement to complete a fluid set. Complete 5 sets of 3 jumps each leg to improve your overall explosiveness and lateral agility.
Banded Lateral Jumps
Using bands for laterally speed training is a great way to get workouts in literally anywhere you can attach a band. Using one of our powerlastic bands, you can attach this to a rack, bleacher, pole and work on lateral agility at any time.
Once the band is attached to the anchor post, put yourself inside the band and walk 6–10 feet away so that the band is taught, but isn’t too resistive that it throws you off balance.
Once balanced on your outer leg, hop laterally landing on the leg that is closest to the anchor post. Throughout the movement, you should immediately push off of that inner leg from a power position and land at your starting point on the starting leg.
As you become comfortable with the movement, you can incorporate a pause with the inner leg and explode back to the starting position so you can work on dynamic trunk control. This is another speed exercise where you will complete 5 sets of 3 lateral jumps each side.
Single Leg Squat
The single leg squat is going to be where you can push the weight. Doing single leg squats will work on your dynamic trunk control to hone in on improving balance through explosive movements.
Start doing single leg squats without the bar to get a feel for the movement. Make sure to keep that chest high, head looking straight, and loading up that posterior chain during the descent. As you become more confident, at a bar on your back and start loading a comfortable weight that will allow you to do 4 sets of 5-6 reps each side.
Single Leg Side-step to Box
The last exercise on this list will focus on rapid forward movement after a change in direction. This goes back to every example talked about so far. After an initial point of acceleration you need to keep going forward or follow through a movement. The single leg side-step to box is going to help with that.
If you have a hydro weight, use this to help with dynamic trunk control throughout the movement. If you don’t, you can use a kettlebell or a pair of very light dumbbells so you can stay quick on your feet.
Start lined up to the side of your step up box with the weight in front of you or at your sides if you’re using dumbbells.
Then do a small side jump, landing on one leg. The leg you land on should be the same as the side you are jumping to. So if you are jumping to the left, land on your left leg.
After landing on one leg, pause for 1-2 seconds then step up on the box with the opposite leg while swinging the weight up into an overhead position. Once again, if you land on your left leg, step up with your right leg. For this speed exercise, follow the same rep scheme of 5 sets of 3 reps each side.
Summarizing Baseball Speed Training
Doing speed exercises for baseball does not just mean running speed. It means maintaining coordination and control throughout dynamic movements. Accelerating, deceleration, and changing directions are all part of speed in baseball.
These exercises are going to coordinate every aspect of speed to improve dynamic trunk control, drive acceleration, and develop technical coordination. If you want to see a full program for developing speed and performance for baseball, sign up for Peak Strength and get a full program catered to your goals throughout the season.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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