Written By: Gwen Lawrence
Over all conditioning is what should be on the mind of a baseball player. They should be flexible and strong at all time. The unique thing about playing baseball is that you have to have your head in the game at all times, even when you could possibly be still in the field waiting for action for a half hour. It is the mental toughness and pregame prep that keep you injury free going from stillness to full out body diving catches.
Whether you are an infielder outfielder ore designated hitter you need to be concerned with keeping the following areas of your body in shape:
Studies have shown that the more open flexible the hips are the less stress and strain on the knee joint, so it is important to keep flexible hips when making quick turning reactive moves on the field.
You never know which way the ball will take you so it’s imperative for the groin to stay flexible so you avoid injury and tweaks being elusive on the field.
Strong flexible legs
Making Jeter like moves at short stop or long sprinting runs in the outfield make it clear that the needs of an elite player are strong flexible legs.
Whenever the demands of an athlete are in quick changes of direction it is key to keep the ankles flexible and strong so as to avoid twists and turns of the joint and get great push offs to initiate movement.
Whether you are a batter at the plate ore backing up top speed in the outfield it is in the players best interest to keep the spine flexible to look over your should and turn to throw the runner out.
The core of it all, strong abdominals support the back and make twisting moves easier as well as increasing the speed at which your hips turn at bat, a strong abdomen is not only cosmetically pleasing but is key to supporting the spine and creating proper posture.
It goes without saying that a baseball player at its heart relies on great arm strength to throw someone out, flexible shoulders reduce the stress on the shoulder joint and increase the power of the throw.
Flexible wrists and forearms
This need comes into play not only when talking about ball or bat grip and keeping it stress free and loose, but if making diving catches are part of your game you need to keep your wrist joint flexible so that if you fall on the hand after making the catch your body is prepared to support the decision and you do not blow out the wrist as a result.
Good rotation of the neck
For cat like reaction and owllike observations on the field, in order to not tip off an opponent of your thoughts and intentions it is better to be able to twist the neck to spot a potential stealer instead of turning your whole body, that is what is possible when the neck has full rotation.
Incorporating yoga into your already packed baseball training could be the missing piece of the puzzle and key to getting to the next lever. Before starting any Yoga routine, research a properly trained teacher. Try these critical poses 1-3 times per week:
Gwen Lawrence BS,LMT, E-Ryt 500, Registered Yoga Therapist