Springtime is now here in the northern hemisphere, and you know what that means? That’s right – baseball season is starting soon!
All over the country, both major and minor leagues have begun spring training and are warming up their throwing arms for this season’s games.
While baseball is not considered a contact sport, many injuries, both minor and serious, result from contact with the ball, improper form, or even one slight incorrect move of a limb. In fact, most of the common injuries include repetitive-use injuries in the shoulder and elbow, contusions, muscle pulls, black eyes, ligament injuries, lacerations, and even concussions.
Luckily, there are a two specific exercises baseball players can partake in to make themselves stronger, more flexible, and less prone to injury – kettlebells and squats!
Kettlebells, an all-inclusive exercise that originated from Russia, is a catch-all sort of exercise that benefits the entire body. Using kettlebells correctly can improve your strength, power, speed, and coordination all over your body, and it can also improve your performance in baseball. You can also increase the grip strength on the bat (which improves your speed), make your shoulders stronger, increase the mobility in your shoulders and hips, and decrease your chances of injury when you work out with kettlebells.
If you’re already familiar with the kettlebells, you can already start your workout! The best exercises to do to help you with your baseball performance include the power clean, front squat, kettlebell swing, shoulder press, and the reverse lunge.
Be warned, however – if you don’t know how to use the kettlebells, you should first consult with a professional on how to properly use them. Injury can easily abound from using kettlebells incorrectly, especially when picking them up and putting them back down. You can even check out our video of kettlebell exercises right here to see how it looks to use them correctly!
Along with upper-body injuries, knee injuries are also relatively common in baseball. In fact, some knee injuries can easily end one’s baseball career if they’re severe enough, so it’s exceptionally important to take care of your lower body muscles and joints.
One of the best ways to strengthen your lower body is by doing deep squats. This exercise, which we’re programmed to do properly from the time we were infants, strengthens the entire body. Sadly, though, as we age we lose the range of motion to properly execute deep squats because we stop doing them.
What’s worse is that we’re taught incorrectly on how to do deep squats using only a 60-degree range of motion with weights instead of the full 135 degree-range that the knees can handle. Using a limited range of motion will only cause wear and tear to your knees, ankles, and hip joints.
The proper way to do a squat, however, is actually to run through the FULL range of your knees’ bend and use the glutes to do all the hard work. If you do the exercise correctly, you will strengthen everything from your lower back to your ankles! Check out our video here to see how to properly do a full squat!
If you happen to not be able to do a squat in a full range of motion, there’s no need to worry (or avoid doing squats)! A physical therapist like Mark Slaughter can work with you and help you regain your range of motion!
Are you ready to get revved up for this year’s baseball season? Want to do the workouts, but you’re not sure how to start? No problem! Give us a call here at Fitness4Life at (618) 656-5433 or visit us at our website at www.fitness4lifept.com to see what we can do for you! We’ll get you started on the right foot this baseball season!Read More