Baseball specific fitness training programs are making an impact on the game and the way players are playing. Baseball has been around since the 1830’s, and only recently has the industry embraced the fact that the players anatomical makeup has something to do with the outcome. Sports physiology has been around for years, and most sports have developed training programs specific to the skill required to play.
Baseball, until recently, hasn’t been so willing. The misconception is that exercising, especially strength training, would ruin the hitter’s ability to swing a bat or the pitcher’s ability to throw a baseball. This mindset is changing and will continue to evolve as time goes on.
Knowing that the anatomical makeup of the baseball/softball player can have a dramatic impact on performance is game changing. Baseball and softball players will spend their last dime on being able to hit the ball hard or farther, and to throw the ball faster and harder.
The missing link is players all across the country are not physically prepared. Meaning, that most players have physical deficiencies that do not allow them to do what they need to do in order to swing or throw efficiently. It’s like the elephant in the room that nobody was willing talking about, until recently.
These anatomical deficiencies are usually in the form of muscle tightness, muscle weakness and/or muscles imbalance. We pretty much all have these deficiencies, some more than others. If you do not focus on these internal factors, it’s really not going to matter too much what you do with those external factors, such as a lighter bat, swing device analyzer, or weighted baseballs.
Think about it. If the mechanism swinging the bat, that being the player’s body, is restricted in any way and can’t produce an efficient swing, what good is the latest and greatest bat?
Think of a kid that sits all day in a hunching posture, which is commonly called C-Posture. The C-Posture, depicted by a bowed spine and rounded shoulders, restricts rotation and may impact the swing or throwing pattern robbing them of speed.
Verbal cues and drills will have some short term effect. The bigger issue, however, is the tightness that develops in the chest muscles along with the concomitant weakness in the upper back muscles from being hunched over. This imbalance results in the rounding of the shoulder and poor posture, which can get worse if corrective action is not taken. That poor posture is taken out onto the ball field and shows up while standing in the batter box or on the pitching mound.
If you don’t fix the restriction, you won’t fix the swing or throwing fault.