Softball strength training develops strong athletes. Strength training is one of the must-have components for a proper fitness program- regardless of who you are. However, it becomes even more important for softball players looking to gain a competitive edge.
Softball strength training work well together for many reasons. Coaches around the world recognize the true need for a solid player who is quick, agile, and focused on his or her sport.
While softball strength training works primarily the same as strength training for the average person, there are some key differences. These differences are based on a softball player’s specific task.
A proper softball strength training routine will involve a variety of exercises that work all of the muscle groups. That includes the arms, back, chest, core and legs.
Softball is not a sport that requires cardio endurance. A good example of cardio endurance is cross-country track. Softball requires explosive anaerobic actions such as sprinting to first base or running to make the catch.
Almost every task in softball is quick and dynamic. Batting, running, pitching, and throwing all involve the need for an all-around, but specific, softball strength training program.
While this page focuses on softball strength training, it is important to recognize the need for cardiovascular conditioning, proper nutrition and proper flexibility. Be sure that your softball strength training and fitness program involves each of those components.
Softball Strength Training Specifics
Excellent batting and throwing are commonly thought to be the result of strong arms. And that is partly true. Athletic performance will decrease with a weak upper body.
However, a more accurate assessment of the activity reveals the start of the motion is initiated in the legs. Visualize throwing the softball or stepping up to bat.
Your first reaction is a quick step forward with your foot. That movement is the beginning. The power from that step is transferred into our quads, then hips, then torso, then, chest and finally our arms.
So a proper softball strength training program should include exercises to strengthen the legs, the core and the arms!
Failing to realize where the power originates from is one of the biggest mistakes an athlete can make.
Generally a softball strength training program should be performed 2-3 times per week during the off season. Each session should include lifting at 75% of your 1RM. You should aim for 1-2 sets of 8-12 reps for each muscle group.
During the season, you will want to cut your softball strength training program back to about 1-2 days per week and work at a lower intensity. This allows you to focus on sport specific movements.
It is very important to note that before jumping into any softball strength training program, you should have built a decent fitness base.
Another helpful hint is to use free weights when possible. Free weights allow you to move along your natural ROM (range of motion). When performing your softball strength training routine, it is best to use your full ROM. Machines are limiting.
your softball strength training program:
Quadriceps- Squats, One-Legged Squats, Jump Squats
Hams & Glutes- Lunges, Explosive Lunges, Bridge on Ball.
Hip Adductors/Abductors- Lying Side Leg Raises, Ball Squeeze
Obliques- Oblique Crunch on a ball
Rectus Abdominis- Ball Crunch, 180 Ball Crunch
Erector Spinae- Plank Pose
Deltoids- Shoulder Press, Military Press, Shrugs
Pectoralis Major- Chest Fly, Chest Press
Latissimus Dorsi- Bent Over Row, Reverse Fly
Triceps- Overhead Extensions, Skull crushers
Biceps- Bicep Curl, Hammer Curl