One of my favorite functional training tools for baseball performance training are Resistance Bands(RB). The bottom line is that RB provide the best opportunity to load all three planes of movement(Sagittal, Frontal, Transverse) to support the various dynamic, multi-directional movements seen in baseball. RB can be used to train all field positions, while having a great training effect on running, throwing and hitting. As well, when training with the right combination of reps, sets and proper resistance, bands can deliver both chronic and acute responses such as hypertrophy, strength and power.
The elastic nature of bands make them perfect for training acceleration and deceleration both of which are vital to baseball performance. As a band is stretched, the resistance progressively gets harder (increased levels of force) requiring a certain amount of strength and acceleration (concentric) to overcome the resistance. Just as important , is the ability to decelerate(eccentric) the forces which were stored in the band as it was stretched. The ability to slow/decelerate your body...under control... during athletic movements is extremely important as many injuries stem from the inability to decelerate forces under control. One of my favorite exercies to strengthen the hamstrings (via deceleration) is the single leg anterior reach (pics below). Great for infielders and outfielders alike when they need to field groundballs on the run. The band adds to the gravitational pull which requires the hamstrings to really slow down/decelerate the athlete's forward momentum and speed...under control.
Remember, as strength coaches our job is train our athletes in a manner consistent with on-field movements. Off field training needs to deliver on field performance.
Be a student of the game and watch every chance you get. See the movements that are actually being performed on the field aBe and then determine how bands can be used to train those movements. As JC Santana (my friend and mentor) tells me, train what you SEE not what you think you see. Stay creative.
Go hard in the yard!
- Five Tool Baseball Performance Training (FTBPT) is dedicated to sharing its knowledge, ideas and opinions on baseball performance training based upon field tested experiences as player, coach and baseball strength & conditioning coach. Proper exercise technique ( to ensure effective & efficient training programs) and baseball related movement patterns are implemented to maximize on-field performance. Emphasis is placed on movement based training which integrates multiple muscle groups. This approach has a greater transfer to on-field performance and can minimize the incidence and risk of injury. If a game is being played you can be sure Im watching it from home or from the stands. Many of my own workouts involve designing/creating out-of-the-box exercises & programs to enhance performance and movement unique to baseball