For the purpose of adding muscle there’s nothing better than stabilized environments such as machines and benches from where athlete can sit or lay down. Such stabilized positions enable you to target specific, single or multi-joint muscles in isolation; the idea behind bodybuilding principles. This approach make sense for those baseball players (and other athletes) who need to add muscle, establish a strength-training base and can commit a good 6-8 weeks to this particular phase of their training program.
However, from standing positions they were only capable of pressing approximately 30-40% . This becomes a fairly important distinction because the limiting factor in the standing cable press is not the strength of the shoulders or chest, but rather core stability.
As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, baseball is played from standing positions and therefore should be trained from such positions (Functional Training) in order to maximize the development of core stiffness; the epicenter of force production. Furthermore to maximize the transfer of forces thru the chain of joints (kinetic chain), the joints (links of the chain) need to be stabilized; and this best accomplished from standing positions. The importance of all this joint stability is that if any one of these joints along the chain presents instability, then force production is leaked and thus limited.
The take home message should seem obvious – get off the floor to train core stiffness (core stability).
Out Train the game!