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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bodybuilding, Baseball & the Core

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.  

Now, all that being said, please don't make bodybuilding principles the whole platform from which your baseball training programs are built. Since many of the bodybuilding exercises are performed from seated or lying down positions, they often don’t transfer very well to standing positions. Thus making the transfer of forces a bit different. In a published study, Juan Carlos Santana, Francisco Vera-Garcia and Stuart McGill found that only a fraction of our body weight can be pressed from standing positions. The participants in their study demonstrated an ability to press approximately 95% of their bodyweight in the 1RM Bench Press.

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!

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