Maintain Your Strength During Season
It never fails, every year around this time I get kids telling me they’re going to be taking some time away from training during baseball season. This is such a crucial mistake that so many make. You only get one opportunity in life to play your sport, and you’re only going to go through puberty once. Your teen yours are your biggest window for adaptation. Taking 2-3 months away from training during this time is a huge wasted opportunity.
Why would you want to lose everything you had built during the offseason? During the season you are competing-this is when it’s most important to be strong. Don’t be that guy to take a giant step forward in the offseason just to take a giant step back in-season.
Yes, You Can Still Lift Heavy
Young athletes will lose their strength quickly when they take time off. We want to be able to maintain at least 90% of our strength during season. We can’t do that if we’re lifting light weights for 3 months, or not lifting at all.
Just keep total volume lower, focus on compound lifts, and stay consistent. During season we’re trying to limit fatigue and avoid soreness. If we are not getting in the weight room consistently, the times we do go get a lift in are going to create soreness.
The goal is to stimulate, not annihilate. During the offseason a training session can last an hour or two, but during season it is completely okay to get in and out of the gym in around 45 minutes. A typical training session might look something like this:
A1) Deadlift 3x3
A2) Prone Trap Raise 3x8
B1) BB Hip Thrust 3x8
B2) Yoga Push Ups 3x8
C1) TRX Rows 3x10
C2) Pallof Press 3x8/8
During season we should be keeping our exercise selection consistent to avoid soreness. The introduction of new exercises will induce soreness and limit your power output on the field. We also want to be avoiding exercises that have a heavier eccentric component.
Lifts like RDLs and bulgarian squats have a greater eccentric phase to the lift and tend to create more soreness. If you’ve been doing these exercises all offseason and you’re strong with them- great, continue doing them, but during season is not the time to introduce these exercises if you have not been doing them.
A better option would be hip bridges, hip Thrusts, or step-up variations because these exercises put less eccentric stress on the body.
Take Care of Your Arm
The injury prevention aspect of training is just as important as the performance side. You won’t be a help to your team if you can’t stay on the field.
There’s 2 things we know – over the course of a long baseball season you will lose cuff strength and scapular upward rotation. We need to limit this as much as possible to avoid injury. A lot of baseball players will blow through their arm care exercises because they’re “easy,” but is it really even arm care if you don’t perform it right?
Arm care exercises should be a part of the daily routine, and you have to perform them PROPERLY. How many times have you seen a kid strap up his J-Bands to a fence and haphazardly run through his routine? These exercises are paramount for shoulder and arm health and should be taken seriously. Without cuff strength or upward rotation you will not be able to center the humeral head in the socket and you’re going to run into issues.