For softball players, it is really important to weight train during the softball season to maintain strength and everything else you have worked on during the off-season. I think a lot of times we get into the season and forget about everything else except for softball itself and what we are doing on the field. By continuing to weight train at least twice a week during the season, it will allow you to maintain all of the gains you have had in the off-season.
What players may not realize is that weight training is a key aspect to having a strong body, and a strong body is less likely to be injured than a weak one. So, sometimes weight training can technically be considered a “prehab” instead of a rehab treatment for your body. By staying strong and in shape, you will not only continue to play on the field well, but you will also stay healthy.
For every single position on the field, throwing is a huge part of the game. For this reason, keeping your shoulder healthy is absolutely paramount. A strong shoulder typically comes from having a strong back. A lot of what we do in softball is forward or inward oriented movements. With this in mind, it is important to do a lot of weight training on your back that actually pulls your shoulders backward. Exercises that work your deltoid muscle will help stabilize your shoulder joint.
During the softball season I always spent a lot of time working on my back by doing things such as lap pull downs, rows, bent over rows, single-arm rows, upright rows, shrugs— any exercises that helped to protect my shoulder and build up my back muscles. Typically, if you keep you shoulder muscles healthy then your back muscles are going to be healthy as well.
To keep these muscles healthy you can also benefit from rotator cuff type exercises which are just internal and external rotation movements that really keep those muscles strong. Bench press is also great for the upper body as well but make sure you are not over-working the upper front part of your body because you are already most likely doing a lot of that in practice and during softball games.
Of course legs are also a part of the body that softball players need to keep nice and strong. Lunges, squats, and leg extensions are all great exercises to keep your legs in shape. Hamstring exercises will also come in handy because the hamstring muscle protects your knees. A lot of softball players are prone to getting ACL injuries so it is really important to work your hamstring muscles. The stronger your hamstring muscles are, the more likely you are to keep your knee joints safe.
Even though players are busy during softball season, implementing weight training into your schedule is crucial. The best time to weight train is on off-days, not on game days. Typically you should do it, if you can, on the day after games. Giving yourself at least a day or two days worth of rest before your next game is important.