5 Part Strengthening Circuit
The most common softball injuries are usually focused around the shoulder and the elbow. A way to keep those ligaments strong and flexible for pitching, throwing or swinging is to condition and strengthen them in the off season so when you step back on the field you will have an advantage over your competitors and feel at ease knowing you won't be as prone to injury.
This five-part circuit training regime will help you in those trouble areas that truly set apart fast and strong baseball players from out of shape players. We will focus on gradually building strength in your shoulders and back to prevent injury in your arm from overuse, building a strong core for balance, especially when twisting and we will mostly focus on lower body muscles for building agility and generating power.
Instructions: These circuits should each be done 4 days a week, every week, and repeat every circuit three times. If you stay committed to this workout regime you will reap huge benefits when the season comes around. Most of these can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Circuit One: Upper Body Stretching. These should be done before lifting
1.) Arm Circles
20 small circles going forward. Repeat going backward.
20 medium circles going forward. Repeat going backward.
20 large circles going forward. Repeat going backward.
2.) Cross Body Stretch
Hold left arm across your chest for 20 seconds.
Hold right arm across your body for 20 seconds.
3.) World's Greatest Stretch (source)
20 reps on each leg, switching opposite arms.
4.) Hamstring Stretch
Stand with your feet hips-width apart.
Interlace your hands behind your back
Keeping legs straight, bend over, bringing your arms over your head.
Hold for 30 seconds.
5.) Quad Stretch
Standing on one leg. Hold for 20 seconds.
Switch leg. Hold for 20 seconds.
6.) Scapular Wall Slides
Circuit Two: Lower Body Agility. The "Warm Up"
1.) Leg Curls
Lay face up on the ground with your feet flat on a chair. Push your hips off the ground and hold for 5 seconds. Do 30 reps, twice.
2.) Back Peddle for 20 yards. Twice.
3.) Side shuffle for 20 yards. Twice
4.) High knees for 20 yards. Twice
5.) Front lunge for 20 yards. Twice.
6.) Back lunge for 20 yards. Twice.
Circuit Three: Lower-Body Strength Training
1.) Leg Press: 15 reps.-Muscles being targeted: Quadriceps
2.) Glute Hamstring Raise: 15 reps- Muscles being targeted: Hamstrings
3.) Dumbbell Squat: 15 reps. Muscles being targeted: Quadriceps
4.) Front squats with kettle bells: 15 reps. Muscles being targeted: Quadriceps
5.) Box Squats: 15 reps (see below). Muscles being targeted: Hamstrings
6.) Calf Press: 15 reps.Muscles being targeted: Calves
Circuit Four: Light Upper Body Strengthening
1.) Hammer Curls: 20 reps. Muscles being targeted: Biceps
2.) Tricep Dips: 20 reps. Muscles being targeted: Triceps
3.) Body Up's: 15 reps. Muscles being targeted: Triceps
4.) Hyperextensions (Back Extensions): Lower Back (source)
5.) Seated One Arm Cable Pulley Rows: Middle Back (source)
6.) The Push-Up Hold. 15 reps and then hold for 15 seconds. Muscles being targeted: Triceps, Abdominals, Deltoids, and Pectoralis.
Circuit Five: Targeting Core
1.) Single Leg Lifts: 20 reps
2.) Bicycle Crunches: 20 reps
3.) Windshield Wipers: 20 reps (see below)
4.) Side Plank: Hold on each side for 30 seconds.
5.) Regular Plank: Hold for 1 minute.
6.) 50 crunches.
All done! Be sure to stretch and cool down by jogging or walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes, and don't forget to hydrate!