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Baseball and Weight Training - Do the Two Really Mix?

Posted by on 7/5/2014 to Health & Fitness

baseball players working out with medicine ballIf you go back several decades, the common thought was that baseball players should never lift weights. Common thinking at the time was that bulking up would cause players to lose their agility and harm their throwing, hitting and fielding far more than the added power would help.

Fast forward to today, and it is clear that the tables have turned. Weight training is a part of every Major League and college baseball clubhouse for both pitchers and hitters. If having more strength wasn't considered an asset, nobody would be crying "foul" when players are caught using anabolic steroids or other human growth hormones, after all.

Despite the clear evidence that added strength can make a good player even better, there are still a whole lot of coaches and parents who are holding young players back, clinging to archaic theories. In an article that appeared last month on the Coaches Best blog, titled, " 3 Idiotic Weight Training Myths in Baseball," Thomas E. Wilson puts forth the three most common myths.

Lifting Weights Will Destroy an Already Great Swing

Thomas says that nothing could be further from the truth. Strengthening the muscles in you wrists, arms and legs will only help your swing become more powerful. It'll also help prevent injuries. You should always stretch before and after you do any weight training, though.

Pitchers Should Never Lift Weights

Every Major League Pitcher spends nearly as much time in the weight room as they do on the mound. Strengthening your core, arms, shoulders and legs will most certainly add some miles per hour to your fastball. Strengthening all of the muscles required to get the maximum torque will help prevent injuries, too.

Lifting Weight Will Automatically Make You Better

Seriously, if you can't make the bat meet the ball or you throw more balls than strikes, all the lifting in the world isn't going to help you. Only AFTER you are making consistent contact with the ball and AFTER you can spot your pitches with precision should you consider a serious weight training regiment. Sure, the added strength will help to prevent injuries but it's not going to make a bad player any better.

Whether you are a pitcher or hitter, the majority of your time should be spent doing the things on the filed that will make you better. No amount of weight training is going to improve your accuracy or your hand-eye coordination. Weight training will only make good baseball players better.

Pitching Machine Stop Quote of the Day:"I think I rushed and I needed more time with my comeback. I needed more time to get my legs stronger to be able to handle the workload. You can only train for that by pitching innings. You can't simulate pitching off a mound in a game inside a weight room." - David Cone

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