In-Season Baseball Workout

I’m 5’"7 140 lb freshman playing baseball
I practice everyday, or have games.

My stats are

Bench 130x3
Squat 190x8
neutral grip pull-ups 10 (lacking?)

What would be a good in-season program to gain weight and move up slowly in my numbers…

I honestly don’t care if i’m sore…

I play pitcher and catcher BTW.


Being a baseball player myself, I was a pitcher and sometimes a catcher. Anyways, our strength coaches had us focus on explosiveness when it comes to the legs. Like jump squats. Also being a pitcher, make sure to work your shoulders to get that speed up. As far as an exact program goes, I would suggest 5/3/1.

I too played baseball at a pretty advanced level. I would urge caution with regards to over training your chest. There are many stories of pitchers over developing their chest, which detracts from their shoulder mechanics. Your shoulder muscles, chest and back must be in perfect symmetry. This also relates to overdeveloping your rotator cuff muscles; it’s quite popular now to do all banding and all that jazz, but don’t forget that that can also be taken too far.

I would recommend working your squat and deadlift a great deal to get your legs going; as a pitcher it might not be as obvious why this would help, but you can gain a lot of speed as well as decrease strain on your arm by building it up.

You should take a look at Eric Cressey’s website, since he does a lot of exclusive stuff with baseball players, pitchers in particular.

I pitched through college and finally hung 'em up last summer. I can empathize with trying to piece together something for the spring/summer/fall. What have you been doing in preparation for this season? In other words, what type of foundation do you have going into this season?

Madquarker was right on about watching out for overdevelopment of the pectorals. I’d take it a step further and say drop straight bar pressing altogether for your shoulders sake. Pulling movements just became your best friend :slight_smile: Squats and deads are great too, but be careful about your shoulders and forearms respectively. Front squats and back extensions were always a little more friendly for in season work for me, not that they necessarily take the place of those two exercises, but you gotta be ready to go game time before gym time… Also, hit up your single leg work and take it seriously.

flipHKD_6 has an interesting idea in regards to 5/3/1. I have ran that some over the last year and love it, but if you choose to do it I would be careful of not overexerting yourself on the 3rd set… That can fry you out quick and make you real sore… I know you said you don’t care if you’re sore, but take it from someone who has torn, impinged, and deconditioned his rotator cuff, tore his UCL, stretched his ulnar nerve, and has mild scoliosis due to throwing and still feels the lingering effects of all these, you do care if you get sore. Listen to your body and be smart about this. Baseball isn’t natural :slight_smile:

The 2 links below should be a good place to start, DeFranco has an in-season template (but I would switch the max effort upper body movement from a press to a pull) and Cressey has his breakdown for pitchers in the rotation.

Hopefully this sets you off on the right path!

You’ve gotten some good info so far. Besides the obvious that pitchers need to train completely different than hitter WRT to upper body stuff I’ll add that it is a good idea to use dumbells for all pressing movements. The injury risk is much lower and the extra freedom in the ROM is a plus. Do not abandon pressing from your routine but pitchers should be looking to set state records in the OHP or bench press.

Also don’t go overboard with icing. The less you rely on ice to reduce inflammation the more efficient your body will be at reducing the inflamation on its own, thus getting you stronger. Less is more when it comes to icing.

And the longer you avoid throwing curveballs the better your chances are at longevity. I assume you mean a freshman in high school. Master a change-up and you’ll be ahead of the game.

ole7 basically covered everything I meant, in a much more eloquent manner.

Bonez brings up an excellent point regarding throwing ‘junk’. The first thing they do when you get to college ball is take away all your pitches except fastball.

After a month or so, they’ll mix in your change up. Once you can work with those - hit your spots, control them well - then they’ll let you mix in a little deuce piece. It can’t be emphasized enough how effective a good fastball/change combo can be. If you have a solid change up, it won’t matter if you never throw beyond 90 - you’ll still have hitters wailing at you all day. I found that throwing my change up in long toss let me settle on a final grip that I liked, and built up control, so you won’t have those particularly wild pitches associated with change ups at lower levels.

Bonez: could you explain more about your icing theory? This is the first I’ve ever heard that the less ice the better (in the long run); I was always told that the more ice the better, and that there were no negative side effects.

[quote]madquarker wrote:
Bonez: could you explain more about your icing theory? This is the first I’ve ever heard that the less ice the better (in the long run); I was always told that the more ice the better, and that there were no negative side effects.[/quote]

It’s pretty much just from people I know. I’ve been playing baseball for a while. Missed out on D1 because of an injury but still play sandlot.

A lot of guys I talk to pitchers, tommy john guys, even catchers because of all the throwing say that as they got older they started icing less than the “45 minutes asap” advice from most coaches. The thing is that the amount of time needed is going to be different for everyone. I dont ice my arm anymore because I dont play as often and I play RF or DH but when I was playing 4-5 games a week I would ice for 10 minutes than let my arm warm up with a towel around it then ice it for another 10 minutes. This was just my elbow, my shoulder has never needed it. I think there’s something to the ice/warmth/ice or even a few cycles of it. It should get blood flowing better than straight ice. And the blood flow is a good thing.

It’s crude, I know and I wont tell someone to completly change if theyre confident with what theyre doing.

So, sort of like contrast showers idea Bonez?

I’ll jump in on the icing debate too. In college we used various types of icing: ice baths (submerge your arm in a cold ice filled tub), ice cups (dixie cups filled with water and then frozen), and regular ol’ ice packs. Each has advantages and disadvantages (the ice bath is good all around cryotherapy but your fingers are gonna freeze and good luck getting your shoulder in there, the ice cups are very local and the cryotherapy extends deep but can be almost too concentrated and melt everywhere, and the ice bags were easily placed/taped onto the body but had the least penetrating cryotherapeutic benefit of all).

The increasing trend in baseball/exercise science is to move away from extended icing and more towards an active recovery (think arm-bike). This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the surprising lack of knowledge surrounding arm care for baseball/overhead populations. Interestingly enough, researchers are still relatively uncertain as to what causes the soreness in baseball players arms. It has been attributed mainly to lactic acid, microtrauma, and in some cases DOMs. However, there is evidence for and against all of these, and leaves us with different ways to treat the arm after throwing (each theory has a different treatment modality).

In my opinion and experience, icing is but the tip of the iceberg for arm care after throwing. A good arm care program will include active recovery, mobility, strengthening, icing, mechanical work, auto-regulation of the arm, and rest. I would add that this is all in-season work. And, never underestimate the importance of a good foundation built in the offseason.