T Nation

Strength/Speed Tips For Baseball?


Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any strength/power/speed tips for baseball. I plan on playing college baseball next year and while I am pretty strong and fast, I want to become an absolute beast in both regards (please no steroid jokes). Right now I am about 5'11 200lbs (pretty low body fat) and I want to gain maximum power and speed while still being limber.

I was thinking Olympic movements (power clean, power snatch, overhead Squat), traditional exercises (deads, bench, squat, weighted pull-ups), as well as weighted ab work (turkish get ups, bent presses, windmills, windshield wipers). I hope by next season to be around 215-220 (a Pujols type build), with twice as much strength and much more speed. Although one thing I'm not sure how to improve is throwing strength.

Does anyone have any tips to improve throwing strength, and if there are any ball players out there, am I missing anything, or does my program seem pretty complete? I respect the people who frequent this site because they are the only ones as serious as I am about improving performance, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


The important part of training for baseball is to maintain speed (especially bat speed)and mobility while increasing strength. Focusing on olympic lifts for explosive power is a good idea, however baseball is game that is ruled by the laws of physics, in order to increase your power you must first increase your bat speed, i suggest weighted batting gloves (not a weighted bat, a weighted bat teaches you to drag the bat through the zone, the gloves are good at increasing hand speed) and alot of reps on tees and in the cage in order to do this, but i would ask your college coach what you should be doing in order to prepare for the upcoming season, i assume you are playing summer ball and your lifting now should be focused on maintaining what you have, heavy lifting should be done in the off season so the fatigue does not affect your ability on the field, right now stick to reps, the more you see the better you get, hope this helps

ps those gloves can be found here
seachfunction for weighted batting gloves


I like the original poster's plan. I'm not a baseball player but I've found that I swing faster due to size and strength alone; when I was 14-15 I could never hit in the very fast batting cages, now I'm 17 and 30lbs heavier and I do alright in the very fast cage without practicing my swing. A lot of trainers look down on training skills with weights (weighted basketballs, etc.).

I think as long as you plan your training it shouldn't interfere that much with your summer ball. Try picking one explosive movement and a couple assistance movements and use the rep scheme from the Holiday program. And eat enough to gain size...


Thanks for the tips, those weighted gloves look interesting, I didn't know they made those, I might have to get myself a pair, or maybe try to make my own or something, I never thought of weighted gloves, what a brilliant idea, thanks again.


do not do any kind of similar baseball exercises or workouts during the off-season, e.g swinging heavier baseball bats. etc. first you have to get strong in weight room. do rotator cuff a lot ,wood chops - abs and lower back


No Problem, Hope they help!

also armstrength can be increased by longtossing, try to longtoss alot, have your partner back up until you start to one-hop them, then continue to throw at that distance for awhile, then gradually work your way towards each other, i would also sugest exercises that work your rotator cuff to prevent injury and increase strength, and always stretch!



Please go to procut.com and purchase a procut. I use the screw on type. This training device will help improve your bat speed.


What position do you play?


Interesting subject, and excellent replies. As a faormer player and still a huge fan, I'm fascinated with baseball specific training.

The training aids mentioned (weighted batting gloves and procut)make sense.

Training-wise, the only thing I'd add is a definite emphasis on lower body training, particularly the posterior chain. With a throwing sport, I'd stay away from excessive shoulder training, but always do a ton of external rotation exercises.

A Westside type offseason program would make sense...alternating between strength and speed/strength workouts, always using explosive type reps. Cardio-wise, sprints or HIIT would work well, because it replicates the short bursts of explosiveness used in baseball.

Pujols is definitely a great player to emulate...the guy is just scary good. I'd be interested to see his strength workout. I'm guessing he's probably has a fair amount of genetic gifts, though :wink:

What do you guys think of in-season training...trying to maintain the strength & speed you've developed during the off-season, basically?


The only helpful advice would be practice getting a quick jump while you're on an off balance stance (like at the end of a swing).

Practice swinging a bat with a big donut on it, then sprint.


I would have to disagree with all the external rotator comments. I would focus my training on the scapular depressors and retractors. Cressy has talked about it in his Shoulder Saver articles. Also focus your training on your core muscles. Your hips abs lower back and shoulder stabalizers. The better balance your body has and stabalization the better off your gonna be.


Outfield and 3rd Base.


Here's what I would list as the major items for a baseball player:

1.) Crushing grip and forearm strength
2.) Hip extension
3.) Core strength, especially rotationally
4.) Lat strength
5.) Shoulder prehab

I can see a westside setup working very well here, something like:

Monday- ME Lower + Crush Grip
Wednesday- ME Upper + Supporting Grip
Friday- DE Total (include some oly lifts possibly)

As your ME movement, try a weighted pull-up variation working up to a 3 or 5RM. DeFranco has recommend this for baseball players preferentially over pressing movemens.


Go to www.setpro.com


I agree with a lot of the responses.

Strengthen your core..... hip flexor muscles..... and legs.

One armed soft toss(both arms)on one knee..... rapid soft toss with no stride( widen your stance so where you can't stride), swing a broom stick(fast twitch muscles).... swing that bat atleast 500 times a day. I use to do over 1000 cuts a day and strengthen your forearms.

These things will all increase your bat speed. Oh and stretch!

I played 3 seasons of minor league ball with the Expos. Don't make me an expert but I know what works.

I got a bunch of tips/drills to share about baseball conditioning. Old school stuff.... the stuff that works the best.

Good Luck


I apologize.... arm strength. I played the outfield..... right field.

LONG TOSS! The mother or all arm strenght builders.

take care of your rotator cuff.... stretch a ton.

Get a tire tube or a power band.... tie it to a poll or something...tie it so it lines up with your shoulder...grab it in your palm, your back should be to the poll... keep your whole arm level when you extend out...like tricep extentions.

Use the power band or tire tube for rotator exercises. I will get some images to post for those.

Good Luck


Yes, but if I told you I'd have to kill you.

Some things I've found and willing to share: Forearm/grip strength is a huge plus for batting. Swinging a weighted bat in the off season is great, does not mess up your swing. Classic rotator cuff exercises are over-rated. Sprints and plyos for agility and getting down the line.

5'11, 200 and less than 10% BF (?) is a good proportion for BB. You probably don't need to focus on strength as much as power, speed and agility.


There's some really solid advice throughout this thread.

As far as fielding, sled pulls would be great. Forward, backward, and especially lateral. alateral drills with a weighted vest would work well, if you have access to one.

If you have someone to work out with, you could probably increase your reaction time by performing reps by responding to a partners visual or audible cue (like a clap of the hands). This would simulate the crack of a bat.

I think jtrinsey's suggestions were particularly good.


If you are looking for pure hitting power, it is essential that you work your lower body, core and forearms. I read somewhere recently where head trainers of each Major League baseball team were polled on which excercises were most important to a baseball player. I dont remember all of them, but I do remember that the squat was #1 and that external rotation was listed in the top 5. (If anyone is really interested in knowing the top 5 I am sure I can find it again)

I am actually an assistant High School baseball coach, and played college baseball. Here is a sample off-season workout similar to something we did in college and still currently do. Off course we change the sets and reps but this is a typical week. It is actually a former workout from a Major League Organization.

Bench Press 3x10
DB Flys 3x10
Squats 3x10
Leg Curls 3x10
Bar Dips 3x10
Abdominal Work
Forearm Work
Leg Press 3x25

Seated Rows 3x10
Single Arm Row 3x10
Preacher Curls 3x10
Seated DB Curl 3x10
Lat Pulldown 3x10
Hammer Curls 3X10
Abdominal Work

DB Military Press 3x10
Lateral Raises 3x10
Tricep Extension 3x10
Tricep Kickbacks 3x10
Shrugs 3x15
Tricep Pushdowns 3x10
Abdominal Work
Forearm Work

Tuesdays and Thursdays are used for Speed, Agility, and Flexibility work.

Tuesday/ Thursday
Dynamic Warmup/Flexibility 10 min.

Medicine Ball
Toss 3x8
Hip Toss 3x8
Chest Pass 3x8

Speed Work
Arm Swings 3x15 sec
Sled Pulls 3x20 yd.

Box Jumps 3x5
Depth Jump w/ Base Steal 3x5

Speed Work (again)
Arm Swings 3x15 sec
Sled Pulls 3x20 yds.

Agility Ladder


Cardio Work 15-20 min. One excercise of choice.

Some things I must stress are keep your flexibility. If you bulk up and get too tight without maintaining your Range of Movement you will definatly end up seeing your baseball skills diminish. Remember you are training to play baseball, not to bodybuild.

Take it easy on the shoulders, because a good arm is vital to your getting in the lineup. Work on Rotator Cuff Strength 3-4 days a week.

As for strengthening your arm, long tossing is key. I would Longtoss 3 days a week, then work up to 5 a week. If you jump in too fast you can run the risk of shoulder tendonitis, an overuse injury... WHICH SUCKS. I would reccomend throwing with a partner and backing up to 150 to 200 feet (depending on how good your arm is) and work on hitting your partner in the chest. You do yourself no good at all by throwing balls with a high arc on them, make sure all your throws are on a line. Back up until you cant hit your partner in the chest anymore, then throw your hats down about 10 feet in front of you, and work on a good crow hop and throwing the ball to the hat, bouncing it if you have to. This kind of simulates a throw home from the outfield. I think you will do well with this program or one similar to it. GOOD LUCK!