Ian Manning of Orthocore PT offers some off season baseball training advice

As a kid growing up in North Kingstown, I played many sports including baseball for Wickford Little League.  As I got older and focused primarily on baseball, my off season conditioning for baseball consisted mostly of aerobic type workouts – running, riding a bike, swimming.  My strength training  program consisted of mostly baseball related exercises such as swinging a weighted bat, broomstick curls for my forearms, and squeezing those hand grip devices so I could grip the baseball better.  I didn’t lift weights or participate in any strength training program at the high school weight room or locally.  “Baseball players don’t lift weights, weight training is for football players” I once thought.  Research and development of off season conditioning strength workouts has come a long way since the 1980’s.

Broomstick curls is part of off season training advice
Broomstick curls

In doing some research online on some off season conditioning workouts for youth baseball, I asked local physical therapist Ian Manning of Orthocore PT to weigh in on the subject.  Ian is a great local resource in the health and fitness industry.  He has worked with local athletes of all sports and has worked with local youth athletes on form and technique of strength training exercises as well.  Here are some of his thoughts on the subject of off season baseball training for youth athletes.

1.  Baseball is a rotational sport and a conditioning program for baseball should include rotational type movements.  Here are some examples of rotational exercises:
Lunge rotations are a great exercise. Single leg dead lifts are a favorite as well. Lastly you can’t go wrong with some wood choppers. Here are some pictures.
Lunge rotation
Lunge rotation
Single Leg Deadlifts
Wood Choppers
2. There aren’t many youth athletes who perform a squat or push-up properly. For whatever reasons, the technique and form is off just enough to raise some concerns.  The movement compensations can lead to shoulder and back problems as well as other injuries.
3. Hamstring, Hip flexor/quad, and rotational stretches are best. Before activity should be dynamic stretching (repetitions) and after should be static stretching (30sec holds).
Working out in the off season playing other sports is also highly recommended and helps with the “burn out” effect of playing just one sport.  Adding a quality off season strength and conditioning program is another way to help improve your body physically for the spring.  For more information on exercises such as this, contact Ian at Orthocore PT.  His contact information is:
Ian Manning, M.S.P.T.
OrthoCore Physical Therapy
7610 Post Rd. Unit 5
North Kingstown, RI 02852
p – 401-667-0131
f – 401-667-0132
Stay tuned for more articles on conditioning programs for baseball on the North Kingstown Blog.