If you’re trying to get better at baseball, it’s important to remember that whether you like it or not, playing baseball requires both strength and skill. You need a lot of upper body strength to play like the greats!
Taking on arm exercises is a surefire way to improve your game, no matter what position you play. Arm strength is crucial for fast and accurate pitches, hitting home runs, and catching quick throws. Additionally, exercising your arms can help you avoid injuries via better conditioning.
The following are a number of arm exercises that can help build up your strength and reduce your risk of injury.
1. Lateral Raises
This exercise is best done in front of a mirror to ensure proper form.
Make sure to have a dumbbell in each hand, at a weight that isn’t too light nor too heavy. Start with your arms down at your side, then lift your arms together symmetrically until they are at shoulder height.
Ensure that your arms aren’t straight out in front of you, nor straight out to your sides.
The ideal form is the middle of these two positions at a 45-degree angle away from your body.
Stick to sets of 15 x 4 per workout, do this exercise about twice a week; you don’t want to overexert your shoulders.
2. Dumbbell Curls
Another simple dumbbell exercise for your arm strengthening routine.
Have weighted dumbbells in each hand, taking care to select a weight that is maneuverable but heavy enough to really work the muscle. Hold your elbows out in front of your body with palms facing up.
Slowly lift the dumbbells towards your chest, then bring them back down to the starting position.
During this exercise, ensure that your elbows and wrists are locked to prevent injury.
Stick to sets of 12 x 3 per workout, at about 4 days per week, you should begin to see results in a few months time.
3. Tricep Push-Downs
You’ll need some gym equipment to do this exercise properly.
Once you’re at the cable machine, set the weight to around 1/6th of your bodyweight. Grip the bar with your hands a little less than shoulder length apart.
Put your arms out in front of you at a 90-degree angle, palms facing the ground.
Then push your arms down together until they reach your thighs as you breathe out. Hold this position for one count, then slowly bring your arms back up as you breathe in. Stick to sets of 8 x 3 per workout, at about twice a week.
4. Close-Grip Bench Presses
If you haven’t had previous experience with bench-pressing or this specific type of bench press, make sure to have someone more experienced spot for you. Laying on the bench, start with small weights on your barbell, then adjust accordingly.
Grip the bar above you, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Lift the bar and bring it down towards your chest while breathing in.
As you breathe out, push the bar back up. This grip ensures you work out your triceps, which play a big role in throwing.
Stick to sets of 6 x 4 per workout, at about twice a week.
Arm strengthening exercises can be as simple as your fundamental push-ups.
To do this exercise, lie down face-first on the ground. Place your hands on the ground, palms down.
Keep them shoulder-width apart, while the balls of your feet touch the floor.
Using your arms and hands, push your body up from the ground, then lower yourself back down slowly.
Remember to keep your body straight in both positions, you should resemble a stiff plank.
Stick to sets of 12 x 3 per workout, and perform this exercise every morning 5 days a week if you’re trying to build strength.
6. Tossing And Throwing
Nothing beats an exercise that doubles as practice for the game.
With a partner, stand ten feet apart and rapidly toss a baseball back and forth. The goal is to throw the ball fast with strength behind it, giving you the feel of the game itself.
For variation, you can also give long-distance throwing a try. This time, stand 30 feet apart with your partner and do 20 to 30 throws.
Work your way towards a 60-feet gap and then 90-feet gap.
Aside from improving your throwing skills, these exercises also help your muscle memory for the real game conditions.
Try to perform this exercise every day to really drill it into your muscle memory.
7. Wrist Throwing
An arm workout isn’t complete without training your wrists! Wrist strength and control can make a big difference in throwing and pitching.
To perform this exercise put your throwing arm up at a 90-degree angle, with your other hand supporting it at the elbow.
Using just your wrist, throw the ball as precisely as you can. Doing wrist throws every day can strengthen your wrists, which will help boost your throwing power.
With the aid of these exercises, your arm strength will improve significantly and you can begin to build up a much-welcomed edge over the competition.
As with all exercises, make sure to do stretches and warm-ups beforehand.
You may also adjust your number of reps and sets depending on your capability. Keeping up these arm exercises regularly will show a significant improvement in your pitching, throwing, and batting in a matter of months.