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Baseball workout advice

The days when baseball coaches thought that physical conditioning was detrimental to fine motor skills is long gone - these days players work on key elements such as strength, speed and flexibility to improve their game.

Research has demonstrated that baseball-specific training can significantly increase bat speed, striking power, and throwing velocity, so anyone wanting to excel at the game should plan a comprehensive training program.

Indeed, modern major league baseball players now incorporate techniques such as plyometrics and Olympic lifts to increase their upper and lower body power.

Power training such as this will not only increase a player's speed and agility, it will also improve throwing and batting velocity over and above conventional weight training.

Training should therefore focus on speed and power rather than pure strength or sustained aerobic fitness.

Particular attention should be given to the core, the legs, and the shoulders. Shoulder injuries are a particular concern, whether from pitching, throwing, hitting, or indeed diving to stop a hit.

This means that rather than adopting a general gym based fitness program, you should work with a coach to develop a sport specific program. This will include a small amount of basic cardio work, intervals to improve speed, targeted strength training, and flexibility work.

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