Just like there are general and specific exercises for baseball strength and conditioning, there are also general and specific warm up strategies.
Specific warm ups are essentially “build up” exercises because they are simply lighter versions of whatever exercise you’re about to perform. They act as a vehicle to slowly get to the weight/intensity that you’re going to perform your working sets at.
For example, if you’re going to run sprints – it’s ideal to do some light runs first before going full throttle. Similarly, if you’re going to do some heavy squats you shouldn’t just start with your working weight, you should work your way up there through several progressive sets.
Baseball Warm Up Needs Analysis
The warm up sequence that I am going to provide for you are more general as we need to meet the demands of all baseball movements performed in a game, and not just any one single and specific motion.
Our job is to utilize movement systems, muscle groups, and coordination patterns that not only get your heart rate up but also prepare your entire body for the more athletic and functional demands of the baseball game that’s going to follow.
It’s important that the design of your pre-game warm up also includes exercises for joint health. Joints are designed primarily to function in their mid-range of motion, but they also need activity using their full range of motion in order to stay healthy and maintain their current range.
This is incredibly important to get correct because baseball is a sport that requires some extreme ranges of motion (just think about what a pitcher’s arm looks like during the wind up, or what full extension during a slide looks like in the lower body).
As the old saying goes…
If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Nowhere is this more true than it is for maintaining joint health and range of motion ability.
Designing Baseball Warm Ups
When designing warm ups for baseball, you need to select certain mobility-based exercises that will complement your strength, speed, power, and agility.
Specifically, the exercises should require that your joints move towards their end-range of motion (and not just hang out in the middle, like you would see in most strength training movements).
The mobility exercises specific for baseball athletes in the pre-game window also complement your strength and conditioning programs as well – as they will help you squat deeper, deadlift with a straighter back, and perform complex lifts like overhead presses and lunges with more comfort and less restriction.
So, I want to point out that the warm up provided in this blog can be multi-functional, meaning, you are completely free to use this warm up prior to your strength training as well and not just your games.
I’m sure you’re starting to gain respect for the science behind warm ups now as it’s much more than just “getting warm” – a jog can get you warm, but that’s in no way a proper warm up for baseball.
A real warm up should lubricate your joints, increase your core temperature, work the proper ranges and planes of motion associated with the demands of your workout/sport, and allow you to build a better body that’s not just stronger and better looking but also more mobile.
A treadmill or bike could never check all these boxes, so if that’s your current warm up you have to stop. You aren’t in spin class, you’re a baseball athlete.
Convenience is Important
In the first blog I ever published on this site, I discussed the science and application of warming up for baseball speed workouts.
Although that is still to this day a very popular article here at Baseball Training – it lacks the convenience that many of us desire for our baseball warm ups.
So many athletes like that style of warm up, but simply don’t have the large space required in order to complete it.
So today, I wanted to provide you a science-based warm up that you can use before your workouts or games that you can perform in one place with no equipment needed.
This allows you to complete the warm up sequence anywhere because they require very little space and no equipment at all. The only thing you might want is a mat, but, most of us can just do it on the ground anyways.
In One Place, No Equipment Needed Warm Up
A1: Lying windmills x 8 reps per side
A2: Single leg hip thrusts x 12 per side
A3: Quadruped extension rotation x 8 per side
A4: Bird dogs x 15 per side
A5: Bent over shoulder Y’s x 15
A6: Bent over shoulder T’s x 15
A7: Seal Jacks x 25
Complete this sequence once and perform all exercises back-to-back with controlled technique. This warm up should take you no longer than 5-8 minutes once you start getting good at it, and you should ideally perform it immediately before your game or workout.
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