Functional exercises can help strengthen muscles for baseball players. (Image via Unsplash / Josh Hemsley)

6 Best Exercises for Baseball Players

Baseball players need functional strength and balance to throw, swing, and bat at optimal levels. While lifting weights might be the first thing that comes to mind, there are a variety of exercises that can make you stronger and more skilled without picking up a dumbbell.


Six Great Exercises for Baseball Players

Some baseball players are drawn to the bench press or back squat, but these exercises may not be the best for every athlete.


Baseball workouts should include functional exercises that help mimic the moves players make on the field and strengthen muscles used frequently during a game.

1) Bulgarian Split Squat


Baseball players must be flexible and strong in their hips. If your hips are stiff or tight, it can lead to injuries; the Bulgarian split squat is a great exercise to strengthen and stretch the muscles in your lower body.

How to do it?

  • To do a split squat, start by setting up a secure platform behind you.
  • Place one foot on the ground and one foot elevated on the surface.
  • Keeping your head and chest up, tighten up your core.
  • Bend both knees until your front leg is bent at a 90° angle, then press off of your front heel to stand all the way back up to the starting position.

2) Medicine Ball Rotational Throw

Core strength can help you become a faster sprinter, thrower, and an all-around stronger player.

A medicine ball rotational throw helps increase core strength while mimicking the movement performed when pitching or swinging a bat.

The core is important in rotation, but it also helps transfer force from your upper and lower body.

How to do it?

  • Stand next to a wall with a medicine ball.
  • Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly, and twist your body away from the wall, bringing the ball to your hip.
  • Make sure that your belly stays tight as you twist away from the wall and rotate your foot toward it.
  • Now twist back toward the wall and throw the ball against it.

3) Push-Up

The push-up is a good exercise for baseball players because it works the chest, shoulders and triceps. Rotator cuff injuries are common in pitchers, and strengthening the rotator cuff can help prevent these injuries.


The bench press can put a lot of stress on your elbows and shoulders. Plus, it doesn't mimic how you throw a ball as well as the push-up does.

How to do it?

  • Start by placing your hands under your shoulders and your toes on the ground.
  • Squeeze your core, and then bend your elbows.
  • As you lower your chest toward the floor, tuck in your elbows to avoid stress on the shoulders.
  • Once your chest is touching the ground, press back up to starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

4) Box Jumps

Plyometric exercises, including box jumps, can be used to build power and force. They can also help the body learn how to land safely after jumping.

MLB player Mike Trout says that box jumps are part of his secret to staying explosive and keeping his endurance up, especially during the off-season.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart a few inches in front of a box.
  • Bend your knees and drop your hips to angle your body downward, and bring your arms behind you with your palms facing downward.
  • Push off the ground, drive your hips forward and swing your arms up for momentum; jump onto the box and land on your heels.
  • Step down or jump off the box and repeat.

5) Turkish Get Up

A total-body exercise like the Turkish get-up can help baseball players strengthen their core, shoulders, lower back and hip muscles while improving shoulder stability and coordination. This exercise can also improve overall throwing power.

How to do it?

  • Lie face down on the ground and keep one knee bent while extending your other leg behind you.
  • Keep your arm extended toward the ceiling, palm facing down.
  • Bend at the waist so that your chest is touching the ground, and then sit up, keeping your arm straight.
  • Lower yourself back to the starting position by following the same path.

6) Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings will help you generate more power when throwing a baseball or swinging a bat. They can also be great for challenging your cardiovascular fitness and endurance, so running around the bases will become less difficult.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart next to a kettlebell.
  • Bend down, pick up the kettlebell, and hold it between your thighs with your core tight and spine in neutral.
  • Swing the kettlebell behind you by driving your hips forward and controlling the kettlebell on its way back between your legs.


If you haven’t already, start adding these exercises to your workouts. If you've never done them before, start light and allow your body to adapt before starting a bigger program. Implementing these movements into your workout will help improve your baseball skills in ways other lifts won't.

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