Before performing any exercise, it is important to prepare the body by performing an appropriate warm up, and baseball is no exception. Warming up prepares the body for sport performance and can help decrease the risk of injury. Although the impression is that baseball is not a physically demanding sport, in reality the sport requires high degrees of sport-specific fitness.
Baseball involves extended periods of low and high-intensity activity. Players spend hours in the field, and at any time are required to do rapid movements. Batters regularly have to sprint between the bases, and pitchers also perform an action that can place high stress on the body. To get the body prepared for such demanding activities, a thorough warm-up is required.
Example Baseball Warm-Up
The warm up for baseball should be done before every exercise session - whether it be competition games, on the field for training sessions, or gym workouts. The warm-up should start off at a low intensity, with a gradual progression from general and simple movements to more baseball specific and higher intensity actions.
Here is an example of what can be done by baseballers, but the specifics can be adjusted to suit constraints such as limited space and time, and the conditions. Players of all levels should be doing a warm-up.
- 2 slow jogs around the field
- 6 x 40m leg drills (e.g. running sideways/backwards, lifting knees up and kicking heels backward).
- 15 minutes of stretching - involving static and dynamic stretches. Examples: lunges, shoulder circles
- 5 × 20m length runs (work from 50% effort sprint to maximal sprint).
- Baseball drills, such as pitching, batting, catching.
- When in the dugout, the players should regularly do some dynamic stretches to keep the body warmed up and mobile, particularly if they will shortly be called to bat. The relief pitchers should also keep themselves warmed up and ready when called upon.
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