Before performing any exercise, it is important to prepare the body by performing an appropriate warm up, and softball is no exception. Warming up prepares the body for sport performance and can help decrease the risk of injury. Although the impression is that softball is not a physically demanding sport, in reality the sport requires high degrees of sport-specific fitness.
Softball 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 in fast-pitch softball the pitchers are also required 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 Softball Warm-Up
The warm up for softball 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 softball specific and higher intensity actions.
Here is an example of what can be done by softballers, 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).
- Softball 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 for when called upon.
- Warming Up For Sports
- Warm up for Sprinting
- List of Stretches
- Fitness testing for Softball
- Discussion about the Fitness Components for Softball
- Poll about the fitness components for softball