The game of baseball has been played by guys of all sizes and body frames. Many of us first think of them as overweight athletes before we think of them as being well fit. The truth is that many of today's ball players are as fit as other top sports stars with a balance of weight lifting, yoga and cardio in their workout regimens.
The one question that seems to stump many baseball experts or even fans is which baseball player is the fittest of all time. As we analyze some of the game's greatest players the first name we can think of is Bo Jackson. If we asked the opposite question, Babe Ruth might be the first name that pops into your mind as the least fit.
Jackson was a two-sport athlete who played football for the Los Angeles Raiders and baseball for the Kansas City Royals. Bo's workout regiment stayed away from the weights and focused on water aerobics as well as calisthenics. On the field, Bo could do it all and was just starting to emerge as one of the game's top stars before a hip injury derailed both his baseball and football playing career. That won't stop any of us from remembering the catch followed by the run up the wall.
Baseball has a full range of body motion that can require multiple types of workouts based on the use of multiple parts of the body. Looking at just the swing you have noticed the rotation of the hips followed as well the swinging of the bat, which would require a strong upper body including shoulders, biceps, triceps as well as wrists. Baseball players can do a variety of exercises that focus on these areas including yoga for flexibility, upper body exercises such as bench pressing, pushups and even ab exercises that focus on both the midsection as well as obliques.
When you compare the workouts from baseball to football to basketball, all three sports focus generally on the same areas, but also some specifically for that sport. Basketball players are built around jumping, with some of the key exercises around their legs. Football players focus on adding mass to endure the hits they take all season as well as endurance training.
In the Future?
The above article was written in 2014. Undoubtedly there will be very more players in the years to come who will challenge the champions listed here in terms of fitness. Even a poll from a couple of years ago is starting to be dated. The poll by ESPN on the greatest baseball 'athlete' of all time, conducted in 2012, shortlisted Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, with Mays being crowned the greatest.
- Our discussion of the greatest ever baseball player.
- Attributes of a Great Baseball Player
- More about the sport of baseball
- The ESPN Sport Science poll to determine the Greatest Athlete of All Time.
- Legends of Baseball