Baseball College Baseball Workout Program

College Baseball Workout Program

Looking for a college baseball workout program? I’ll give you a few suggestions and tips below.

Unfortunately, you will not find a universal baseball workout program that works for everybody. You’ll have to do some trial and error yourself to determine what works for you the best.

Still, I will provide you with some training program examples to at least give you a foundation for designing your own workout routine.

Which Physical Qualities Are Important In Baseball?

Before moving to a sample of a college baseball program, I think that we should first understand which physical qualities are important in baseball.

Baseball requires short and intense bursts of effort, meaning that it is primarily anaerobic. The key physical qualities for baseball are therefore strength and speed. Strength training has been shown to noticeably increase the mean throwing velocity in college baseball players. 

The vast majority (if not all) of MLB coaches incorporate running drills to improve speed in players. Some MLB coaches also incorporate Olympic-style lifts – most importantly, the squat (and its variations) and lunges – into their training programs.

With that said, cardio training is still quite important in baseball because some positions are more aerobically demanding. Although baseball players run less than half a time during the game, good cardio conditioning can be very helpful too.

Phases Of A Baseball Workout Program

Baseball workout programs have 4 phases – each with its own unique demands and characteristics. These phases are:

  • Off-season. During the off-season, little to no competitive baseball is played.
  • Early pre-season. In this period, players start to return after their breaks. The training in this phase is lighter and more general. As you approach the next phase, your training should become more intense.
  • Late pre-season. In late pre-season, the training is the most intense, but it’s focused on explosive power rather than maximum strength. The aim of training in this stage is to peak by the time the season begins.
  • In-season. Training during the season is lighter and is aimed at maintaining the gains from the previous three phases.

Early into the off-season, your training may be less specific and more focused on general strength and power. But as you approach the baseball season, your training routine should become more and more specific to your role on the field.

No matter how you are training, your goal in baseball is not to bulk – your primary goal would be to increase strength, speed, and general conditioning. Getting bulked would actually hurt your performance.

Phase 1. Training In The Off-Season

In the off-season, you should perform general weight training at a low intensity. At a glance, here is how your training routine should look like in the off-season as per the Sports Fitness Advisor blog:

  • Duration: 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Load: 50-60% of your 1-rep max. You could also perform exercises with bodyweight.
  • Repetitions: 12-20.
  • Days per week: 2-3, with at least one day of rest between training sessions.

Circuit training is a great way of training in the off-season. This style of training doesn’t consume much time and is easier to program.

With circuit training, you may rest 30 seconds between exercises within a circuit, as well as rest 2-3 minutes between circuits.

Here’s one example of a circuit training program for the off-season:

PositionExerciseReps/seconds
1Squat to press15 reps
2Single-arm dumbbell rows12 reps per arm
3Bent-knee sit-ups20 reps
4Push-ups15-20 reps
5Toe taps on a box90 seconds
6Barbell upright rows15 reps
7Supermans20 reps
8Dumbbell forward lunges10 reps per leg
9Burpees15 reps
10Oblique curls20 reps

On each exercise, the last rep should take a good amount of effort from you. Once you feel that the designated number of reps is too easy for you, you may increase the weight where possible. In bodyweight exercises, you may use bands to add resistance.

Phase 2. Training In The Early Pre-Season

Next, we have training in the early pre-season when your goal is to develop maximum strength.

Here’s how your workout program in the early pre-season should be built:

  • Duration: 6 weeks.
  • Load: 80-90% of your 1-rep max.
  • Repetitions: 4-8.
  • Sets: 3-5.
  • Days per week: 3, with at least one day of rest between sessions.

This phase incorporates very intense training with heavy weights, so you should learn proper form not to injure yourself. A spotter would be nice as well for exercises like the bench press.

PositionExerciseReps
1Squats/leg press6-8
2Bench press6-8
3Leg curls10
4Dumbbell overhead press6-8
5Calf raises8-10
6Wide-grip pulldowns6-8
7Weighted crunches10-15

Phase 3. Training In the Late Pre-Season

The third phase is aimed at transferring your added strength to explosive power. Speed is crucial in baseball, which is why you should perform speed-oriented movements right before the season.

  • Duration: 4 weeks.
  • Load: 50-60% of your 1-rep max.
  • Repetitions: 8-12.
  • Sets: 2-3.
  • Days per week: 2-3, with at least one day of rest between workouts.

The weights here are much lighter so that you can perform exercises explosively to develop speed.

And here are the exercises that you could perform in this phase:

PositionExerciseReps/seconds
1Lateral jumps10
2Plyometric push-ups10
3Depth jumps10
4Pullover throws with a medicine ball10
5Dumbbell squats with rotational swings right and left as you go up10
6Reverse crunches with a medicine ball12
7Dumbbell thrusters10
8Medicine ball side throws10

Phase 4. Training In The In-Season

In-season training should be more specific to the game of baseball and incorporate relatively little strength training. It should incorporate plenty of recovery workouts as well.

A 2007 study published in the Strength & Conditioning Journal gives a few sample training programs for collegiate players. The research paper gives examples of training programs by position and provides general workout recommendations for baseball players.

Starting pitcher’s 5-day rotation program

Day 1: Pitch

Throwers 10 for active recovery.1-2 sets x 15 reps.
Ice (optional).15-20 minutes.

Day 2: Recovery

Moderate-intensity (65-75% of heart rate max) jog,
left field to right field line, 20 poles.

OR

Swimming (any style except backstroke or freestyle).
20 minutes.
Rotator cuff & upper body movements:

1. Throwers 10 (2-5-pound dumbbell).
2. 1-arm dumbbell row (25 pounds).
3. Push-up plus (bodyweight).
4. Dumbbell hammer curls (10 pounds).
5. Dumbbell triceps extensions (10 pounds).
1 set x 10 reps.
Medicine ball for torso:

1. Standing torso circles (5 kg).
2. Standing figure 8.
3. Standing twisting wall throw.
4. Seated twists.
5. Seated trunk rotation.
Exercises 1 and 4: 2 sets x 10 reps.
Exercises 2, 3, 5: 2 sets x 6 reps.

Day 3: Hard

Throw bullpen.2 sets x 15 pitches.
Speed endurance:

1. 5 x 200 yards, left field to right field corner.
2. 5 x 100 yards, left field to center field.
Exercise 1: 30 seconds with 60 seconds of rest.
Exercise 2: 15 seconds with 45 seconds of rest.
Fetch & catch for agility.2 sets x 10 reps.
Medicine ball exercises:

1. Overhead toss.
2. Squat & push.
2 sets x 6 reps.
Throwers 10 with 2-5-pound rubber tubing.2 sets x 15 reps.
Lower body movements, hard:

1. Squats.
2. Romanian deadlift.
3. Pitcher’s step-ups.
4. Lateral lunges.
Optional: Calf raises.
By preference.

Day 4: Moderate

Optional: Low/moderate-intensity plyometrics:

1. Squat jumps.
2. Standing long jumps.
3. Ice skaters.
Exercises 1 & 3: 2 sets x 10 reps.
Exercise 2: 2 sets x 6 reps, consecutive.
Sprints:

1. 5 x 60 yards.
2. 5 x 30 yards.
Exercise 1: 8 seconds with 60 seconds of rest.
Exercise 2: 4 seconds with 30 seconds of rest.
Medicine ball throwing:

1. Chest pass.
2. Twisting woodchop throw.
3. Speed rotations.
4. 1-leg overhead balance throw.
Exercise 1 & 4: 2 sets x 10 reps.
Exercise 2 & 3: 2 sets x 6 reps.
Throwers 10.2 sets x 15 reps, ballistic.
Rice bucket forearm routine:

1. Forearm flexion/extension.
2. Wrist pronation/supination.
3. Wrist ulnar/radial deviation.
4. Grabbing.
2 sets x 30 seconds.
Upper body workout, hard:

1. 1-arm dumbbell row.
2. Alternating dumbbell bench.
3. Dumbbell hammer curls.
4. Dumbbell triceps extensions.
By preference.

Day 5: Light

Light-intensity (50-65% of max heart rate) jump rope6 sets x 50 reps.
Ladder drills.By preference.
Optional: Balance beam:

1. Pitcher’s squat.
2. Pitcher’s toe touch.
2 sets x 10 reps.
Abdominal/lower back movements:

1. Oblique crunch.
2. Slow bicycles.
3. Double ab crunch.
4. Superman.
1. 2 sets x 15 reps.
2. 2 sets x 30 reps.
3. 2 sets x 25 reps.
4. 2 sets x 15 reps.
Scapula movements:

1. Scapula push-up.
2. Scapula dip.
3. Reach-backs.
2 sets x 10 reps.
Body blade routine, optionally switch exercises every 30 seconds, light:

1. Shoulder presses.
2. Internal/external rotation at 90 degrees.
3. Internal/external rotation at 0 degrees.
4. Diagonal 2 flexion/extension.
5. Lateral raises.
6. Front raises.
7. Biceps curls.
8. Triceps extension.
By preference.

Middle relief pitcher’s program

Monday: Moderate

Sprints:
1. 5 x 60 yards.
2. 5 x 30 yards.
1. 8 seconds with 60 seconds of rest.
2. 4 seconds with 30 seconds of rest.
Agility drills:

1. Fetch & catch.
2 sets x 10 reps.
Medicine ball, whole body:

1. Underhand toss.
2. Squat & push.
2 sets x 6 reps each.
Throwers 10, 2-5-pound rubber tubing2 sets x 15 reps.
Full-body workout, hard:

1. Squats.
2. Romanian deadlift.
3. 1-arm dumbbell row.
4. Alternating dumbbell bench press.
5. Dumbbell hammer curls.
6. Dumbbell triceps extension.
7. Calf raises.
By preference.

Tuesday: Game or off-day

Pitch.By preference.
Throwers 10 for recovery.1-2 sets x 10 reps.

Wednesday (optionally off-day): Hard

Optionally: Low/moderate-intensity plyometricsBy preference.
Speed enduranceBy preference.
Optionally: Balance beam.By preference.
Medicine ball throwing.By preference.
Scapula exercises.2 sets x 10 reps.
Rice bucket forearm routine.2 sets x 30 seconds.

Thursday: Moderate

Sprints.By preference.
Ladder drills.By preference.
Medicine ball torso movements.By preference.
Throwers 10, 2-5-pound rubber tubing.2 sets x 15 reps.
Full-body workout, light:

1. Squats.
2. Romanian deadlift.
3. Seated rows.
4. Alternating dumbbell incline bench press.
5. Optional: Dumbbell hammer curls.
6. Optional: Dumbbell triceps extensions.
7. Optional: Calf raises.
By preference.

In this program, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are game days or alternatively pitch days.

Closing pitcher’s program

Monday: Light

Light-intensity (50-65% of max heart rate) jump rope.6 sets x 50 reps.
Ladder drills.By preference.
Optionally: Balance beam.By preference.
Abdominal/lower back routine.By preference.
Scapula exercises.2 sets x 10 reps.

Tuesday (game or off-day)

Pitch.By preference.
Throwers 10 for recovery.1-2 sets x 10 reps.
Treadmill jog for recovery, light/moderate intensity.By preference, 50-75% of max heart rate.
Optionally: Ice.15-20 minutes.

Wednesday (optionally off-day): Hard

Speed endurance:

1. 10 x 100 yards.
15 seconds with 45 seconds of rest.
Agility drills:

1. Fetch & catch.
2 sets x 10 reps.
Lower body workout, hard:

1. Squats.
2. Romanian deadlift.
3. Pitcher’s step-up.
4. Lateral lunge.
5. Calf raises.
By preference.

Thursday: Moderate

Optionally: Low/moderate-intensity plyometrics.By preference.
Sprints.By preference.
Medicine ball throwing.By preference.
Throwers 10.2 sets x 15 reps.
Upper body workout, hard:

1. 1-arm dumbbell row.
2. Alternating dumbbell bench press.
3. Dumbbell hammer curls.
4. Dumbbell triceps extensions.
By preference.

In this program, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are game days or possibly pitch days.

Daily training program for collegiate position players

Monday: Hard

Trunk stability movements:

1. Right side.
2. Left side.
3. Prone.
2 sets x 30 seconds
Optional: Speed training:

1. 30-yard accelerations (jog, sprint, and stride, 10 yards each).
2. 10-yard starts with focus on double-leg lateral push and cross-over step.
3. 4 x 30-yard sprints.
1. 4 sets.
2. 4 sets.
3. 4 seconds with 40-60 seconds of rest.
Medicine ball torso movements.By preference.
Throwers 10.4 sets x 15 reps.
Full-body workout:

1. Weight box jumps compounded with squats.
2. Squats.Romanian deadlift.
3. 1-arm dumbbell rows.
4. Alternating dumbbell bench press
By preference.

Wednesday (optionally-off day): Hard

Optional: Low/moderate-intensity plyometrics.By preference.
Agility drills:

1. Z-drill.
2. 5-10-5 (pro agility).
3. N-drill.
4. L-drill.
2 sets each.
Medicine ball, whole-body.By preference.
Ab/lower back routine.By preference.

Thursday: Moderate

Optional: Pillar bridges for trunk stability.By preference.
Baserunning:

1. Home plate to first base.
2. First base to third base.
3. Second base to home plate.
3 sets each.
Medicine ball throwing.By preference.
Full-body workout, light:

1. Squats compounded with box jumps.
2. Bodyweight box jumps.
3. Glute/hamstring raises.
4. Seated rows.
5. Alternating dumbbell incline bench press.
By preference.

Tuesday in this program is game or off-day. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are game days.

Recommended in-season weight training exercises

Finally, the research paper suggests the following strength training exercises for weight training. These have been mostly incorporated in the programs I have listed earlier.

Quadriceps & gluteus maximus– Squat.
– Single-leg squat.
– Split squat.
– Step-ups.
– Pitcher’s step-ups (leg raises with hip flexion).
– Lateral lunges.
– V-squat/leg press.
Hamstrings– Romanian deadlift.
– Glute/hamstring raises.
– Leg curls.
– Physioball leg curls.
Latissimus dorsi (lats)– 1-arm dumbbell rows.
– Lat pulldown with a neutral grip.
– Seated rows.
– Reverse grip pulldown.
– Wide-grip pulldown.
– Pull-ups.
– Chin-ups.
Pectoralis major (pecs)– Alternating dumbbell bench press.
– Alternating dumbbell incline bench press.
– Push-ups.
– Physioball dumbbell bench press.
– Barbell bench press.
Deltoids– Dumbbell front raises.
– Dumbbell lateral raises.
– Dumbbell bent-over lateral raises.
Biceps– Dumbbell hammer curls.
– Reverse-grip barbell or EZ-bar curls.
– Alternating dumbbell curls.
Triceps– Dumbbell triceps extension.
– Dumbbell kickbacks.
– Triceps pushdown.
Forearms & wrists– Forearm flexion/extension.
– Wrist pronation/supination.
– Wrist ulnar/radial deviation.
– Rice bucket drills.

The Last Inning

There is no one-size-fits-all program for every baseball player – you will need to figure out what works the best for your needs and position on your own. But hopefully, the examples of programs I provided you with will be useful for you.

As a next step, I suggest that you read some studies researching the relationship between strength and baseball performance. These can provide you with valuable insight into baseball training and allow you to independently develop programs.
Also remember that baseball is a mental game. Yogi Berra has said that baseball is 90% mental. In fact, today, mental skills coaches in MLB are valued more than ever.

Avatar
Jonathan Rousselhttps://thechamplair.com
Jonathan Roussel is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and Indigo League champion. He now chases the dream to become a part-time Jedi Master like Gandalf. He means to reach his goals by sleeping 14 hours a day and eating pineapple pizzas.

Proven Sports Tips Straight To Your Inbox

Latest Posts

1,515FansLike
2,520FollowersFollow
3,058FollowersFollow