Pregame Stretches for Baseball Players
Most baseball players, from the seasoned specialists in baseball to the players sitting in brand new youth baseball uniforms, exercise using static stretching routines and short sprints before they go out onto the field. There is always a regular team warm-up which moves into fielding, throwing and hitting practice. Once this team warm-up is done, many players do some individual stretches and movements to warm their muscles further and prepare for strong movements.
Most baseball warm-ups can take an hour or more to complete, and they can utilize the whole baseball field. However, during a pre-game, most teams don't have enough space for a regular warm up, which means that many players start their game still stiff. This can hinder their performance significantly and increase their chance of injury.
Warming up correctly can make a big difference in the way that baseball players move and hit during the game, and dynamic warm-up routines are essential. Here's why:
- Players will be ready to be on the field for throwing and batting
- Muscles are prepared and flexible for movements specific to baseball
- Less chance of injury during the game
- Increase in muscular movement
Exercises to Focus On
Most teams engage their players in light jogging to get started and get the muscles warmed up. This can be an excellent way to build fitness, too. If you don't have enough space for full jogging, even joggin in place can help the leg muscles and core area. It can also work the upper body and arms - a great all-round work-out and is an excellent way to get ready for a game.
Loosening the muscles before a game is essential. Work from the ankles to the calves and the lower body. Moving up to arm circles and other stretches before the neck stretches at the end can be a very effective way to get a routine in place before a game. Stretches can include hamstrings, arms, neck circles, lunges, and high knees.
Agility is as important as stamina and stretches, and it can raise the heart rate. The best way to do this is to set up markers with cones and then run sprinting drills too and from each cone. Keep it light though as your team does have a game to play. Paced exercises are an excellent way to build stamina.
Make your team warm up exciting and put your players through batting drills. Use wiffle balls and take turns to practice their arm twists as they go for the bat. You can help your pitchers to practice, here, too, by getting them to pitch to the batters. Precision practice helps them to stretch their arms and upper body while strengthening their core.
Each of these ways to warm-up prepare your players for their game; the better stretched and warmed up they are, the more limber on the field and the more ready they are to play!