By: Lynn VanDyke
Softball is a popular sport these days. Corporations, adult leagues, and inner-city competitions are fueling the demand for skilled and competitive players. While softball may be experiencing a surge of interest, the basic techniques to improve your game and gain a competitive edge have remained the same.
Many do not realize that basic softball movements such as batting and throwing are not a directly related to arm strength. The movement begins in the legs. The power is then transferred into the hips, the torso, the upper back, the chest, the shoulders and then the arms.
A proper softball strength training routine will include an exercise for each muscle group. During the off-season, athletes will be able to strength train 2-3 times per week. Training should be reduced to 1-2 times per week during the season. Click here. Each exercise should be performed 8-12 times for 1-3 sets.
Quickness, speed, agility, balance, explosiveness, and power will be enhanced as the strength training program progresses. Below is a list of sample exercises for the commonly used muscles in softball. There are many other exercises you could perform, but this will provide a starting point.
- Quadriceps – Squats, One-Legged Squats, Jump Squats
- Hams & Glutes – Lunges, Explosive Lunges, Bridge on Ball
- Hip Adductors/Abductors – Lying Side Leg Raises, Ball Squeeze
- Obliques- Oblique Crunch on Ball
- Rectus Abdominis – Ball Crunch, 180 Ball Crunch
- Erector Spinae – Plank Pose
- Deltoids – Shoulder Press, Military Press
- Pectoralis Major – Chest Fly, Chest Press, Push-ups
- Latissimus Dorsi – Bent Over Row, Reverse Fly
- Triceps – Overhead Extensions, Skull crushers
- Biceps – Bicep Curl, Hammer Curl
A powerful softball strength training program will produce powerful players. Use a full ROM (range of motion) for each exercise. Generally, free weights provide a better ROM than machines but use whichever feels best to you. The ultimate goal is to create a solid program that will deliver a well-rounded athlete.