Strength Training For Baseball and Cricket | Performance Plus

Strength Training For Baseball and Cricket

Power Bands

Power bands challenge your muscles by creating resistance in multiple directions. You must stabilise against this resistance to maintain the correct movement pattern for each exercise. The result is increased strength in the targeted muscle group. As an added bonus, stabiliser and support muscles, which are often neglected during traditional training, are also strengthened. 

Pallof Press

The beauty of the Pallof press is that it challenges and strengthens the stabilisation action of your abs. That’s because when you do this exercise, it forces your core to resist the rotation or compression of your spine, which forces your entire core to engage.

Set up with a band firmly affixed about chest height to an immovable object. Stand in a line with the band apparatus and turn your body perpendicular. Centre the band on your chest using both hands. Push the band straight out in front of you, keeping your body in a straight-line with no rotation. Hold it in front for 3 seconds, then return the band in complete control to your chest. Do not allow the band to rotate your upper body back towards the machine.

Bear Crawls

Start in a kneeling position with your hands under your shoulders, and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under, and lift your knees off the floor. Crawl forwards ensuring you keep your knees off the floor. Reverse the direction and crawl backwards. 
Try to keep your back straight throughout this movement. Try crawling to one side and then the other.

Crab Walk

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a resistance band looped under each foot. Create an X by crossing the bands in front of your legs and holding the band in each hand at hip height. Take three lateral steps to the left, then repeat, going to the right.

A progression of this is to then add an arm fly to the movement as you step, by elevating and abducting the shoulders from the torso.

Kettle Bells

While kettlebells and dumbbells can both be used to train similar movements and exercises, kettlebell training has the distinct advantage of being able to produce ballistic movements more easily than dumbbells. These are movements that produce maximum velocity and acceleration over the shortest amount of time.

While the term “functional” gets thrown around a lot – and often too much – kettlebell training is functional exercise at its best. While a lot of machines and certain exercises train our muscles individually, kettlebell exercises train your body as a whole; utilising almost every muscle group working together.

This carries over directly to our lives because of our bodies rarely, if ever, use muscles in isolation, instead of working in conjunction with each other to more efficiently perform tasks, prevent injuries, and build strength. Kettlebell training trains your entire body.

Because the weight of a kettlebell is not centred like that of a dumbbell or barbell, kettlebell training can help build stability with instability.

Kettlebells teach your body to deal with an off-centre of gravity. This means that your smaller stabiliser muscles are activated more than with traditional exercises, thus making them stronger.

Aches and pains are often a result of instability and imbalances. Kettlebell training doesn’t just expose these imbalances but works to correct them through improving coordination, joint strength, and the use of low impact.In keeping the theme of our back and posterior chain, kettlebell training has the ability to improve posture, as well as spinal stability, which will help prevent injuries.

Our posterior chain is responsible for our posture. When these muscles are weak, our posture is normally poor, with our shoulders rolled forward, back rounded over, etc. Poor posture increases our risk for nagging aches and pains, as well as injuries.

Kettlebell training combats this by strengthening the entire posterior chain. A stronger posterior chain helps you keep your shoulders pulled back, with a neutral spine. This is our body’s natural position and reduces our risk of injury issues.

Kettle Row

Single arm kettlebell rows target your back, but that term covers a lot of area. The main muscles in this exercise — properly called the agonists — are your latissimus dorsi, located on the side of your upper back beneath your armpits. In addition, your middle trapezius and rhomboids, which are between your shoulder blades, are also strongly involved and can also be considered agonists.

With a kettlebell at your feet, place your left leg behind you while bending both knees. Your right knee should not extend past your toes. Lean forward at the torso and place your right forearm against your right thigh for stability. Extend your left arm and grasp the kettlebell by the handle so that your palm is facing your right leg. Bringing your elbow back, exhale as 

you raise the kettlebell to the left side of your waist. Inhaling, lower the kettlebell toward the floor and then repeat the movement.

Kettle Waiters Walk

The Waiter’s Walk is a low impact kettlebell exercise that requires a great deal of upper body strength to execute.

The technique for the Waiter’s Walk is relatively straight forward. When done properly, the exercise resembles the way a waiter at a restaurant holds a tray above their head. Beginning at a standing position with one or two kettlebells in hand, simply lift the kettlebell straight above your head, wrist facing forward, handle in the palm of your hand, and with the body of the weight resting on the back of your wrist. Once executed, simply walk forward maintaining a steady pace and keeping the kettlebell above your head. Concentrate on activating the core whilst you do this.

Progressions of this exercise involve holding the shoulder at 45 degrees from the torso and bending the elbow at 90 degrees. this will cause greater activation of serrates anterior.

Kettle Dead Lift

The deadlift adds muscle to your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and back. It also ingrains a good hip-hinge—the process of bending forward at your hips while keeping your lower-back flat and bending your knees slightly—necessary in almost every kettlebell move.

Begin in a standing position with a kettlebell held with both hands. Ensure that your back is straight and stays that way for the duration of the exercise. Allow your arms to hang 

perpendicular to the floor, with the wrists pronated and the elbows pointed to your sides. This will be your starting position.

Initiate the movement by flexing your hips, slowly pushing your butt as far back as you can. This should entail a horizontal movement of the hips, rather than a downward movement. The knees should only partially bend, and your weight should remain on your heels. Drive your butt back as far as you can, which should generate tension in your hamstrings as your hands approach knee level. Maintain an arch in your back throughout the exercise.

When your hips cannot perform any further backward movement, pause, and then slowly return to the starting position by extending the hips.

Kettle Single Deadlift

The single-leg deadlift not only develops hip strength and power, but it also allows the muscles of the hips and legs to act as stabilisers. If you think about it, every time you stand on one leg, you’re using the same muscles for balance and stability that are generally used for force production.

Forcing the body to maintain stability on one leg allows the athlete and coach to see strength imbalances from left to right side.

Hold a kettlebell by the handle in one hand. Stand on one leg, on the same side that you hold the kettlebell. Keeping that knee slightly bent, perform a stiff legged deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are parallel to the ground, and then return to the upright position

Kettle Bicep Press with Pronation

Pick up the Kettlebell and place into the rack position, with the wrist in slight flexion. Suck the shoulder in’ to set up the shoulder before pressing, the shoulder is now ready to take load and has enough space to prevent impingement. The press will be dynamic, using slight thoracic rotation, slight shoulder abduction (around 20 degrees)this we call scaption (contraction of Scapular Plane Elevation. It refers to lifting the arms from the sides in a slightly forward alignment), but towards the end range this will come into adduction, and full shoulder flexion (which will be relative to each individual). At the wrist, we go from neutral to pronation and full elbow extension.

The lowering of the Kettlebell takes a slightly different path. Control the lowering of the Kettlebell back into the rack position. This would be full elbow flexion, back to neutral wrist (slight flexion) and only shoulder extension (no abduction) or coming through scaption.