In sports, we often have the right idea when we go to the weight lifting gym, but don’t execute properly. Most of the exercises we find on

Baseball Conditioning
Military Press

the internet and in most strength building programs are engineered for powerlifters or for Joe Schmoe’s New Year’s resolution plan to get buff. While bulk and big muscles may give you the look of strength, for baseball conditioning, the goal is the opposite – we want to build as much strength as possible while adding as little weight as possible.

The goal is not to look big – it is to give ourselves an advantage on the baseball diamond. That’s where I’ve found combining the heavy, slow movement of the weight lifting with more explosive plyometric exercises yields maximum results; this is how we develop explosive power.

Military Press/Vertical Medicine Ball Toss

Always workout with a spotter, or if under 18, an adult, for safety purposes when weightlifting.

Start sitting down, with a barbell resting on your collarbone. Your hands should be just inside shoulder width apart. The military press is simple from here. Focusing on keep your back straight and your abs tight, push the bar directly up into the air until your arms are just about fully extended. Now bring the bar back down, slowly, into the original starting position, and repeat. Start players off with a light weight and high repetitions, working up to a higher weight with lower repetitions.

Here is the twist. Instead of just resting for a standard 60 second between sets, immediately grab a medicine ball, and from the same

Kids Baseball
Vertical Medicine Ball Toss

position, push the ball up in to the air as quickly and with as much explosion as possible. This will activate the fast twitch fibers in your arms and chest. Once the medicine ball throw have been completed, let your players take anywhere from 1-2 minutes of rest before starting again. Here’s an example of a possible workout:

Set 1: 40 Pounds/12 Reps

10 Vertical Medicine Ball Tosses

Set 2: 50 Pounds/10 Reps

10 Vertical Medicine Ball Tosses

Set 3: 60 Pounds/8 Reps

10 Vertical Medicine Ball Tosses.

And if you’re coaching youth baseball, and your players are to young for heavy lifting, the medicine ball exercises are a great workout on their own. If you’re looking for more baseball conditioning drills, click the link to check out our entire archive!