So your summer softball league doesn’t have winter workouts like the MLB. That doesn’t mean you can’t stay in good shape for softball season. There are many simple at-home softball workouts you can do to improve your bat speed and power by adding core strength and flexibility without a gym membership or even free weights.
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Simple At-Home Softball Workouts to Improve Core for Bat Speed
Push-Ups – Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to improve core strength. There may not be a gym coach in the room to judge your form, but a proper pushup promotes core strength to keep your back straight while building shoulder, tricep, and pectoral gains in your upper body.
Facing the floor, with toes to the floor and palms at shoulder level, push your upper body off the floor until your arms are straight while keeping your back straight. Drop yourself a few inches from the floor and repeat. Start with two sets of 20 reps at different times of the day and build by 5 or 10 reps as they become easier.
Sit-Ups – Another familiar, if obvious, workout that is great at helping strength and flexibility to improve bat speed. Sit-ups strengthen your abdominal muscles and hip flexors while working glutes and other muscle groups along the way. Like push-ups, sit-ups can be done in quick sets of reps throughout the day or as part of a routine.
Laying with your back on the floor, knees up, and hands behind your head, fold your upper body at the hips. Release to return to the floor and repeat. Keep a straight back. The American College of Sports Medicine encourages three sets of 8 to 12 reps three times per week.
Squats – Squats are the simplest workout you can do to increase strength in your glutes, hamstrings, obliques, and other muscles between your knees and belt that generate most of the power in your swing.
Standing with your feet positioned at shoulder width, bend at your knees, and hold the position. Keep your knees and shoulders in line with your feet, your back straight, and your butt back. Squats can be adjusted for difficulty by how far you go down and how long you hold the pose. A common goal is holding a 90-degree bend for 10-15 seconds. Two sets of 15 each day should be an accessible goal.
Side Lunges – Side lunges work similar muscles as squats but with added lateral flexibility from side-to-side stretching movements. Laterally-flexible hips help with bat speed and power.
Standing straight, keep your balance while stepping to the right side with your right leg, and squat through your hips with a straight back. Hold the position, then push yourself back to the center from the balls of your feet. Repeat to the left side.
Tennis Ball Squeeze – Strong forearms and wrists are a primary component of bat control, being able to adjust or check your swing. One of the easiest ways to build forearm strength is by squeezing a tennis ball or a racquetball. Some people even keep one at their desk for quick gains at the office. These can be done with the intentionality of “sets” but can easily be done throughout the day at convenience.
Stretching & Yoga – Frequently overlooked but extremely effective is the simple practice of consistent stretching. Breathing deeply through simple toe touches, side leans, and neck rolls can help keep you limber until (and throughout) softball season. If time and space permit, simple yoga poses can be even more beneficial. There are many online resources to help you find a routine if yoga might suit you.
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