Dynamic Warm up for Baseball Players Allows for Maximum Performance
By Matt Daily
One of the beautiful aspects about the game of baseball is that it is deeply-rooted in its traditions. When players arrive at the baseball field, one of their first actions as a ballplayer is to begin some sort of stretching routine in order to prepare their bodies, mentally and physically, for the contest in which they will be competing.
Many of us familiar with the game of baseball have seen the routine time and time again – players take a soft jog around the baseball field then ultimately end up in a circle performing a series of stretches. Some experts call these stretches “static” stretches, or the concept of holding a stretch at a chosen point for 20-30 seconds at a given time (Orland Kurtenblog, 2007).
Unfortunately, baseball is not a slow or “static” sport. When playing baseball, the playing actions are centered around power, acceleration, explosiveness, and movement (Kurtenblog 07). So if the game is one that demands so many different types of movement from its players, why do we continue to allow players to stretch in a stagnant, slow, or “static” manner?
At several camps last summer I was exposed to what is termed a “dynamic warm up” for baseball. At first, I was not sure what to make of the exercises, as I was used to more traditional methods. Over the course of several camps, though, I realized that this type of warm up benefited the participants greatly and better prepared them for the rigors of playing baseball for the day.
Simply put, putting players through a dynamic warm up involves constant movement of chosen joints and muscles. With this type of warm up, each coach seeks to add flexibility, loosen all muscle groups and warm up the core body temperature of players. Instead of stretching for 30 seconds at a time, the dynamic warm up, in contrast, consists of having players perform more dynamic tasks.
Finally, these types of stretches lend to developing more foot speed, power, and explosiveness. (Kurtenblog 07) If done correctly, the exercises allow for added range of motion within the important muscles used in game situations. The dynamic workout will help to limit cases of injury among players due to muscles being properly exercised on a regular basis before participation.
In order to get a sense of a typical dynamic warm up for baseball, it might be helpful to have an example that can be used for your own players. The workout listed below has been used and implemented for our own baseball camps at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California (www.scubroncobaseballcamps.com). This workout was originally designed and written by Gary Mayes of equip4baseball.com. I feel the workout is one that is very useful for the coach seeking to implement such a workout for his own players.
Setup: Place cones at starting line and at ten yards. Athletes line up five across per line at the starting line and perform each exercise down to the ten yard mark unless otherwise noted below.
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About The Author:
Matt Daily currently serves on the baseball staff at Santa Clara University. He formerly served as a Division I Assistant Coach at Georgetown University, the University of Portland, and Texas A&M, Corpus Christi — as well as a former scout for the San Diego Padres. Feel free to contact him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.