Build Explosive Home Run Hitting Strength

Raw Power

Being the guy who hits all the jacks is where it’s at. After all chicks dig the long ball, chicks don’t dig the through the hole single. That isn’t sexy, that’s not what we want to be doing.

So with that in mind I decided to put together a workout routine to give myself a shot at hitting the long ball this season. The first thing I did was hire a trainer you can read about that post here.

My trainer put me onto Barry Bonds off season workout routine. In other words, juice. Okay only kidding – he does a pretty standard split.

Monday: Chest & Bicep

Tuesday: Leg Day

Wednesday: Back and Abs

Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps

Friday : Leg Day

You’ll notice he does legs twice a week and takes Saturday and Sunday off from weight training. He spends those days working on flexibility. He uses a combination of tools such as massage rollers, yoga straps, yoga blocks and different fitness regimes. The truth is if you want to build strength you need to be focusing on your legs. Functional movement, compound movement and resistance band explosive training is the ticket to building up that home run power.

Functional Movement

What exactly do I mean by functional movement? Picture a guy doing bicep curls in front of the gym mirror – you don’t want to be that guy. Now picture a guy doing a variety of exercises including TRX work (if you’re not familiar with a TRX it’s time to get familiar), squats, lunges, slams etc. That’s the guy you want to be.

A lot of guys confuse “functional movement” with crossfit. I’ve never done crossfit in my life and I don’t intend to do it. The entire culture of crossfit is something else. Functional movement consists of movements which help you perform in sports and every day life. They strengthen not only the muscles you think you ought to work out, such as your biceps and triceps but also all of the tiny stabilizing muscles that you may not know you should work out, but really should work out. Functional movement also helps improve your ability to move and your overall flexibility.

The best tip I got from my trainer was focus on your flexibility, when you’re all locked up you lose power. You never correlate the two, flexibility and power but man I’ve noticed a huge difference. Think of a coil, the more you “wind it up” the more energy it releases. Your body works in the same way, if you have a bigger range of motion you’re going to be able to produce more energy. Simple yet powerful stuff.

I’m looking forward to baseball season, to see if all the work I put in i going to pay dividends (after all, chicks dig the long ball).

 


Get In Shape For The Baseball Season

Baseball Drills

With College and Highschool baseball right around the corner there isn’t a better time to get in shape. Let’ face it, if you plan on hitting dingers come game time you’re going to have start working on your physical strength during the off-season.

Curtis Granderson talks about how his in-season stats improved because of his off-season approach. Swimming, cardio training, strength training and other conditioning drills to his off-season workout plan. So what can you do as a minor league player to help improve all aspects of your game? We chatted with the head trainer at Thrive Fitness, Mike who works with a minor league team about what types of drills he puts them through.

Q. What is the single most important thing a young baseball player can do in the off-season?

A: I’ve always been a believer in the idea that kids, particularly young kids should play a ton of different sports. I know at an elite level coaches are concerned that there shortstop might get hurt playing baseball. While it’s a fair concern, I think what we’re doing is taking opportunities for a quality athlete to learn other skill sets. For instance, as a kid I played a lot of hockey and baseball. Playing hockey got me in shape like baseball would have never. Not to mention it greatly improved my hand eye.

Q. What types of training do you recommend in the off-season?

A. As I mentioned above, I think playing any other sport is great training. However, if you’re in between seasons or you’re strictly focusing on ball the next I would recommend is movement drills. Basically, the majority of us lack the mobility that we should naturally have. Without it, you’re almost certain to get injured or suffer some kind of set back. Not to mention it allows us as athletes to become way more explosive. If you don’t have the full range of movement in your hips you’re not going to be able to drive through the ball like you should be able to. You won’t have as an explosive first step, etc.

After that work on functional strength. I don’t encourage my guys to sit under a bar and press 300lbs. Rather we suggest they train in a fashion that is conducive to athletic sports. Working on athletic movements.

Q. What do you mean by learning how to move?

A. Basically one of my specialties is teaching functional movement systems. We take the athlete or individual through a series of assessments and as a result we’re able to judge what they need to work on. Sometimes they need physical therapy or other specialists in order to fix a nagging issue they may not even have known existed. It’s really powerful stuff and all of our athletes rave about how much it improved their game.


MPASA Sports Day Event!

We’re happy to announce that we will hosting a Sports Day this summer! It will be held at one of the main diamonds in Philadelphia. We’re just in the process of working out all the details, but we couldn’t wait to spread the news! This is going to be a huge event for everyone and a great opportunity for the whole city to take part in.

Okay, maybe not on a scale like this!

We will be catering to families and children/teens mainly, but we’re going to make sure that parents and adults have some thing to do too! There’s going to be all sorts of activities to get involved in. We will have a bouncy castle and inflatable maze, face painting and kid’s races for the younger ones. As well as batting cages, obstacle courses, three legged races, and small games of softball for the older kids, including so much more! We will be offering cold water, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks (and coffee for the early birds!) to keep you all hydrated and healthy throughout the day! Concession stands will be placed in a few areas around the field for easy access to some snacks and food such as hot dogs, veggies/dip, chips, hamburgers, iced cream, snow cones and more. We will be offering healthy options at the concession stands thanks to our local nature markets, as well as the staples as was mentioned before! This Sports Day is going to be fantastic day for everyone, we hope you can make it!

By hosting this day, we hope that we can spark an interest in youngsters’ lives to an active lifestyle. If they see how much fun they can have while just hanging out with their friends and families, they will be more inclined to spend their free time outside or active instead of glued to the TV screen (figuratively, of course). While we are a softball oriented organization, if we can interest kids in any sport, we consider it a win. We will have different booths and stations set up around the field for information and registration in softball for those who wish to start up with one of our teams. We have casual beginner teams as well as tournament teams which hold try-outs and are a little more competitive. There will also be stations with representatives from other sports teams and organizations in the area if anyone may interested in those.

Our main objective is to spread awareness of the importance of being active and healthy. If you start young, there’s a way higher chance that it will be a habit throughout your life. We will have lots of information and stations on healthy living, including healthy diet stations and general information.

We believe that making a difference in the lives of those today will influence the decisions we all make in the future, therefore bettering the lives of ourselves and those around us. We will be updating the information on the where and when very shortly so stay tuned! We hope to see you there!


What are the real benefits of softball?

benefits of softballBeing active in general is something everyone should do. Whether you participate in a sport, go swimming, work out at the gym, or go for a run every day, it’s part of a healthy lifestyle and leads to a better quality of life. We run an organization that focuses on softball, and we couldn’t think of anything else we’d rather be a part of.

There are so many benefits of this sport that we think everyone should take advantage of. First and foremost, the exercise you get from playing one game is more than you think. You’re running, swinging, throwing, all while basically just having fun and focusing on the game, When you are thinking about working out, it can be a bit daunting and hard to get motivated. That’s why sports are such a great way to get you and your kids active. You use every part of your body while playing softball, making it such a great sport. Something else we try to encourage in our teams is healthy, balanced eating. If you eat greasy, fatty, or sugary foods, it can only decrease your energy level and lower the amount of fun you can have during practice or games. Everyone that is eating healthy in out Philadelphia teams have told us how amazing they feel during and after playing. They aren’t as tired, weak and exhausted as they used to be, as well as just having more energy while playing and being able to perform better! This has come from teens as well as parents of younger kids, and we think the combination of softball and healthy eating makes for a great, healthy child.

Along with physical health, mental health is a big part of what we focus on with the sport. Being socially active is just as important as physical activity. Having somewhere to go outside of school, where groups and cliques can be harder to socialize with, we offer a place where similar people can connect, as well as a place for new faces to be accepted and included. Since we have all sorts of events and days where lots of the teams come together, kids can make friends on and off their own team which helps in a feeling of unity and lets them explore their own social abilities. If they are just stuck with the same dozen people all the time, it can really limit who they meet and the exposure to other types of kids. Softball is so wonderful for bringing kids together and creating the best of friends.

We do our very best to bring everyone together and create such a positive, active, and inclusive community. We’ve noticed that the energy of everyone involved skyrockets when we bring them all together. Having positive energy to be around can make a huge difference in someones life, allowing them to see the lighter side of things and embrace the positive of life. If you’re thinking of enrolling your child or teen in a sport around Philadelphia, we believe softball to be one of the very best options you can choose!