22 Best Leg Workouts for Pitchers

Leg Workouts for Pitchers

Pitchers require powerful legs for stability, to push off the mound, and to generate high-speed pitches.

Here, we will discuss 22 workouts designed specifically for baseball players to have strong legs. Including squats, lunges, and plyometric exercises, they target all the vital lower body muscles. Incorporating these into your routine can result in noticeable improvements in your pitching performance.

Let’s dive in to build those pitcher-perfect legs.

Why are Strong Legs Important for Pitchers?

Strong legs are essential for pitchers in baseball because they provide a solid foundation for generating power and velocity in their pitches.

The legs play a crucial role in the pitching motion, transferring force from the lower body to the upper body and ultimately propelling the ball towards the plate.

Here are a few reasons why strong legs are important for pitchers:

  1. Increased Velocity: Leg strength directly influences the speed at which a pitcher can throw the ball. When the legs are strong, pitchers can generate more power and push off the rubber with greater force, resulting in higher pitch velocities. Research has shown that stronger legs contribute to increased throwing velocity, allowing pitchers to throw faster and more effectively.
  2. Injury Prevention: Pitching puts a significant amount of stress on the arm and shoulder. However, having strong legs helps distribute that force throughout the body, reducing the strain on the throwing arm. By utilizing the legs to generate power, pitchers can protect their arms from overuse injuries and maintain a healthier throwing motion.
  3. Consistency and Control: Strong legs provide stability and balance during the pitching motion. Pitchers with weak legs may struggle with maintaining control and accuracy in their throws. By building leg strength, pitchers can enhance their stability on the mound and improve their overall command of the ball.

Best Workouts for Pitchers – Lower Body Exercises for Baseball Players

As a pitcher in baseball, having a strong lower body is essential for maximizing performance and preventing injuries.

The legs play a crucial role in generating power, velocity, and stability during the pitching motion.

Hence, if you want to be a high-performing pitcher like Julio Urias, Jacob deGrom, or Zack Wheeler, below are twenty two recommended lower body workouts and exercises tailored specifically for pitchers:

Squats for Pitchers

squats-for-pitchers

Squats are a fundamental exercise that can greatly benefit pitchers in developing strong legs.

They play a crucial role in enhancing lower body strength, power, and stability, which are essential for generating speed and velocity during the pitching motion.

Below are some squat variations for pitchers:

1) Back Squat

The back squat is a popular variation that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

To perform a back squat:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell resting on your upper back.
  2. Bend your knees and lower your hips down as if sitting back into a chair.
  3. Keep your chest up and your back straight throughout the movement.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

2) Front Squat

The front squat places more emphasis on the quadriceps and core muscles.

To do a front squat:

  1. Hold the barbell in front of your shoulders, resting on your fingertips with your elbows high.
  2. Position your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  3. Lower yourself into a squat by bending your knees and hips while keeping your chest up.
  4. Push through your heels to rise back up.

3) Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is a beginner-friendly squat variation that helps improve squat form and engages the legs and core.

To do a goblet squat:

  1. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest with both hands.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lower yourself into a squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
  4. Keep your chest up and maintain a neutral spine.
  5. Press through your heels to return to the starting position.

Remember to start with lighter weights and focus on maintaining proper form before increasing the load. It’s also important to warm up before performing squats and listen to your body to avoid injury.

Lunges to have Stronger Legs for Pitchers

lunges-workout-for-pitchers

Lunges are another excellent exercise for pitchers as they work multiple muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles.

Performing below lunge variations help pitchers improve balance, stability, and overall lower body strength.

4) Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is highly recommended for pitchers as it helps build a strong foundation.

To perform a reverse lunge:

  1. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take a step backward with one leg and lower your body down until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keep your weight on your front heel and maintain an upright posture.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement with the other leg.

5) Front Lunge

Front lunges target the quadriceps and glutes.

To do a front lunge:

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a step forward with one leg, lowering your body until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keep your weight on your front heel and maintain an upright posture.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement with the other leg.

6) Lateral Lunge

Lateral lunges focus on the lateral hips, which can help improve injury prevention in baseball and softball.

To perform a lateral lunge:

  1. Begin by standing tall with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Shift your bodyweight to one side and bend that knee, keeping the other leg straight.
  3. Lower your body down as far as comfortable while maintaining good form.
  4. Push off the bent leg to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement on the other side.

Remember to perform lunges with proper form, maintaining an upright posture, and engaging the core muscles. Gradually increase the difficulty by adding weights or using resistance bands as you progress.

Deadlifts for Pitchers in Baseball

deadlifts-exercises-for-pitchers

Deadlifts are a powerful exercise that targets the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. It makes deadlifts a valuable addition to a pitcher’s conditioning regimen.

This exercise helps pitchers develop power, explosiveness, and stability in their lower body.

Deadlifting also has the added benefit of improving core strength, thereby enhancing balance and stability on the mound.

Below are different deadlift variations that pitchers can incorporate into their training routine:

7) Conventional Deadlift

The conventional deadlift is the most common variation and involves lifting the barbell from the floor with an overhand grip.

To perform a conventional deadlift:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Bend at the hips and knees, lowering your body down to grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Keep your back straight, chest up, and engage your core.
  4. Drive through your heels, extend your hips and knees simultaneously, and lift the barbell up until you reach a standing position.
  5. Lower the barbell back down to the starting position with control.

8) Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift has a wider stance and a narrower hand grip, which reduces the range of motion and places more emphasis on the hips and inner thigh muscles.

To perform a sumo deadlift:

  1. Place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing outward at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Grip the barbell with your hands inside your legs and your palms facing you.
  3. Keep your back straight, chest up, and engage your core.
  4. Drive through your heels, extend your hips and knees simultaneously, and lift the barbell up until you reach a standing position.
  5. Lower the barbell back down to the starting position with control.

9) Trap Bar Deadlift

The trap bar deadlift, also known as the hex bar deadlift, uses a specialized barbell that allows for a more upright torso position. This variation can be beneficial for pitchers who want to maintain a more vertical posture.

To perform a trap bar deadlift:

  1. Stand inside the trap bar, with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grip the handles of the trap bar, keeping your palms facing each other.
  3. Keep your back straight, chest up, and engage your core.
  4. Drive through your heels, extend your hips and knees simultaneously, and lift the trap bar up until you reach a standing position.
  5. Lower the trap bar back down to the starting position with control.

It’s important to note that selecting the right deadlift variation depends on individual factors and training goals. It’s recommended to seek guidance from a qualified strength and conditioning coach or a healthcare professional to determine which deadlift variation is suitable for your specific needs.

Plyometrics for Pitchers

Plyometrics-for-Pitchers

Plyometrics, often referred to as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises focused on increasing speed, power, and explosivity.

These dynamic movements use the strength, elasticity, and innervation of muscles to generate maximum force in a minimal timeframe.

They’re a staple in many athletic training programs due to their efficacy in improving sports performance.

Incorporating plyometric exercises into a pitcher’s training routine can significantly enhance lower body power and explosiveness.

Below are some plyometric workout variations to incorporate into pitchers’ fitness routine:

10) Box Jump

Box Jumps are an excellent plyometric exercise for building explosive power, enhancing agility, and improving overall athletic performance. They primarily target the lower body muscles — quads, glutes, and calves.

Here’s how to execute a box jump correctly and safely:

  1. Find a sturdy box or platform at a height suitable for your fitness level.
  2. Stand facing the box with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and swing your arms back.
  4. Explosively jump onto the box, extending your hips, knees, and ankles.
  5. Land softly on the box with both feet, using your leg muscles to absorb the impact.
  6. Step down carefully and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

11) Medicine Ball Throws

Medicine Ball Throws are another fantastic plyometric exercise that can help a pitcher to have stronger legs. This workout primarily focuses on the upper body and core, enhancing the throwing power necessary for pitchers.

Here’s how to do this powerful exercise correctly:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball at chest height.
  2. Squat down, then explosively extend your hips and knees while simultaneously throwing the medicine ball forward.
  3. Aim for maximum distance or height depending on the exercise variation.
  4. Catch the medicine ball or retrieve it and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

12) Lateral Bounds

Lateral bounds are a dynamic plyometric exercise that boosts lateral speed, agility, and explosive power – all crucial for a pitcher’s performance. Emphasizing on the glutes, quads, and calves, this workout enhances lateral movements and balance.

Here’s how to get started with lateral bounds:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, slightly bending your knees.
  2. Shift your weight onto one leg and explosively leap sideways, pushing off with the inside leg.
  3. Land on the opposite leg with control, absorbing the impact.
  4. Immediately explode back in the opposite direction, repeating the bound.
  5. Perform the desired number of repetitions on each leg.

13) Depth Jumps

Depth jumps are a high-intensity plyometric exercise that enhances leg strength, velocity, and explosive power. Designed to improve the reaction time of your leg muscles, they are an excellent workout for any pitcher aiming to increase their pitching speed.

Here’s how to effectively perform depth jumps:

  1. Stand on a sturdy elevated platform or box.
  2. Step off the platform and land softly on the ground with both feet, focusing on proper landing mechanics.
  3. As soon as you land, immediately jump vertically or horizontally, aiming for maximum height or distance.
  4. Repeat the depth jump and subsequent jump for the desired number of repetitions.

It’s important to note that plyometric exercises should be performed with proper technique and progression to minimize the risk of injury.

Start with lower intensity and gradually increase the intensity and complexity as your strength and power improve.

Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance-Band-Exercises-for-Baseball-Pitchers

Resistance band exercises are an effective, low-impact alternative to weightlifting that can significantly improve a pitcher’s strength and flexibility.

These versatile tools offer the advantage of light, portable training equipment that can be used anywhere.

Here are different variations of resistance band exercises for pitchers:

14) Throwing Motion

Resistance band exercises are particularly beneficial for baseball pitchers, helping them to strengthen the muscles used in throwing, increase their throwing velocity, and reduce the likelihood of injury. The “Throwing Motion” exercise, which mimics the arm action of a pitch, is especially effective.

Here’s how to perform this exercise for optimal results:

  1. Attach a resistance band to a sturdy anchor point or have a partner hold it.
  2. Stand with your side facing the anchor point, holding the resistance band with your throwing arm.
  3. Assume your pitching stance and go through your throwing motion while resisting against the band.
  4. Focus on maintaining proper mechanics and control throughout the exercise.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to the other side.

15) Banded Victory

This resistance band exercise is ideal for strengthening the shoulder and upper back muscles, which are essential for a powerful pitch. It also helps improve posture, a key factor in maintaining balance and proper throwing mechanics during pitching.

Check out how to perform the Banded Victory exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a resistance band in front of you at chest height.
  2. Keep your elbows slightly bent and palms facing down.
  3. Pull the band apart by squeezing your shoulder blades together, creating a “victory” or “W” shape with your arms.
  4. Hold the contraction briefly, then slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

16) Banded Good Mornings

The Banded Good Mornings exercise is a versatile resistance band activity that primarily targets your posterior chain, which includes the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It’s a fantastic tool to strengthen these areas, all critical for achieving the power and stability necessary for effective pitching.

Here’s how to do this exercise right:

  1. Stand on the middle of a resistance band, holding the ends of the band at shoulder height.
  2. Keep your feet hip-width apart and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your glutes back while keeping your back straight.
  4. Engage your hamstrings and glutes to return to a standing position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

17) Banded Lat Stretch

The Banded Lat Stretch is an essential exercise for baseball pitchers, focusing on the latissimus dorsi muscle, a significant player in the pitching motion. This stretch improves flexibility and range of motion, key elements for an effective and injury-free pitch.

Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Attach a resistance band to a high anchor point.
  2. Stand facing the anchor point, grab the resistance band with one hand, and extend your arm overhead.
  3. Step away from the anchor point to create tension in the band.
  4. Lean your upper body to the opposite side, feeling a stretch along the side of your body.
  5. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

18) Band Pull-Aparts

Band Pull-Aparts are a simple but effective exercise for strengthening your scapular muscles and posterior deltoids, which are crucial for a pitcher’s stability and strength. This exercise promotes better posture and shoulder health, essential for a long and successful pitching career.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise correctly:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a resistance band in front of you with both hands.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and palms facing down.
  3. Pull the band apart by squeezing your shoulder blades together, bringing your hands out to the sides.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining tension in the band.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

In brief, using resistance bands can add an extra challenge to lower body workouts for pitchers. Exercising these variations help activate and strengthen the hip abductor and glute muscles, which are crucial for stability and power during the pitching motion.

Single-Leg Exercises for Baseball Pitchers

Single-Leg-Exercises-for-Baseball-Pitchers

Single-leg exercises are essential for baseball pitchers to enhance their stability and power. Incorporating these exercises into your training routine can provide superior balance, improve unilateral strength, and reduce the risk of injuries.

Here are different variations of single-leg exercises that can be included in a pitcher’s workout routine:

19) Single-Leg Bulgarian Split Squat

The Single-Leg Bulgarian Split Squat is a powerful exercise that targets the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, while also improving balance and stability. This exercise is especially beneficial for pitchers, who need a strong lower body for a powerful pitching performance.

Here’s how you can perform this exercise with correct form:

  1. Stand with your back to a knee-high bench or box.
  2. Place one foot on the bench behind you, while keeping your front foot planted firmly on the ground.
  3. Lower your body down by bending your front knee, making sure it stays aligned with your toes.
  4. Continue lowering until your back knee is almost touching the ground.
  5. Push through your front foot to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching legs.

20) Single-Leg Box Jump

A robust exercise that puts an emphasis on explosiveness and power is the Single-Leg Box Jump. This activity targets the lower body muscles and improves balance, both of which are crucial for a pitcher’s performance.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to execute this exercise with correct form:

  1. Stand in front of a knee-high box or platform.
  2. Balance on one leg while slightly bending the knee.
  3. Explosively jump onto the box, extending your hip, knee, and ankle.
  4. Land softly on the box with the same leg, using your leg muscles to absorb the impact.
  5. Step down carefully and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching legs.

21) Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

The Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift is an excellent exercise for strengthening the posterior chain, which comprises the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. These muscles add power to your pitch and contribute to overall stability, making the Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift a worthy addition to your training routine.

Follow to the below steps to do it the right way:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Shift your weight onto one leg while slightly bending the knee.
  3. Hinge forward at the hips, extending your other leg straight behind you.
  4. Keep your back straight and core engaged as you lower your upper body toward the ground, allowing your extended leg to rise.
  5. Once your torso and leg are parallel to the ground (or as far as you can comfortably go), return to the starting position by engaging your glutes and hamstrings.
  6. Repeat on the opposite leg.

22) Single-Leg Lunges

An essential component of a well-rounded training routine, Single-Leg Lunges target a range of muscles, including quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Not only do they improve lower-body strength, but they also enhance balance, mobility, and stability, crucial for optimal pitching performance.

Below are the exact steps you need to follow:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a step forward with one leg and lower your body by bending both knees, making sure your front knee stays aligned with your toes.
  3. Continue lowering until your back knee is almost touching the ground.
  4. Push through your front foot to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching legs.

Improve your lower body strength to enhance your pitching performance!

How to Incorporate these Baseball Pitcher Workouts into Your Routine?

Incorporating these baseball pitcher workouts into your routine requires a balanced approach and careful planning.

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand your current fitness level and not rush into intense workouts that could lead to injury. For beginners, start with lower repetitions of each exercise, gradually increasing as your strength and endurance improve. Intermediate and advanced athletes can incorporate more repetitions and additional weight, focusing on maintaining correct form to ensure optimal results.

Diversify your training by doing different exercises each day, allowing for rest periods to facilitate muscle recovery.

Remember, consistency is key.

Regular workouts, accompanied by proper rest and nutrition, will significantly enhance your pitching performance.

What are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid when doing Leg Workouts for Pitchers?

When it comes to leg workouts for pitchers, it’s crucial to avoid certain common mistakes to ensure optimal performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Here are some key mistakes to steer clear of:

  1. Poor Form: Maintaining proper form and technique is essential during leg exercises. This includes aligning your knees with your toes, keeping your back straight, and engaging the targeted muscles correctly. Poor form can lead to ineffective workouts and increased strain on the joints.
  2. Neglecting Hamstrings and Glutes: Pitchers often focus on developing their quadriceps, but neglecting the hamstrings and glutes can lead to muscle imbalances and decreased overall lower body strength. Incorporate exercises like Romanian deadlifts, glute bridges, and hamstring curls to ensure balanced leg development.
  3. Overemphasizing Machine Exercises: While leg machines like the leg press and leg extension have their place, relying solely on these machines can limit functional strength gains. It’s important to include compound exercises such as squats, lunges, and step-ups that engage multiple muscle groups and promote better overall athleticism.
  4. Not Training Legs Frequently Enough: Some pitchers may prioritize upper body training and neglect leg workouts. However, neglecting leg training can limit power generation and stability. Aim to include dedicated leg workouts at least twice a week to maintain balanced strength and conditioning.
  5. Skipping Isolation Exercises: While compound exercises should be the foundation of your leg workouts, isolating specific leg muscles can help address weaknesses and imbalances. Incorporate exercises like leg curls, calf raises, and lateral lunges to target specific muscle groups and enhance overall leg strength.
  6. Going Too Heavy Too Soon: Gradual progression is key in leg workouts. Avoid the mistake of using excessively heavy weights before mastering proper form and building a solid foundation. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as your strength and technique improve.

By avoiding these common mistakes, pitchers can develop strong and resilient legs, enhancing their performance on the mound.

FAQs about Pitchers Leg Workouts

How Often Should Pitchers Incorporate Leg Workouts into their Training Routine?

Pitchers should ideally incorporate leg workouts into their training routine 2-3 times per week. This frequency allows for adequate recovery periods between sessions, essential for muscle growth and strength development. However, it’s vital to listen to your body and adjust as necessary to avoid overtraining.

Can Pitchers with a History of Leg Injuries Still Benefit from these Workouts?

Yes, pitchers with a history of leg injuries can still benefit from these workouts. However, they should engage in training under professional supervision and may need to modify certain exercises. It’s crucial to consult with a physical therapist or trainer to develop a safe and effective workout plan.

How Long does it Typically Take to See Improvements in Leg Strength and Pitching Performance?

Improvements in leg strength and pitching performance vary from individual to individual, largely dependent on frequency of training, intensity, nutrition, and rest. Typically, with consistent workouts, noticeable changes can be seen in as little as 4-6 weeks. However, significant improvement usually takes several months of consistent, progressive training.

Are There any Age-specific Considerations for Young Pitchers doing Leg Workouts?

Yes, age-specific considerations are crucial for young pitchers. They should focus on exercises that enhance overall athletic development and mobility rather than isolated muscle training. It’s also vital to ensure proper form and technique to avoid injuries at a young age.

What are Some Signs of Overtraining or Pushing too Hard with Leg Workouts?

Signs of overtraining with leg workouts include persistent muscle soreness, decreased performance despite increased training, disturbed sleep, and a higher susceptibility to injuries and illnesses.

Conclusion

To excel as a pitcher in baseball, it is essential to prioritize lower body strength and power. Incorporating above mentioned exercises into a regular training routine can greatly benefit pitchers by increasing velocity, stability, and overall performance on the mound.

Remember to consult with a qualified strength and fitness coach to tailor these exercises to your specific needs and abilities.

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