Let’s talk about baseball conditioning.

Athlete practicing baseball conditioning.

When it comes to working with athletes individually or in a team setting, we want nothing more than to improve their performance on the field. 

So, we must strive for this in every facet of training. 

Generally strength and speed are the main focuses, where baseball conditioning is often left behind. 

Coaches will resort to exercises such as poles and 300 yard shuttles, both which are classic forms of conditioning for baseball athletes. Both of these do not relate to the energy systems used in baseball.

Looking at the chart, we have three energy systems:

Baseball conditioning classification levels

The Phosphagen system (red) has a high demand on the CNS system and requires sufficient recovery time. e.g. sprints

In the Glycolytic system (yellow) there is too much stress put on the CNS to be used as recovery. But also not fast enough to use as speed work. e.g. 300 yd shuttles

The Oxidative system (blue) is where active recovery lies. Moving our body into a parasympathetic state, which enhances our recovery of the CNS. e.g. tempo runs or circuit training

Baseball athletes require the Phosphagen system day in and day out. Throughout the game at every position there are short explosive movements being made, followed by rest. 

Baseball athletes live in the 95-100% range. 

Why is conditioning work relevant to baseball then? 

Doing work in the oxidative system allows baseball athletes to recover quicker after their short explosive bouts. It allows them to be ready for that next pitch, play, or swing.

Aerobic work should be used on non-lifting days to aid in the recovery process. Athletes should aim for around 20-30 minutes to really get the most out of this as well. 

Activities including tempo runs and medicine ball circuits are used on recovery days, and allow us to be ready for that next high-intensity day.

Learn more about PUSH’s customized programs to accomplish your goals here.