As a former baseball player, I experienced probably every warm-up drill you could imagine. These drills include your basic static stretches to running football routes.
As I got older, I took warm-up time more seriously, not because I battled with injuries, but because I knew my body needed it to perform.
Today, many coaches dedicate little time to their athletes’ warm-up period.
This preparation does not need to be 45 minutes long; however, it is not something to brush over.
The first time an athlete rotates or moves dynamically should not be with a bat or ball in their hands.
A quality baseball warmup should include total body work and hit all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal and transverse). Start more static and progressively become more dynamic as the warm-up continues.
For example, start with basic breathing patterns on the ground.
Then work towards a standing position where rotation begins to be introduced. Move into dynamic work, which includes rotations as well. Ideally, finish with the athletes performing a 100% sprint.
By the time the warmup is finished, the athlete’s body should feel ready to make high-velocity movements.
Pre-throwing routine for pitchers and position players
Next, ALL baseball players should transition to their pre-throwing routine. Both pitchers and position players should prioritize this.
If you look how many throws pitchers make compared to a position player throughout practice, position players are significantly higher.
Think about it, from playing catch, to bunt defense, to in and out, to live feeds during BP, to scrimmages, there are a lot.
Pitchers throw plyo balls, have catch play, and throw a bullpen or in-game, if the day calls for it.
Position players deserve the same focused time toward pre-throw arm care as the pitchers.
If an athlete’s warm-up time is taken to full advantage, by the time the drill or segment of practice starts, all athletes should be able to perform at 100%.
Keep in mind, there are no “bad” individual warm-up exercises. However, the baseball warmup as a whole must be laid out properly and be executed correctly by the players to be effective.
It’s time to end mediocre movement on the field, due to the athlete not being ready and warm.
Looking for more info on how to improve throwing output? Check out Director of Throwing Simon Mathew’s article here.