Challenging the core for baseball

Dr. Stuart McGill is a professor at the University of Waterloo and a renowned lecturer in spine function. He’s specifically known in lumbar spine training where he popularized the “McGill Big Three”. 

The “McGill Big Three” are comprised of the Curl Up, the Side Plank and the Bird Dog. 

Movement wise they would be listed as anti-flexion/extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti-rotation. 

While these may be good exercises to start with athletes at young training ages, they may not be the best fit for athletes at higher training ages. 

Working with athletes at higher levels

With more advanced athletes, we should look to challenge the core through load and movement of the rib cage and pelvis.

During sport, the body needs to flex, extend, laterally flex and rotate.

It doesn’t do you a whole lot of good in terms of transfer to sport if we aren’t allowing our rectus abdominus and obliques to create movement at the rib cage and pelvis.

Here are some of my go to exercises for challenging the core for baseball:

Flexion/ Extension: 

Reverse Crunches, Cable Crunches, Hanging Knee Tucks and Ab Rollouts.

Challenging the core for baseball through various exercises.

Lateral Flexion: 

DB Side Bends, Side Plank Hip Dips and 45 Degree Side Bends. 

Challenging the core for baseball through lateral flexion.


Cable Chop Variations and Cable Rotations

Challenging the core for baseball through rotation.

Choosing effective core work can also directly increase ranges of motion at the shoulders, hips and spine. 

Stay tuned for our next blog post on this topic.

Looking for more insight? Check out “How to get the most out of your offseason training” here