When it comes to playing sports, you can often injure yourself. It may be a contact team sport and you get hit with a tackle, it may be a solo sport and you could overreach and pull a muscle. It is for that reason, why professional athletes ensure there are a number of activities they follow before and after playing a game, in order to minimise the risk they have of becoming injured.
Baseball is one such sport where professional athletes have set exercises they practice in order to prolong their playing careers. And these exercises are good for players of all levels to practice, because it doesn’t matter if you’re a star whose baseball odds have him tipped to win a MLB championship, or if you’re an amateur kid in the pee wee league, because injuries can happen to anyone. So it’s always best to ensure you stay fit when playing.
And right now, we’re going to take a look at some of the best things you can do as a baseball player to help you stay fit.
Stretching and warm up
One of the most important things to do before playing any sport, nevermind just baseball, is stretching and warming up. Stretching helps to flex your muscles, and a short jog on the spot mixed with other exercises are good to get the heart pumping. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to injure yourself as you’re preparing your body.
If you didn’t do either of these things, and your body hasn’t been stretched and you begin playing without getting the blood pumping, it could have serious effects. You could potentially pull a muscle, you may find it harder to breath, especially in colder weather, and you could also find yourself getting a cramp or stitch due to a build-up of lactic acid around your muscles.
Think about body mechanics
Another tip to help with staying fit, is to learn the correct way to throw, bat and catch. And no, we don’t just mean learning to connect the ball with the bat or how to stretch your arm to help your glove cradle the ball. There are actual techniques you should follow for each position in baseball and they’re all based around the mechanics of your body.
For example, when it comes to throwing the ball, whether that be by the pitcher or one of the fielders, they should first get their stance right. This would be that eyes remain up and fixed on their target with their head straight, and their shoulder is in line with the intended destination of the ball. Then, as the thrower pulls the ball back to throw it, their lead foot should fix into the ground, pointing in the same direction as they want to throw.
Then, as they go to throw the ball, they should twist with their torso to help them build momentum when twisting back to throw the ball, whilst keeping their arm at a 90-degree angle. Their grip should be tight but not uncomfortable on the ball, and should be used to help add any required spin to the ball when releasing it.
By doing all of this, it helps to prevent injuries because this is the tested method for baseball players that requires the least stress on the body. The more stress applied, the quicker the body breaks down, and the more likely injuries are to occur. So ensuring that you learn to perform your duties properly, will really help with you staying fit.
Once you’ve finished playing, whether it be competitively or for fun with friends, it is important to cool down. This means more stretching, and some slow cool down exercises to help bring the heart rate down. Breathing exercises are also great for this too, and can be used as you stretch out your body.
By doing this, you help your body to recover more quickly, and more healthily, as you’re not going from pushing it to an extreme, to completely stopping and possibly putting your body into shock. Instead, you are allowing your body to slowly return back to a resting heart rate and bringing oher metrics down over time, which will aid you in recovery, and prevent any after game injuries occurring.
And there you have it, just a few quick tips about how you can help yourself stay fit playing baseball. And it’s not just for pro athletes, this stuff works for amateurs too, for people of all ages and skill levels. So make sure you follow these tips and keep your body in tip top shape. And who knows, maybe working on the body metrics may even improve your game.
Featured Image Source: Brittanica