Top 10 Core Workouts for Softball Players

If you’re a softball player looking to improve your performance, working on your core strength can pay huge dividends. But there’s a common misconception out there that the core is made up of just the abs, and that doing a dozen or so sit-ups is a sufficient core workout. This is completely misguided thinking because the core actually includes the

  • Pelvic Floor/Pelvic Diaphragm
  • Transversus Abdominis
  • Multifidus
  • Internal Obliques
  • External Obliques
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Erector Spinae
  • Longissimus Thoracis
  • Quadratus Lumborum
  • Deep Rotator Group (6 muscles in and around the hip)
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi

Needless to say, a strong core can make or break a softball talent, just like it can make or break your overall health. But what workouts can you do to improve your core strength? Well, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 Best Core Workouts for Softball Players. From kettlebell swings to lateral sliding lunges, there’s bound to be a workout that’s perfect for you.

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How Does a Strong Core Aid Softball Performance?

But before reading about any specific exercises, you may first want to know why these workouts would be of benefit. Three words: the kinematic sequence.

The kinematic sequence is the concept that force and power come from the ground up. When you’re hitting, pitching, base running, or throwing, your musculature works best when it’s timed to create rotational velocity. In other words, the more fluidly you transfer energy from body part to body part, the better the body works as a whole. Having a well-timed kinematic sequence can drastically improve all aspects of your softball game, and it’s the core that works as a facilitator and connective tissue.

Here are some of the benefits of having a sound kinematic sequence and consequently a sound core:

  1. Decreased lower back pain or stiffness
  2. Bodily deceleration when throwing or rotating forcefully
  3. Improved sports performance
  4. Improved stability
  5. Improved mobility
  6. Increased power production and explosion
  7. Increased strength for your lifting program
  8. Increased endurance

Now that you know the benefits of a strong core, let’s get concrete.

10 Core Workouts for Softball Players

1. Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing

Here’s a good one to start things off with. You should use a kettlebell (or a dumbbell) light enough for proper form but heavy enough to give you a challenge. A flat back should be maintained throughout, along with a tight grip. Using your lower body to propel the weights, you should hinge at the hips and not the knees, and swing the kettlebell to about shoulder height. Make sure to exhale during the upward motion and to inhale during the downward motion. In terms of sets and reps, you should aim for 4×5-10.

core workouts for softball players - kettleball

2. Med Ball Side Pass

The next workout has zero barrier to entry––that is, besides twenty bucks for a med ball and enough space to work out in. In an effort to balance core strength, you should start on your non-dominant side. The body should be positioned perpendicularly to the wall you’re using, and your knees should stay bent and your eyes focused on the target. Here’s the crucial bit: you need to shift your weight from rear to front foot as you toss the med ball, extending out your arms as the ball releases. Sets/Reps: 2-3×5 each side.

3. Kettlebell Windmill

Here’s another great kettlebell workout. First, stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart, holding your kettlebell of choice overhead. On your way down, breathe in and try to touch the floor between your feet; on the way up, breathe out. Throughout the entire exercise, you should keep your knees slightly bent. And if you’re having trouble at the start, you can perform this exercise without weight until you’ve established the right flexibility and balance. Sets/Reps: 4×5-8 on each side

4. The Goblet Squat

Though it might not seem like it, squats are actually great for the core. The best, safest, and easiest squat for beginners is without a doubt the goblet squat. If you haven’t squatted much before, you should start off light with a 15lb weight. Once you’ve learned the form, you can add weight, though for softball purposes there’s no need to go over 45lbs. Do this for 10 reps. In addition to solidifying the core, this squat also helps softball players build strong legs, hit harder, sprint faster, and improves throw velocity.

core workouts for softball players - Goblet Squat

5. Plank

Though it may seem basic, this is an essential exercise for any softball player. For one, the plank engages more muscles in your lower abdomen and obliques than either crunches or sit-ups. And it’s simple: you start in the same position you would for a push-up, with your hands flat and shoulder-length apart on the floor. All you have to do is lift your body so that your back, hips, and legs jut out in a straight line. You then hold the position for about a minute, or however long you can without shaking.

core workouts for softball platers - planking

6. Modified Sit-Up

Basic but essential. This variation is especially good for helping protect the spine from injury. You know the drill: start in the sit-up position. The only difference between this and the classic sit-up is that you place your hands flat on the floor underneath your lower back, supporting your spine. You then bend your knees, lifting your head only a few inches off the floor.

core workouts for softball players - Modified Sit-ups

7. Bird Dog

This is a modified plank exercise that helps with balance, coordination, and strength. You start on your hands and knees, palms flat on the floor and a shoulder-width apart. Your right arm slowly lifts and your left leg sticks straight out until they can form an imaginary line from your big toe to the tip of your fingers. Slowly bring your arm and leg back to the starting position after five seconds, and then do the same as before with the other arm and leg. You can repeat this for up to a minute, or till you begin shaking.

core workouts for softball players - Bird Dog

8. Loaded Carries

This is an amazing all-in-one workout. All you do is walk upright holding weights. Really, that’s it. Simple but effective because it improves core and hip stability, upper-body strength, grip strength, and helps build bicep and shoulder muscle. But be mindful of your proximity to game time because loaded carries are hard on the grip. You should also take a day or two off from hitting after you do them so they don’t mess with your swing mechanics.

core workouts for softball players - Loaded Carries

9. Dead Bug

This one is simple yet effective. First, lie on your back with your arms extended straight up, and then lift your legs and bend your knees at 90°. Next, you activate your core by drawing your belly toward your spine and push your lower back into the floor. You should exhale as your right arm slowly lowers to the floor behind your head, and then extend your left leg so that both are just above the floor. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position, but do this while keeping your head touching the floor. Tricky, right? You can repeat with the opposite arm and leg, alternating sides with each rep. You can keep at it until you begin shaking.

core workouts for softball players - Dead Bug

10. PureTorque

We’re saving the best for last. The most effective core workout there isn’t so much a workout as it is a product––the incredible core workout equipment known as PureTorque. Developed by a certified personal trainer with over twenty years of core training experience, this remarkable training device works by targeting every muscle in your core to maximize rotational performance, core strength, and stability. Differing from other core rotation exercises, PureTorque directs force straight to the core, which translates to the most potent, efficient, and least injury aggravating workout.

It’s almost unbelievable how quickly you’ll see your on-field play improve with PureTorque. Your core will muscle-up, your swing will feel more balanced, and you’ll be able to rotate for diving stops and epic throws with much more fluidity. You heard it here first: PureTorque is the workout for you.

core workouts for softball players - PureTorque

 

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