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The pulse

05/15/2012

3 Core Exercises for Softball Players

by Mike Rojas

Lauren Sweet Softball Pic 3 Core Exercises for Softball Players
One of the best ways to increase power in your softball swing is to implement core strength training in your workouts. Know the difference between core training and abdominal work, because it could determine whether you become a dominant athlete or an injured one.

The core covers everything from the mid-torso (diaphragm) to the hip flexors, and it includes the abdominals, obliques and spinal erectors. To become a stronger, more explosive athlete, you need to train the front, back and sides of your core, not just your abs.

Below, I share three of the best exercises for developing the total core strength necessary for a more powerful swing. All of the exercises can be done two to three times per week at the end of a training session. During the season, do them with light weights only once a week and avoid them on game days.

Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing

  • Start with a kettlebell or dumbbell light enough for proper form but heavy enough to provide a challenge
  • Maintain flat back, retracted scaps and a tight grip throughout exercise
  • Hinge at hips, not knees, and swing weight to shoulder height, using lower body to propel weight
  • Exhale during upward motion and inhale during downward motion

Sets/Reps: 4×5-10

Med Ball Side Pass

  • Start on non-dominant side to balance core strength
  • Position body perpendicular to wall with kneesĀ bent and eyes focused on target
  • Shift weight from rear to front foot as you toss med ball
  • Extend arms as you release ball

Sets/Reps: 2-3×5 each side

Kettlebell Windmill

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and hold light dumbbell or kettlebell overhead
  • Breathe in on way down and try to touch floor between feet
  • Breathe out on way up
  • Keep knees slightly bent throughout exercise
  • Perform with no weight until flexibility and balance are established

Sets/Reps: 4×5-8 each side


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