Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Better Baseball Core Training

Are Crunches A Waste Of Time For Baseball Players?

The Truth About Baseball Core Training Drills

By Jon Doyle MA, CSCS

The first thing someone does when attempting to get rock-hard abs is drop to the ground and begin to crunch away. Very few people enjoy performing crunches for their mid-section, but they do so in hopes of a great looking stomach and, if they are an athlete, great performance as well.

Of course I’m here to rain on the crunching parade. At best, crunches are a complete waste of time. At worst, crunches can lead to a myriad of injuries, most notably of the lower back and neck variety. I’ll say it now and believe me, I’ll say it again: crunches stink!

Just as I tell all of my baseball players who insist on performing hundreds of crunches each day in their baseball core training program…”If you’re on that position on the baseball field you’re not doing very well!”

Baseball Core Training Basics

Baseball is played standing up. So why anyone would train lying on their backs is beyond me. Crunches mainly work the outer layer of midsection called the rectus abdominals. While this is an important muscle group, training it directly won’t have much of an impact on athleticism or performance.

The real secret is training the muscles of the mid-section, or “core” as it’s widely promoted today, in ground-based (i.e standing up) movements. You throw, hit, field and run on your feet, why would you train on your back?

So in order to develop lightning-fast bat speed and a cannon for an arm you need to train the core muscles properly. And crunches are not the way to go.

And, baseball players have been known to fall in love with the crunch because they can “feel it working”. Hate to burst your bubble (again) but “feeling” something work and actually having it work is two different things. Don’t go by feeling or the “burn”. You’ll always end up disappointed.

Performing crunch after crunch will only lead to a muscular imbalance between your abs and your back, thus creating a very high risk of injury.

All of my baseball players perform baseball core training exercises such as the Turkish Get-Up, Windmill, Corkscrew, Squats, Deadlifts and the Olympic Lifts. Yes, these are baseball drills that will develop incredible core strength and leave you looking like a Greek-God to boot.

So get off your back, start standing up and watch your baseball performance soar!

For THE baseball core training program the pros really use, visit www.unbreakableabs.com

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