Find a League In Your Area
By Jennifer Davies, Contributing Nutritionist
is a year-round sport these days. The reason for this is training, and
this aspect oftentimes doesn’t even include picking up a bat or a ball.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see a healthy hunk of the nearly 14 million Americans playing baseball or softball hitting the gym in the off-season to keep their bodies in good shape in anticipation for the next season or tournament. One of the best ways for a baseball player keep in good conditions is by turning to another sport – cycling.
Why Cycling Can Help
primary function in baseball training is to maintain a solid level of
conditioning. The better conditioned an athlete is when baseball season
starts up, the quicker they can jump into baseball’s routine. What’s
more, the player will be capable of performing at an optimal level more
goal is similar to other forms of conditioning exercises that baseball
players can use, such as running, rowing, or going on an elliptical.
However, there is one key differentiator that separates cycling from
other conditioning options: injury minimization.
A cycle’s design and mechanics allows players to maintain conditioning
while minimizing the risk of secondary injuries such as shoulder or back
Cycling and Muscle Groups
Cycling protects muscle groups that players need to perform by focusing their energies elsewhere. For instance, a pitcher can hop on a bike and exercise knowing
that he’s not going to inadvertently tweak his pitching arm or wrench
his shoulder. However, this doesn’t mean that important muscles aren’t
cycling uses leg power to work. While leg muscles may not be the muscle
group that grabs the attention in baseball – bats aren’t swung, and
pitches aren’t thrown by legs – strong leg muscles are important for
some of the nuanced movements involved with success, such as properly
shifting weight in the midst of a swing to properly transfer momentum. A
stronger set of legs will make these nuances more effective.
Not a Replacement
With all that being said, cycling should be looked at as just one part of a baseball conditioning regiment. Off-season
training should include exercises that do focus on movement associated
with baseball, which is known for requiring short bursts of speed to
track down a fly ball or to hustle down the first base line after making
contact with a ball. There are several repetitive exercises that a
baseball player can partake in that will keep that element of their game
in good shape.
inclusion of cycling into a workout regimen is a smart addition,
because it allows the player to do more than solely focus on these
"baseball skills.” In turn, this allows the player to save a little wear
and tear on the muscle groups they need for baseball. This could
ultimately serve them well during the course of a long season.
adding cycling to a baseball player’s conditioning routine allows them
to have a complete off-season workout. This could allow the player to be
completely ready for the beginning of the season, which is a great
thing. After all, nobody wants to "play themselves into shape.”