There is no one method to build strength, because the term strength itself is ambiguous. A well built gymnast, an incredibly strength dependent sport, will pale in size and muscle development of a professional body builder, a sprinter will be leaner than a football fullback, although they both run for a living.
One method of exercise which has increased in recent years is the usage of kinetic or resistance bands, as a way to maximize workout results. This is not a new concept as isometrics, basically the same thing as far providing resistance, has been used for years. Springs and large elastic bands have been incorporated into workout routines since the 1900s or earlier.
However, with today's increased technology and the wide variety of synthetic materials available, the kinetic bands which can be utilized have been greatly increased to accommodate nearly every sport we play, baseball included.
The main advantage these bands provide is the ability to provide the benefits of resistance training, while performing the actual physical performance motions you are trying to improve. This serves to not only strengthen the targeted muscles, but re-enforces muscle and neurological memory, which further decreases reaction time, thus increasing performance.
Technique and strength training drills, utilizing kinetic bands, can be incorporated into a training regiment which will increase your speed. For this drill you would need resistance bands connected in such a way as to give resistance when you raise your knees towards your chest.
Sample Drill Procedure: Concentrate more on technique than speed of your sprints. Your upper body should be erect, straight over your hips, do not lean forward. Lift your knees as high as you can towards your chest as you run.
Increasing Range: The first step is always critical in attaining maximum speed as quickly as possible, thus increasing your chances of reaching balls hit deep in the hole or behind the base. The speed and the explosive power of that first step can be enhanced by performing drills while bands are attached to your affected body part.
Sample Drill Procedure: Attach the bands to each ankle providing resistance while you attempt to open your legs wider. Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, shuffle sideways extending your left leg sideways then bringing your right leg to meet it. When finished repeat using the opposite leg going the opposite direction.
This exercise will increase hip flexor strength, a major muscle for increasing lower body quickness, and when resistance is removed, the legs will react quicker, which will also affect the cross over step as it will become explosive allowing more ground to be covered in less time.
Strengthen Legs for Hitting & Pitching:
Sample Drill Procedure: Attach bands to both legs. Perform a normal wind up and delivery as well as a stretch and delivery. Hold at every stage for several seconds (example: leg lift, leg plant) building strength in every muscle required to perform each portion of the windup and delivery, enhancing performance.
Sample Drill Procedure: Attach bands to both ankles. Perform your normal hitting techniques, Starting Mechanism, Stride Forward, Open Hips and follow through with your swing. For maximum performance hit balls off a Tee while performing this drill.
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