Pre-game warm up is very important in any sport including baseball. When playing baseball, there are lots of muscles and joints that are in forward-backward movements, jumping, twisting and lateral movements. Due to this, it is necessary to ensure you warm up well before you start playing so that your body can be well prepared to stretch, jump and twist.
Read my article “How To Warm Up Before Baseball Game” below for more information
Arrive early for the game
If you want to warm up and exercise well before playing your favorite game of baseball, then you should arrive early for the game at least half an hour before the start of the game. Arriving early in the field presents players with an opportunity of familiarizing themselves with the field, playing eequipment and warm up accordingly.
Stretching and jogging
The first thing you should do when you are warming up is stretching so that the muscles become flexible. This prevents muscle injuries and straining while playing. While stretching, it is also necessary to jog and do other related exercises such as running for short distances.
Sprints are very important in pre-game warm ups when preparing to play a game of baseball. You should do 5-10 sprints to stimulate the action and energy you would like to have while playing. Sprints help in getting the core temperature of the body warmed up and also increases blood circulation and flow in the muscles. When sprinting, you can start at the number one (first) base line then proceed to the second base and sprint back and forth.
Knee lift exercises help in loosening the legs and hip flexors for better motion and movement while playing. Knee lifts are quite easy to do as you only need to stand in a stable position and lift the right leg up to the chest and lower it back to bring up the left leg. This exercise should be repeated for 3-6 times. The best thing about this exercise is that you can even do it while walking and jogging to stretch your muscles.
Playing catch is a specific warm up exercise for baseball. Playing catch aims at enhancing the player’s catching skills to catch the ball while playing. This exercise should be done in threes or more depending on your preferred formation. There should be two teams: one team should throw the ball while the other should catch it. The throwing team needs to ensure that they make accurate throws so that it becomes easy for the other team to catch the ball.
Before stepping into the field to play against the opponents, it is advisable to have some independent and alone time in the field for fielding practices. Infield and outfield practices should be the main focus in fielding practices. These practices not only build the confidence of the players but also prepare the players for competitive playing.
The main reason for pre-game warm ups is so that the body can be ready to play. Squats help in loosening up the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Additionally, squats also help in stretching your calf muscles thereby making it easy to run across the pitch/field while playing. The best way to do squat exercises is by bending your knees and lowering the body until the thighs are in a parallel position to the ground. After achieving this position, you should lift up in a controlled and repeat the same motion back and forth.
Pitcher warm up
Like other baseball players, the pitcher should also warm up prior to playing the game. The pitcher should warm up 5-10 minutes prior to the game. However, this time can be adjusted depending on the playing preferences of the pitcher. Generally, most pitchers take part in 10 pitches before getting into the field to play. It is necessary for coaches to develop pre-game routines for pitchers depending on the playing preferences of the players.
Warm up considerably
Warming up should be done considerably so that you do not warm up inadequately or warm up too much and end up getting too tired to play effectively. This is why it is necessary to ensure that you warm up selectively to prepare the body for a playing session and at the same time maintain the body in a fit state to play effectively. Avoid rigorous exercises that may injure or inflict pain to the muscles while warming up.
Do arm cross exercises
Arm cross exercises are great for loosening the rear shoulders and the chest. When doing these exercises, you should stand with the feet apart (shoulder width distance) and the arms stretched to the sides while crossing on the front part of the chest. Repeat this position for as many times as you want while interchanging the hands.
Arm circles are yet other types of exercises that help in loosening the shoulders and in relaxing chest muscles. To do arm circles, you just need to straighten the arms and swing them to the sides while making small circles with the hands in both directions. You can do 4-6 arm circle exercises while interchanging between small and medium size circles.
Stretching calf muscles
Calf muscles play a crucial and important role when playing baseball especially at the catcher’s and pitcher’s position. As such, they also need to be stretched for them to become flexible and relaxing while moving from one point to the other in the field. You should stretch both rights and left foot calf muscles equally.
Forward bend exercises
Forward bends are exclusively important pre-game warm up exercises not only when playing baseball but also when playing other sports. When doing forward bends, stand with your feet apart while stretching your hands and bend forward to touch your right foot with your left hand. Get up and use your the right hand to touch the left foot. Alternate this motion back and forth for up to 6 times or more.
Outfield drills with the ball
Outfielders should practice how to hit fly and ground balls before stepping into the field to compete. These practices help in enhancing the player’s hitting accuracy as well as the capability to aim at specific targets. It is advisable to practice with considerable speeds so that they reserve much of their energy for playing.
Before players get into the pitch to play baseball, it is important to motivate them and lift their spirits. This is primarily the work of the coach but the players can also motivate each other by themselves. This helps in building confidence and encouraging the players to work as a team for excellent results.
It is important to note that warm ups constitute a great aspect of baseball playing. These warm ups not only prepare the body to play but also build confidence and enhance positivity in the minds of the players.