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How To Correctly Complete a Baseball Warmup

If you're like most athletes, you don't pay enough attention to the warmup that you complete before you train, or before you compete on the field. This is particularly true for baseball players, who often think that with the pace of the game they can just warmup as they are out there, or as a play comes in their direction. However, the right baseball warmup can improve your performance and keep you healthy at the same time, while incorrect warmups can do more harm than good.
 There are two problems that most players have with baseball warmups. The first problem is that they simply don't warm up at all, thinking that it's not necessary or it won't do anything for them. The second problem is actually completing a warmup, but doing the exact opposite kinds of things that you're supposed to do. These incorrect warmups can actually lead to more injuries and decreased performance, instead of helping you out in any way. It might surprise a lot of people, but static stretching before exercise is actually an incorrect warmup strategy. Studies have proven that with static stretching, you aren't doing anything to increase your performance, and are leaving your body tight and cool, despite the "loose" feeling you might get from bending down and reaching for your toes, or holding your arms over your head.  
These static stretching moves are what most of us consider to be warming up. However, they should be completed after exercise. When done at that time, they absolutely do help your body and can prevent injury and discomfort. However, before a game or before a practice, you want to be dynamically moving and warming up your body.  
A dynamic warmup is basically anything that actually gets you moving about, whereas static moves are holds and stretches. Dynamic warmups offer the advantage of actually getting your heart beating faster, and helping you to work up a sweat. With the right moves, you'll loosen all of your muscles that you need, allowing you to be faster, stronger and more explosive. Because your muscles will be properly loosened and ready for action, you'll also be greatly decreasing your risk of injury. There are all sorts of dynamic warmups that you can complete as a baseball player, and they start with moves that are as simple as jumping jacks. Other simple moves like knee-hug lunges, backward lunges, side steps with arm crosses and more can be effective for dynamic warmups.  However, you can get much more specific and fine-tuned with your approach. For example, using bodyweight rotational exercises will help open up your torso, hips and core, so that you can really explode with your swing, and make all of the moves in the field that you need.
 A great example of this kind of exercise is the simple trunk rotation. Stand with your feet in a wide base and your arms extended straight out from your body. Twist to one side, and as you do bend down in that direction. Reverse the motion and repeat on the other side, completing 10 rotations per side. This is just one of many great rotational exercises that will vastly increase your performance while keeping you and your body feeling at its best at all times. You also want to target certain kinds of warmup exercises that can help compensate for imbalances in your strength and flexibility. You might not be able to twist as far to one side as the other, or jump as far or high off one foot as the other. With the right kinds of dynamic warmups, you can help to overcome this, and this will go a long way towards preventing injuries, which often occur due to these kinds of imbalances. With dynamic moves, you'll prevent the common injuries ranging from hamstring pulls to chronic pain from tendonitis and much more.  
As mentioned, your performance will improve, you'll feel better in all aspects of your game and your health, and you will prevent injuries before they ever flare up. So it's time to make sure that you warmup before practice and before games, and it's time that you drop those static holds. Save those for your post-game routine, and focus on dynamic moves that get your blood flowing for your pre-game and pre-workout routine.
 Find out more about baseball warmup Jon Doyle, MA, CSCS Baseball training secrets