The 12 Best Exercises for Building Mass for the Baseball Swing
So many coaches make the mistake of tossing their players into the weight room to build mass. I think this is a mistake. The most important piece of equipment you can buy for your swing is a pair of gymnastics rings. I can't stress enough the importance for hitters, especially young hitters, to build the foundation of strength, mobility, and balance with rings, not weights.
If you want to build mass, what you really need is high intensity in a relatively short amount of time - somewhere between 30 seconds to a minute. There is no need to handle heavy weights to do this.
As a community, I envision the baseball community in the next ten years really embracing gymnastics rings. As MMA coach John Kavanaugh says, "you want to improve your software, without damaging your hardware." This is an extremely important concept. If you are building muscle but it's costing you time off of your career, then it's costing more then your time investment is worth. The key is to find exercises that build mass without doing damage. I can't see any better way to do that than with rings.
Also included in the above video are my favorite ground exercises. Again, no weights needed. These are full body exercises that will prove to you that you don't need weights to achieve intensity and mass.
I'm all for building mass. After all, Barry Bonds and the rest of the roided out MLB hitters showed us that more mass equals more home runs. Period. I DO NOT condone taking steroids. In fact, I consider these steroid users' accomplishments as unofficial. However, it doesn't mean we shouldn't learn from their example.
The wrong lesson to learn is that Bonds and the rest of these guys had great swing mechanics. That's NOT how they accomplished their feats. But, again, we shouldn't overlook the role that muscle plays in hitting. It's huge.
So the question becomes, how can we build the most muscle without doing damage to our joints, and instead, actually strengthening our joints? The answer is to incorporate the exercises that I do in this video. If a player starts regularly doing these exercises, even if he has no exercise experience, within a couple years his body will be a much different body than he started out with, and much more powerful at the plate. And his joints will still be fresh and ready for a long career.