Baseball work-out and what age to begin?
First off I just want to say that I really like your website and it has great teaching tools on it.
I have a daughter who is 10 and a son who is 5 and are starting to show interest in softball and baseball. Having played baseball in HS and at a JC, the part I felt missing from my game was strength. Is there a baseball specific work-out regimen and at what age would you recommend that kids start a program like that?
Swing Smarter Response:
Hi Elton, and this is a very very good question to ask, so I know the Swing Smarter community thanks you. I like that you're thinking about strength training already for your kids. I'm a NASM certified fitness trainer and I can tell you in all honesty to hold off on strength training until about age 13 for both.
For now, just keep them active in every sport they enjoy playing, preferably ones they have to do quite a bit of running or extreme discipline training in, they sleep better at night ;) Along with playing baseball/softball, have them in sports like soccer, basketball, racquetball, cross country, lacrosse, martial arts (my favorite), gymnastics, and/or dance. Chess is also good for mental training.
When they reach the ripe old age of 13, then we can start them on body weight only fitness training. Please note: they can start on light weight-lifting at that time (low sets, high rep strength endurance training), but personally I'd like to see them handle their own body weight first.
There are a couple articles we did on SwingSmarter.com's Albert Pujols inspired 30 Day Bat Speed Challenge, that deals with body weight to light medicine ball core training HERE.
You see Elton, when those hormones kick in, their bodies will become very awkward, and with bones, muscles, and joints developing at such a rapid pace, it's better to let them grow using their own body weight for resistance.
As of now, just enjoy watching them grow, and in a couple years, maybe start your daughter on some of the core training in the Bat Speed Challenge ;) Good luck Elton!