Question: I would like to get back in shape for softball. I’m in my late 20’s and haven’t trained much since high school. What should I do to get back to being able to throw one from centerfield to home plate again?
Answer: One good thing is you’re not in your late thirties and asking this question after twenty years of relative inactivity. Reactivating your core muscles, restoring flexibility from your heels to your hamstrings and through the muscles of your back and strengthening your rotator cuff, shoulders and back muscles are all necessary to return to throwing the ball on a line to home plate.
- For your abs, begin with a dumbbell bicycle crunch for 20 reps followed by lying windshield wipers for 20 as well.
- Alternate these with pull-ups for 8 to 10 reps.
- You’ll do two sets of each of these the first day in the gym and three sets for your following workouts.
- Single leg hip presses, lying leg curls and sled drives fire up your hamstrings.
- Single leg squats holding a dumbbell activate quads, hamstrings and glute muscles.
- Low pulley rows and incline dumbbell presses are a good push/pull combination for your chest and back.
- Add deadlifts as an alternate exercise between those two. Keep the deads light enough to maintain proper form and bar speed.
- A combination of anterior dumbbell lateral raises and side lateral raises alternated with high pulley rows for your posterior delts gets your shoulders back to playing strength.
- Finish with dumbbell hammer curls and triceps pressdowns for your arms.
- Specifically stretch your Achilles’ tendons, calves, hamstrings and lower back after your workout.
Follow this outline two workouts the first and second week.
We will need to make some changes to sets, reps and exercises after that but this one will get you on a path back to the ball field.
God bless and keep training,