Shifting the Culture of Weightlifting in Baseball

Baseball Weightlifting

Baseball players have traditionally been viewed by athletes of other sports as weak. This is because most weightlifting, strength and conditioning programs are set up for low weight with a lot of sets and reps. I’m talking weight so low that your local high school girls basketball team would say it’s easy. They are set up for more core, stabilization, rotation, and maintaining strength instead of building strength.

It’s often difficult for players to get pumped about workouts when they know they’re going to stretch for 45 minutes then plank for another 30 minutes to lift 10 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that baseball players need to be super jacked, especially not pitchers. I believe that a strong core and being flexible help guys throw hard and joint stabilization is good for keeping guys healthy; however, building strength builds power which is also good for throwing and hitting hard. That’s why involving some olympic lifts in workouts is key.

Olympic lifts involve lifting heavy weights, which would cause you to need to back off the number of reps and sets. Lifting heavier weight could help you to build muscle, strength, and power. These olympic lifts could include squats, power cleans, deadlifts, jerks, etc.. The reason that most coaches don’t like to implement these lifts is because these lifts are all about proper technique or else you’ll wind up getting injured and coaches don’t want to take the time to teach all of their players the proper techniques. One reason olympic lifting is beneficial is because it puts the athlete in the “triple extension” position, which is the basis for all athletic movements. The triple extension position is when your hips, knees, and ankles are all extended.


Top Velocity producer Brent Pourciau is a huge proponent for getting olympic weightlifting into baseball. These are the types of lifts that the players enjoy doing too. These lifts could gain you that extra 5 mph or the extra 30 feet on the ball. If you decide to do these lifts on your own, please be sure to research the proper form and proper programs for it.