If you are serious about playing ball, if you truly care about your baseball playing CAREER, then you better come to grips with the fact that there are some things that you just can’t do. Things that are afforded to “normal” people and people that lack your dedication. It can affect you in all walks life; personal, business, family, you name it. Being a serious ballplayer will stop you from being able to go places like on family trips. Being a serious ballplayer will stop you from catching certain events like a long time friend’s wedding. Being a SERIOUS ballplayer will dictate what you do and who you do it with every single day.

Even when it comes to things you can do, like working out and going to the gym - you’re a dedication to your ball playing career comes with certain restrictions.

So you best pay no mind to the meatheads huddled in the corner in your gym. Put off those secret aspirations to be a male model and have a magazine cover type body. Because those guys are jacked and shredded solely for the purpose of being jacked and shredded. You, on the other hand, have a purpose and endgame in mind when it comes to your workouts. You’re especially working out to improve your functional baseball strength.

EVERYTHING we do in the gym, every last thing, needs to lead directly to improved baseball performance. Nothing more, nothing less. All we care about is doing the things EVERYDAY that lead to just 1% improved performance. This is what it takes to do baseball like Professional. All in for every last bit of optimal performance on the diamond.

With that in mind, keep scrolling to read the Top 5 Things To Avoid In The Gym If You’re A Serious Ballplayer.

#1 Excessive Lifting

Give up those dreams of being the biggest dude in the gym, throwing around a weight like it’s nobody’s business; that’s just simply not what we are going for. Now, I’m not saying don’t work hard, you still need to bust your ass. But just as important is that we work SMART. Listen to what your body is telling you, you need to be able to tell when something goes from difficult but reasonable to flat out too heavy for you to be lifting. And don’t pile on exercises that just hammer the same muscle group over, and over again. Remember our lifting is all about functional baseball strength.

#2 High Rep Counts

This goes hand in hand with #1, don’t forget we are working out with a specific goal in mind. Get 1% better at BASEBALL today. So when keeping that in mind, remember this little bit of knowledge from world famous trainer Pavel Tsatsouline, performing beyond 4-5 reps is when an exercise goes from strength training to muscle-building. Pavel also says to keep total reps counts for anyone exercise to around 10 (3 sets of 3, 2 sets of 5, 3 sets of 4, etc).

#3 Focusing On ‘Non-Baseball’ Muscles

This is going to be more heartbreaking news for some guys than others but, in relation to our goals of baseball functional strength, biceps and chest are essentially show muscles. At most, they are support muscles to help with just overall strength. My point being, we as ballplayers do not need to spend time on the extensive bicep and chest routines. Keep it simple and keep it light. Try not to workout biceps and chest on the same day and stay away from a couple specific exercises in particular - we’ll go them in Thing to Avoid #4.

#4 Lifting Upper Body and Throwing On The Same Day

So let me be in clear in explaining this, I don’t expect you to completely avoid training your chest and your biceps - I would never recommend anyone to 100% avoid trading any one muscle. However, when it comes to training your upper body, I must implore you to be careful. Take it from someone that has gone through a throwing arm surgery and back to playing at peak performance recovery process; whenever possible, avoid weight training your upper body on the same days you plan to be throwing.

Obviously for ballplayers that play every day when in season, such as myself, it’s not really possible to avoid training upper body on throwing days. When this is the case, I recommend avoiding two specific exercises and instead of going with two alternatives that I regularly turn too.

The first exercise to avoid is the barbell bench press. I know this is a favorite in gyms across the globe, but this exercise just places way too much stress on the chest, shoulder labrum, and rotator cuff of someone that will also be repetitively performing a baseball throwing motion. As an alternative, one can instead perform dumbbell bench press; I myself, take it a step further and only do push-ups for my chest training. You’d be surprised the chest strength you can build only using your own body weight.

The second exercise to avoid if the traditional dumbbell bicep curls - I know, another common favorite. Don’t worry though, I’m not suggesting you completely remove curls from your workout. I’m only suggesting doing Hammer Curls instead. Hammer Curls are the same as traditional curls except that your thumbs are pointed to the sky when holding the dumbbell. This simple adjustment makes it so more muscles in the arm are targeted, and therefore is less stressful on your bicep and your bicep tendon. Once again, this being important for someone who will also be subjecting their arms to a repetitive overhead throwing motion.

#5 Straining Your Shoulders More Than You Have Too

A common theme you may or may not be picking up on, is for you, as a serious ballplayer, to take care of your throwing arm. This for the simple fact of your throwing arm is your baseball lifeblood. Be as strong as you want, as fast as you want, as good as hitter as you want, but if you can’t throw the ball the simple fact is you can’t play the game. It is, for this reason, I place the ultimate importance on arm care, throwing arm care to be exact.

In my opinion, proper arm care involves avoiding any unnecessary stress on the throwing shoulder and limiting shoulder workouts to only certain lightweight exercises and routines. Unnecessary stress for the shoulder of a serious ballplayer would include, as mentioned previously, barbell bench press and traditional dumbbell bicep curls. Additionally, I would like to go out of my way to mention pull-ups, chin-ups, muscle-ups, shoulder presses, and Arnold presses. There are certainly others I could mention and but just keep in mind to keep any non-arm care shoulder lifts lightweight - 25lbs TOPS.

Go to BaseballBrilliance.com to get a free Pro Arm Care Routine that breaks down the lightweight exercises you should be doing.

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