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How to Get in Shape for Baseball After a Long Layoff

Though baseball is not thought of as an endurance sport, being out of shape can hamper your play on the field. Baseball players need to be in shape to perform better and prevent injuries. In baseball, it is not only important to get in proper cardiovascular shape, but also to boost your strength so you can play to the best of your abilities.

  1. Start slowly and build back up to your normal routine of conditioning, practicing and playing. Trying to jump in quickly and do too much too soon can lead to injury.

  2. Lift weights to strengthen your body to improve your play. Baseball players need to be strong throughout their body, so focusing on compound exercises that train a variety of body parts is a smart move. Compound exercises include squats, bench presses, deadlifts and rows. You should start with high-repetition sets of at least 10 with light weights that are about half the maximum you can lift.

  3. Focus on sprinting when running but mix in interval training. Baseball players mainly run in short bursts of sprinting followed by a rest period, but to get in better cardiovascular shape, interval training can help. Interval training involves mixing sprinting with periods of slower jogging with no rest periods between. A 2005 study in the "Journal of Applied Physiology" showed that interval training can double the endurance or amount of time athletes can exercise before exhaustion.

  4. Stretch at least once per day before and after you work out or practice. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, stretching can improve your range of motion which will benefit your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. You should focus on full-body static stretches that hold the stretch or max point for at least 15 seconds. You should never bounce or perform nonstatic stretches.

    Tip

    Support your physical efforts by consuming a healthy diet. Replace any unhealthy eating habits you may have indulged in during your layoff, with better choices. Eat lean meats, whole-grain products, low-fat dairy and munch on nuts and seeds for snacks.

    Warning

    Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.

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About the Author

Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.

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