Baseball Agility Exercises

Baseball is a sport of explosiveness that requires agility. Changing directions with efficient speed is agility. Outfielders have to change direction adjusting to a ball. Runners on base turn the corners of the bags quickly. Infielders move in one direction to catch the ball and then might throw in the opposite direction. Agility requires stability, speed, power, coordination, reaction and eccentric strength. All aspects of agility must be incorporated and specified for baseball.

Lateral Cone Touches

Set two cones 5 yards apart on a football field. Stand in between the cones with one foot next to the left cone. Squat down slightly with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, knees bent and arms hanging to sides. Step with your right foot laterally and then step with your left foot. Keep your feet in a wide position because bringing your feet together can cause you to lose your balance. Move laterally to the right cone as fast as possible, taking only a few steps to cover 5 yards. Do not rock the shoulders, stay balanced and keep your body stance wide. Touch the cone with your right hand and with no hesitation step laterally to the left with your left leg stepping first. Repeat this for 20 total cone touches as fast as possible.

Reaction Rundown

Stand next to first base as if you are stealing. Squat down slightly in a position of power and stay relaxed. Have a partner behind you clap so you can react by running towards second base with no hesitation. Have your partner clap again at any given moment to have you stop immediately and run back to first. This exercise will develop your reaction time and agility.

180 Jump Sprint

Stand in the outfield facing home plate. Jump as high as your can by squatting down with force and throwing your arms up in the air as high as possible to jump. Land on the balls of the feet, keeping the knees slightly bent as you land to soften the impact and rock back to your heels. Without delay turn 180 degrees and run full speed for about 90 feet or to the warning track. This exercise will train your eccentric strength and stability because of the force absorbed in the landing of your jump. The force required to change direction running at great speeds takes eccentric strength, which is the stretching and loading phase of muscles.

Backhand Forehand

Stand in your infield position on the baseball field. Have a partner stand 10 feet in front of you with 20 baseballs. Roll the baseballs to the left and right for the forehand and the backhand of the glove. Keep a wide base as used in the lateral cone drill. When going to the backhand as a right hander, the right leg should step first followed by the left leg crossing over. The opposite is used for the forehand movement. Get set before every throw and have the partner roll the baseballs randomly left and right to work reaction time and coordination.

About the Author

Christian Cianfrani has been a fitness professional and military training officer since 1998. He was the physical training officer for Army Aviation. Cianfrani has received the Army Platinum Fitness Award and USATF medals. He is a graduate of the National Personal Training Institute and is studying for his Master of Science in sports conditioning at the Arizona School of Health Sciences.