Pro Approved: Best Gym Equipment for Baseball Players

Best Gym Equipment for Baseball Players

Strength training is crucial in developing a baseball player because it helps increase overall strength, power, and endurance. These physical attributes are essential for baseball players to perform well on the field, whether it’s hitting for power, throwing with velocity, or running efficiently. Baseball players need to be spending their time in the gym efficiently to get the most out of their training. I want to help athletes maximize their strength training success by discussing the best gym equipment for baseball players.

When I dissect my baseball career, I can confidently say that the weight room was one of the biggest factors in allowing me to play Division-1 college and professional baseball. The work that goes on off the baseball field can have a large impact on a player’s physical and mental toughness. That is why I find it so important for baseball players to be led in the right direction when engaging in strength work.

I have had the luxury of working with top-of-the-line gym equipment in professional baseball and while training at high-caliber baseball facilities. The typical commercial gyms do not provide enough “baseball-specific” gym equipment that athletes need to be training with. The movements that baseball players need to be training are not entirely achieved from your normal bench and squat workouts. Yes they are great workouts, but baseball is an explosive and rotational sport, so we have to make sure we can train that as well.

First and foremost, I want players to understand that gym equipment is not going to be the deciding factor in helping you advance your baseball career. There are way too many other factors that come into play in making you a better baseball player. But, I will say that using the same equipment as professional baseball players will give you an upper hand in your overall baseball progression. Having access to more exercises can positively impact an athlete’s development.

If I had to design the “perfect baseball gym” that is how I am going to structure this blog. Yes, there will be some gym equipment and accessories that are a no-brainer for any gym. But, I want this blog to be designed to help any person build a baseball gym. This could be for a baseball training facility, a travel team gym, or even an at-home gym. Whatever the case may be, I want to help others create an efficient gym for baseball players.

I am not telling you to buy every piece of equipment I list. I want players to be aware of the different gym equipment available and see if they could benefit from using it in their training routine. As always, do your own additional research before making a purchase.

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The Gym Essentials for Training

First, I want to list the gym equipment that is a top priority in a baseball weight room. This will be your more common gym equipment that should be found at normal commercial gyms. Once I list the basics, I will dive into more baseball-specific gym equipment.

1. Dumbbells – (Great for Versatility)

WF Athletic Supply Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell Set, Multiple Choices

Dumbbells are a valuable and versatile addition to any baseball gym, providing numerous strength-training options. By targeting specific muscle groups used in baseball, such as the arms, shoulders, and back, they offer an effective workout. Dumbbells also enable unilateral training, working each arm independently, which can help address muscle imbalances and improve overall strength and stability. Moreover, their compact and easy-to-store design makes them a practical choice for a gym with limited space.

2. Squat Rack – (Weight Room Must-Have)

GRIND Fitness Chaos 4000 Power Rack (Chaos4000)

A squat rack is a must-have gym equipment for any athlete to train. This is where you can perform exercises such as squats, RDLs, split squats, and more! I do not suggest buying a squat rack that is “cheap” in price. You want a squat rack that is sturdy and reliable so you can trust that you will be kept safe when lifting.

The GRIND Fitness Chaos 4000 is an excellent addition to any baseball gym as it is durable, versatile, and designed with safety in mind. It features heavy-duty steel construction, making it sturdy enough to handle heavy loads. The rack also has adjustable J-hooks, allowing for customized placement for different users and exercises. The safety spotter arms provide added security during heavy lifts, making it a safe choice for solo lifting sessions.

3. Barbell – (Crucial for Strength Training)

E.T.ENERGIC 7ft Olympic Barbell Bar 45LB Load 1500-lbs Capacity Available,

A barbell is a fundamental and highly beneficial equipment in strength training, essential for baseball players’ lifts. It enables a wide range of exercises that target various muscle groups essential for baseball players, such as legs, back, chest, and arms. Barbell use can provide progressive overload by gradually increasing the weight used in exercises, leading to strength and muscle mass gains. Furthermore, barbell exercises can improve balance, coordination, and overall power, vital skills for baseball players when hitting, throwing, and running.

4. Cable Machine – (Great for Push/Pull Exercises)

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine Home Gym

A cable machine is a highly used gym equipment by baseball players. A cable machine provides a wide range of exercises that target multiple muscle groups, allowing for a versatile and comprehensive workout. The adjustable resistance and cable pulley system offer various levels of difficulty, accommodating different fitness levels and goals. The most common exercises done by baseball players are cable rows, lat pulldowns, and tricep pushdowns. The adjustable heights and interchangeable handles allow you to fully customize your lifts for better results.

4. Adjustable Bench – (Necessary for Support)

FLYBIRD Weight Bench, 1200LBS Weight Capacity Strength Training Bench Heavy-duty

A bench is an essential and versatile piece of equipment in a gym. A bench offers a stable surface for exercises that target the upper body muscles, such as the chest, shoulders, and arms. It enables a wide range of exercises such as bench press, incline press, shoulder press, and more. Adjustable benches are a must for baseball players because a lot of the workouts we perform will require incline support. Additionally, an inclined bench is great for baseball players to perform arm care exercises when targeting scapular muscle groups.

5. Bumper Plates – (Safe to Drop)

AMGYM LB Bumper Plates Olympic Weight Plates, Bumper Weight Plates,

When selecting weights to use with your barbell, my biggest recommendation is to stick with rubber bumper plates. These plates are specifically designed to withstand being dropped from overhead, making them a safer option compared to traditional iron plates, which can crack or break if dropped repeatedly. A common exercise for baseball players is deadlifts, and the weight is repeatedly hitting the ground during the lift. You will want to have weights that are designed to be dropped to ensure the longevity of your equipment.

Best Gym Equipment for Baseball Players

1. Open Trap Bar – (Best Trap Bar)

Titan Fitness Rackable Open Trap Bar, Rated 1,500 LB, Specialty

An open trap bar is a superior option for baseball players due to its numerous benefits. It promotes natural movement patterns during exercises like deadlifts, minimizing the risk of injuries and improving overall technique. Its open design provides ample space for larger athletes to move comfortably, and the neutral grip handles offer greater comfort to the shoulders and wrists, reducing the likelihood of injuries.

Furthermore, the open trap bar makes loading and unloading weight plates easier and quicker, making it a practical and convenient choice for any gym. I also love that with the open trap bar, you can even perform exercises like lunges and split squats. A nice alternative instead of loading weight onto your spine.

2. TRX Suspension Trainer – (Great for Stability)

TRX GO Suspension Trainer System, Full-Body Workout for All Levels

TRX Trainers are commonly used in professional baseball and at training facilities. They offer a full-body workout while employing bodyweight movements. TRX workouts may target a variety of muscular groups, including the core, arms, back, legs, and shoulders—all crucial for baseball players. They do a great job at incorporating stability and balance into your workouts, which is different from traditional lifts. They are great for athletes of all ages and abilities since they can be adjusted for different fitness levels. They are also transportable and take up little space, making them perfect for a gym with a smaller room.

3. Safety Squat Bar – (Less Stress)

Titan Fitness Rackable Safety Squat Olympic Bar, Rated 1,500 LB

Implementing a safety squat bar into your workouts instead of a straight bar has many benefits. Firstly, they can alleviate the stress on the arms during squats and lunges. Unlike traditional barbells, safety squat bars have a padded yoke that rests on the shoulders, allowing the user to hold handles on either side of the bar. This even distribution of weight across the upper body can reduce the load on the arms.

Secondly, the weight distribution is different on a safety squat bar, which can help minimize the strain on the body. The bar’s design forces the torso to remain more upright, placing less pressure on the lower back and hips. This can be especially beneficial for baseball players who put a lot of stress on their lower bodies during training and competition.

4. Kettlebells – (Great for Baseball Exercises)

Kettlebells - Professional Grade, Vinyl Coated, Solid Cast Iron Weights

Kettlebells are an excellent training tool for baseball players due to their versatility and ability to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. They can help improve strength, power, and explosiveness, which are crucial for baseball players since we rely on quick and explosive movements.

The weight of a kettlebell is typically centered below the handle, which shifts the weight distribution of the load, creating a more challenging and dynamic workout. This design is particularly helpful for exercises that require swinging or ballistic movements, such as kettlebell swings or snatches, which can be very beneficial for baseball players who need explosive power and rotational strength.

Kettlebells come in a variety of weights and sizes, but it is important to have a mix of each. Heavy kettlebells can be used for lifts such as goblet squats and kettlebell swings. Lighter kettlebells are beneficial for shoulder arm care and strengthening, such as waiter walks.

5. Medicine Balls – (Rotational & Explosive)

Dynamax Mini 6lb Soft-Shell 10" Medicine Ball/Wall Ball Standard Black/Grey

Medicine ball exercises are frequently done by baseball players because of their correlation to baseball mechanics. Hitters and pitchers rely heavily on being explosive and rotational. The best baseball players are the ones who can rotate efficiently. That is why ballplayers must incorporate the usage of medicine balls into their training routine. Medicine balls can be used for a variety of workouts, but the most common are medicine ball shotputs, slams, and scoop throws.

Athletes have to train patterns that can translate to their baseball movements. You can not expect to pick up a bat and hit the ball harder if you are not training to improve your rotation. I am not saying medicine balls are the only way to train rotation, but they are a simple and effective way to start.

6. Landmine Platform – (Great for Unilateral)

Xtreme Monkey Landmine Platform - T-Bar Row Attachment Platform, Fits

I was not aware of landmine exercises until I started playing college and professional baseball. They are awesome for baseball training because they can target strengthening stability, grip, and rotation. Landmine exercises utilize a barbell that is anchored into a landmine platform, allowing for a wide range of rotational movements that are beneficial for baseball players. The exercises commonly performed by baseball players are RDLs, single-arm presses, and rows.

Landmine exercises can be used to target any muscle group. The one thing that stands out to me about using a landmine is how the exercises feel more “athletic.” A lot of the exercises require ground connection and a stable lower half. That is a big factor that baseball players need to realize about their training. We do not want to train to be stiff like a brick, instead, we want to be loose and mobile.

7. Plyometric Boxes – (Challenge Your Lifts)

Yes4All 3 in 1 Non-Slip Wooden Plyo Box - Black

Plyometric Boxes are a useful piece of equipment for baseball players because they can make your lifts more challenging. The most common uses for a plyometric box are step-ups, box squats, and box jumps. When doing step-ups onto a platform, you are now having to focus on stability and coordination. This is essential for training baseball players’ lower half to better translate to their mechanics. Box jumps work in a similar fashion, training to be explosive, yet also stable to ensure landing on the box.

There are so many variations of exercises that can be implemented with a plyometric box. You can get creative and target unilateral movements, or even focus on body weight exercises. The box forces a baseball player to train in athletic motions and move efficiently. The biggest concern with plyometric boxes is that you want the box to be stable. I have had the best success with wooden boxes because of their weight distribution. This allows the athlete to perform their exercises without the worry of the box slipping or falling.

8. Assault AirBike – (Great for Cardio)

ASSAULTFITNESS Assault AirBike Classic, Black

An Assault Bike is commonly used in professional baseball for cardio conditioning. Running sprints on a treadmill or outside are good options, but they put a lot of stress on your body. The Assault Bike is low impact, reducing the stress on joints and minimizing the risk of injury.

Baseball players have a long season ahead of them. They do not need to be wearing themselves out with cardio which does the opposite of recovery. In professional baseball, we would perform “bike sprints” for conditioning some days. This would be 10 seconds of hard biking, followed by 30 seconds of rest. A highly effective cardiovascular workout that helps improve endurance and stamina, without stressing the body.

9. Variety of Bands – (Enhance Your Lifts)

WIKDAY Resistance Bands, Pull Up Bands, Workout Bands for Exercise,

Resistance training is a key way for baseball players to work on being explosive. Bands can be added to almost any exercise to modify the lift to focus on speed and power. Let’s look at a banded squat for example banded squats add accommodating resistance to the exercise. This means that as you descend into the squat, the bands stretch and create tension, making the movement more challenging at the top. This helps develop explosive power and strength in the lower body, which is crucial for generating power in hitting, throwing, and running.

Bands can be used for more than just speed training. Other common uses for bands are presses, arm care, and core stability. They are by far one of the most used products in a gym by baseball players.

10. Airex Pad – (Multipurpose Equipment)

AIREX Balance Pad – Stability Trainer for Balance, Stretching, Physical

An Airex Pad is easily one of the most underrated pieces of equipment used by baseball players. The Airex Pad is commonly used for stability drills and exercises but also can be a lifesaver for your lifts. When athletes perform exercises such as half-kneeling rows or presses, the pad provides a nice cushion for your knee. This is crucial for maintaining proper form without feeling uncomfortable during the lift.

Another common use is for hip thrusts. When you are performing hip thrusts, the bar will be extremely painful on your body if you do not have support. The Airex Pad will leave you pain-free and allow you to load the bar up with no worries. Lifting, drills, stretching, and more, the Airex Pad is widely used by baseball players.

11. Single Leg Squat Roller – (Improve Single Leg Lifts)

Yes4All Bulgarian Split Squat Stand, Single Leg Squat Roller, Single

The Single Leg Squat Roller can be a game-changer for baseball workouts. If you are trying to perform rear-foot elevated lifts such as barbell lunges or RDLs, you will need a platform to position your leg on. A bench or wooden box is not the best at providing stability when increasing weight. Through my own experience, I have found it to be extremely uncomfortable and hurting my lifts.

A Single Leg Squat Roller will keep your leg in a strong and comfortable position while performing your workout. Single-leg lifts are a great way to train balance, power, and stability with each leg. If you do not have a sturdy lower half, your bat speed and throwing velocity can be diminished. Baseball players who want to throw harder and hit the ball far, need to focus on single-leg stability exercises.

12. Exercise Glider – (Challenge Yourself)

SKLZ Slidez Dual-Sided Exercise Glider Discs for Core Stability Exercises

Baseball players perform lifts that can challenge your range of motion and stability. A great piece of equipment for this task is the Exercise Gliders. The gliders can be used by your hands or feet. Think about any exercise that requires you to drop your arms or hands back, and then apply an exercise glider. You can use the gliders for lunges, RDLs, or even core workouts. The goal is to enhance stability, and balance, and activate more muscles than with a normal lift.

The sliding mechanism can make the workout difficult. To ensure your body is moving the glider correctly, more muscles are engaged and your range of motion will be challenged. What I like the most is that the gliders can be applied to bodyweight or weighted exercises. As you apply more weight, the gliders will be even harder to use. This is perfect for baseball players who are always trying to improve their exercises to get the most out of their time in the weight room.

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