Baseball strength training is a double-edged sword. It is important for increasing throwing velocity, but when done incorrectly, it can cause shoulder injuries. Because of this, many people debate what exercises baseball players should be doing and how heavy they should lift. One of these often debated baseball strength training exercises is the Bench Press. Few exercises can match its development of the upper body, but it also can do a number on the shoulders. For baseball players who want the strength benefits of the Bench Press without the achy shoulder, here are three shoulder-friendly alternative to the Bench Press.
1. Landmine Press
The Landmine Press is an exercise that should be included in every baseball player's strength training program. The great thing about this exercise is the fact that the motion is not fixed, which makes it easier on the shoulder. A secondary benefit is the amount of serratus anterior recruitment that is involved with the motion. The serratus anterior is a major muscle responsible for scapula and shoulder stability.
2. Chain Push-Ups
For many experienced baseball players, a simple Push-Up is not enough resistance to cause a proper training effect. For these individuals, adding chains to the exercises keeps it shoulder-friendly, while also creating a training effect similar to the Bench Press.
3. Suspension Push-Up
Another way to increase the difficulty of a Push-Up is to elevate the feet of the athlete. By also adding in a suspension trainer, you have the recipe for a very challenging exercise, even for experienced athletes. By using a suspension trainer, there is also the added shoulder stability element that is not involved with most pressing exercises.