Updated MAR 19, 2014 8:35p ET
Around the third week of spring training, the training room becomes a crowded place. From Tommy John surgeries to minor injuries to the lower extremities, getting banged up, and worse, is part of the game.
When an injury robs a player of his ability to train the way hes accustomed to, there is nearly always an alternative.
After an injury left me unable to perform my usual routine, I focused on the best upper body workouts to keep myself fit and strong.
Seeing the news on “FOX Sports Live” of yet another baseball player on crutches always reminds me of the September night in 2005 when I tore my Achilles tendon in Toronto. I was with the Red Sox at the time, rounding second base. Ill never forget the pop, like getting shot at close range by a Colt .45.
There was plenty of physical and emotional pain from missing the opportunity to contribute during the playoffs that year. Beyond that, however, my mind shifted to preparing for the following season. What steps would I take to get my lower half back in shape? Then it dawned on me — I wouldnt be doing anything strenuous with my legs for many months.
A few days after the injury, I was in a cast, still on painkillers and crutches, but I couldnt keep out of the gym. I knew that in order to speed up my healing process, I needed to keep the blood flowing in my body. Frankly, I am awful at sitting still, and I saw no reason to wait around. I couldnt do my usual workouts, but I could continue to challenge my upper body. For MLB players, sitting around aimlessly waiting to heal is never a good idea.
Two of the most effective upper-body workouts are pull-ups and dips. Between the two, I hit every muscle group above the waist. When healthy, I perform both movements with a dumbbell hanging between my knees or feet.
In my condition at the time, however, my Achilles was still vulnerable. I needed the help of a spotter or a machine. I chose the latter and found my way to the Gravitron machine. The Gravitron is a counter-weight system that helps you do body weight movements, pull-ups and dips in my case.
Professional players will always have a spotter at their fingertips, and Ive known many a major-league player who implemented pull-ups after a detrimental blow to the lower body to keep their upper body and, perhaps more importantly, their psyche strong.
If youre an amateur, I recommend the Gravitron as a substantial alternative. To use the machine, select the amount of weight you want assisting you on the way up. For pull-ups, take any grip thats comfortable (overhand or underhand is fine). I vary my grips to keep it interesting and to create more angles for my body to adapt to.
1. Step or kneel (depending on the machine) carefully onto the lever, feet facing toward the machine, and straighten your whole body.
2. Use your lats (the muscles that give you that V shape below your armpits) to pull your shoulders down. Think of it as shrugging in reverse. Drive your elbows down toward your hips while pulling your body up.
3. Keep your core engaged, lifting your chest upward until your head is between your hands.
4. When performing dips on this machine, place your hands on the parallel bars that are near your waist. Keep your shoulders back and lower your body until your triceps are parallel to the floor. Press yourself back up to complete the rep.
After the first rep of each move, youll have a good gauge of whether you need to add weight assistance. Proceed slowly as you get used to this contraption and build up over time. Before you know it, youll be performing dips and pull-ups without any help from a machine.
Take a peek at the videos below, but I suggest lowering the volume and using them for visual aid only as the audio is less than stellar.
If youre unable to find this machine, spotted pull-ups and dips are amazingly effective, but need a strong, trusted partner who can support nearly your entire body weight if youre a beginner.
- ^ Toronto (msn.foxsports.com)
- ^ Red Sox (msn.foxsports.com)
- ^ pull-ups (kaplifestyle.com)
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Tips For Starter Workout.? Ok so I’m 125 lb. and about 5.6-7 feet tall and I just started going to gym (about 1 month).
My schedule is: Monday = work on 6 pack and chest, Tuesday = work on 6 pack and arms, Wednesday = same as monday, Thursday = same as tuesday and so on.. and yes i go gym everyday in the mornings from 11ish for an hour or an hour and 15 mins.
After gym I drink 1 spoon and half of this: http://www.innerarmour.com/products_nitropeak.html
I dont really have good eating order..I eat breakfast 1 hour before gym which is around 10.
I eat lunch at like 5-6 and dinner around 10..
so I just wanted to see what tips can i get to make my body buffed in a short time and make 6 pack 😀
I want my chest to grow and my 6 pack to come out first. kgo.
Workout routines are what exercises, how many sets, how many reps
etc. that you do for each muscle.
Remember these things when making up your routine:
1) Work chest, triceps and shoulders on the same day, and biceps and
back on the same day so that it’s ok if the secondary muscles get
worked that day, because your doing them anyway.
2) Separate those muscles that work a secondary muscle so that they
are far enough apart not to overtrain you. For example, do Chest
Monday, triceps on Wednesdays, and shoulders Friday, and biceps
Monday with chest, and back Wednesday or Friday.
Here are a few sample split routines and workout programs.
Monday – Chest/Back
Tuesday – off
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – off
Friday – Shoulders/Arms
Saturday – off
Sunday – off
Monday – Chest/Biceps
Tuesday – off
Wednesday – Shoulders/Legs
Thursday – off
Friday – Back/Triceps
Saturday – off
Sunday – off
Monday – Chest/Triceps
Tuesday – Back/Biceps
Wednesday – off
Thursday – Shoulders
Friday – Legs
Saturday – off
Sunday – off
Sample Weightlifting Workout Routines
This is hard. There are so many exercises for each muscle, and so
many ways to split them up and make a routine out of them. So instead
of listing 10,000 workout routines, I’ll just list what I think are
the most effective muscle building exercises for each muscle and later
on you can decide which to use in your own workout routines.
Flat Bench Press
Incline Bench Press
Flat Bench Dumbell Flyes
Incline Dumbell Flyes
Pull Ups, Chin Ups, Lat Pulldowns
Seated Cable Row
Bent Over Barbell Row
Bent Over 1 Arm Dumbell Rows
Standing Barbell Curls
Preacher Curls (with dumbells or barbell)
Seated/Standing Dumbell Curls
Tricep Press Downs
Seated/Standing Military Press (with barbell or dumbells)
Crunches, leg raises, situps, hip thrusts, side bends, weighted
situps, crunches with your legs bent, not bent, straight up in the air
Great Workout Tips? Does anyone have any great workout tips? I really to work my whole body, but especially my abs. Any advice?
A strong core is essential to whole body strength and back health. Aside from the regular ab workouts, crunches, bicycle crunch, sit ups, bridges, etc., etc. you can incorporate abs into just about every weight routine. For one stay away from machines and use free weights instead. When doing a free weight exercises do not isolate your core. Example: When doing a military press while sitting down you are working upper body only. But if you do the same exercises while standing you are incorporating abdominal muscles and hip muscles for balance. I’m not a body builder nor am i huge, but I workout a lot. The exercises that I do are for strength, core, and cardio. For example I try and do multiple movements in one exercises. Such as using a 100 pound bar. Do a squat, then a overhead press and back down to a squat. 10 reps 4 sets. I’m not saying you should do this but exercises such as that one work multiple body parts including core and make you strong. I used to subscribe to men’shealth.com personal trainer. It gives you workouts to follow, give it a look.