Softball players benefit from strength training.

Softball is a popular sport these days. Businesses, senior leagues and local leagues are driving the demand for skilled and competitive players. Although softball is enjoying a resurgence, the basic techniques for improving your game and achieving championship success remain the same.

Most people don't realize that basic ball movements like hitting and throwing are not affected by arm strength. The movement starts with the feet. Power is transferred to the hips, spine, upper back, chest, shoulders and then the arms. A good gentle strength training program will include exercises for each muscle group. During the rest period, athletes will be able to train 2-3 times per week. Training should be reduced to 1-2 times per week during the season. Each exercise should be performed 8-12 times for 1-3 sets. Quickness, speed, strength, balance, explosiveness and power will improve as the strength training process progresses. Below is a list of exercises for muscles commonly used in softball. There are many other exercises you can do, but this will give a start.

Quadriceps - squats, single leg squats, jump squats 

Legs and Glutes - Lunges, Explosive Lunges, Ball Bridge 

Excerpts/Robbers - False Leg Raises, Ball Curls 

Obliques - Oblique crunch on the ball 

Rectus Abdominis - Ball Crunch, 180 Ball Crunch 

Erector Spinae - Plank Pose 

Deltoids - Shoulder Press, Army Press 

Pectoralis Major - Chest Fly, Chest Press, Push ups 

Latissimus Dorsi - Bends in line, flexes 

Triceps - Upper extensors, skull crushers 

Biceps - Biceps curl, Hammer curl 

A strong softball strength training program will produce strong players. Use full ROM (range of motion) for each exercise. In general, free weight offers a better ROM than the machine, and use whatever is best for you. The ultimate goal is to create a solid program that will give the athlete a complete workout.