Home Baseball Content In-Season Baseball Strength and Conditioning: Part 2 – High School Baseball

In-Season Baseball Strength and Conditioning: Part 2 – High School Baseball

Written on March 22, 2011 at 5:42 am, by Eric Cressey

In case you missed Part 1 of this series on In-Season Baseball Strength and Conditioning, you can check it out HERE.

Today, I'll be discussing how to attack in-season training for high school baseball players.  I'll divide things up between position players (plus catchers) and pitchers.

Position Players/Catchers

With our position players and catchers, we typically opt for two full-body strength training sessions per week.  Some players, however, will opt for shorter, more frequent training sessions.  This may be the case for "gym rats" who feel better when they lift more often, or those who simply aren't getting much playing time and really want to continue developing.

These players get enough movement training just from taking ground balls and sprinting during warm-ups and practices, so there usually isn't any need to add extra movement training to their programs.

We also keep medicine ball volume down because they're already doing a lot of high volume rotation with their throwing and hitting.  They'll do their foam rolling and mobility work daily, though.


High school pitchers are challenging to train because most are two-way players – meaning that they play a position in the field when they aren’t pitching.  As a general rule of thumb, I encourage kids to avoid catching and playing SS/3B if they are going to pitch regularly, as the throwing volume really adds up.  If a young athlete pitches fewer than three innings per week, though, we just train him like we would a position player, but try to make sure that at least one of these training sessions comes the day after throwing.  I like this approach because it not only "consolidates" stress into a 24-hour block to allow for better recovery, but it also forces a kid to go through his mobility drills, soft tissue work, and manual stretching with us to "normalize" his range of motion after a throwing appearance.

If a pitcher throws more than three innings per week, it’s best to try to pin down one particular day of the week when he is a starter.  If he starts on Friday, he’d want to lift Saturday and Monday or Tuesday.  Moreover, if he strength trains on Monday, he’ll have the option of getting in another good brief, light session on Wednesday.  Like the position players, our pitchers take part in daily foam rolling and mobility work.

Sample Schedule for a Position Player/Catcher with games on MoWeFr

Su: off completely
Mo: Game
Tu:  Practice and Strength Training (shorter option)
We: Game
Th: Practice, but no strength training
Fr: Game
Sa: Practice, Strength Training (longer option)

I may deviate from this schedule and do a bit more (added Thursday strength training session) with a younger player who needs to develop (usually have fewer practices/games, anyway) or someone who is not getting all that much playing time.

Sample Schedule for a Pitcher with only one start per week (same as college pitchers on 7-day rotations)

Mo: Pitch
Tu:  Strength Training (lower body emphasis, core, and light upper body)
We: Movement Training
Th: Low Volume Medicine Ball Work, Strength training (upper emphasis, plus low volume lower)
Fr: Movement Training
Sa: Very light Strength Training (mostly upper and core work)
Su: off completely

If this pitcher was playing the field on non-pitching days, we’d simply drop the movement training and eliminate either the Thursday or Saturday strength training session.


This obviously doesn’t include the throwing program component, which we find it a bit different for everyone.  I will say, though, that most of our guys tend to long toss the furthest on Wed/Thu and throw their bullpen on Fri/Sat.  They’d be playing catch on some of the other days, too, of course.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with my approaches to in-season strength and conditioning for college baseball players.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!


13 Responses to “In-Season Baseball Strength and Conditioning: Part 2 – High School Baseball”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Awesome stuff Eric! This helps a ton.

  2. Nick Says:

    Hi Eric,
    I was just wondering how much variation you keep in your workouts week to week for high school players compared to what you do in their offseason workouts? Do you still rotate your exercises often? Im guessing little if any type of deloading week or aspect in your programming? (compared to your “show and go” and 16 week book)
    Thanks again,


  3. Rich T. Says:

    The second sample week has lower body involvement on 6 out of 7 days. Is this okay because the volume is low? Perhaps this question ties in with Ray M.’s question in part 1?

  4. Eric Cressey Says:

    @Nick: We typically rotate exercises every 4-6 weeks during the season. New exercises means new soreness, and we want to stay away from that whenever possible.

    The “deload” is usually the first week of the new program, as we keep volume low and loading down a bit to ensure that they don’t get too sore during the transition.

  5. Eric Cressey Says:

    @Rich – hasn’t been a problem because the volume is so low on one of the strength training days and movement training doesn’t seem to wear the guys down like lifting does. Plus, guys never use their lower halves enough when they throw!

  6. zach even - esh Says:

    This is awesome insight, EC, thnx for opening up the doors, brutha!

  7. Aaron Says:

    Hi Eric. Love the article. Where in the program would any sprint running or plyometrics fit in?

  8. Eric Cressey Says:


    You won’t really need them in-season. You’ll get plenty of that work in during the season with running the bases, fielding your position, and whatever else the coach has you doing during practice.

  9. Chris Says:

    Great Website – Great Information – Great Teachers

  10. Andrew Says:

    Eric – great series. Lots of useful information. Love your website and articles and I consult them regularly for my boys and workouts for myself. I was wondering how your high school program might differ for the youth travel baseball schedule (12U). Our schedule typically is tournaments on the weekend meaning games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Right now I have my boys on the following schedule – Monday work with a strength and condition coach, Tuesday hitting practice with speed and agility work, Wednesday fielding practice with fielding drills, live pitching/hitting, etc. and generally more throwing than on Tuesday, Thursday off before tournament.

  11. Nikki Ariel Pettel Says:

    Eric, Lots of great information. I am training a pitcher in high school, and i am curious your view on bench press included in the training program? He is in season right now. I’ve been doing more leg work, and i don’t want to add extra stress to his shoulder.
    Do you suggest only doing pushups for the arms? what other arm work could we do, or just focus more on mobility for the arms during season??

  12. Eric Cressey Says:


    Push-up variations, landmine presses, bottoms-up carries, turkish get-ups, and cable presses are all good options.

  13. Sean John Says:

    Eric, great information at exactly the right time with our High school season starting up. The only thing I’m not exactly sure of is what % of 1RM is appropriate in season for players. With the weather and lack of facilities, my freshman team is forced into the weight room 3-4 days a week until we can get outside and I’d like to get the most out of my players.

  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series