Improve YOUR Performance — Upper Body Strength Exercises

Push-up (Feet-Elevated, Yoga Push-up, 1-Leg Elevated) — Not only are push-ups a great exercise to improve upper body strength, but they also provide the added benefit of scapular movement which is important for maintaining good scapular upward rotation.

Turkish Get-Up — First off, this exercise does not JUST fall under the “upper body strength” category. It’s more so a full body exercise that blends a good hinging pattern, with shoulder strength/stability, anterior core control, and single-leg stability. The reason I put it down on the upper body list is because I believe this is a great exercise to put as the first exercise on your upper body training days. In fact at Cressey Sports Performance (where I’m currently interning) this exercise is first in the exercise order of 95% of each athlete we’ve trained.

Landmine Press Variations (Split Stance, Standing, Half-Kneeling) — Here’s another pressing variation that resembles push-ups for the fact that it provides a good scapular benefit. Possessing good scapular upward rotation is important because it maintains good ball and socket congruency. Without good congruency between the ball and socket (via possessing good scapular upward rotation) your humeral head (ball) glides forward in the socket leading to labral tears, cuff tears, etc.

Row Variations (1-Arm DB Row, Standing Cable Row, Split Stance Cable Row, Rotational Row) — Overuse of the anterior plane in baseball is evident as we’re throwing, hitting, and fielding constantly. After awhile, this overuse leads to diminished velocity, performance, and injury. To avoid this, we need to focus our training on building a strong upper back to support the shoulder to accelerate and decelerate at more efficient motor patterns.