Stop Going for Long Runs – Better Softball Conditioning Workouts

The truth is, going for a run is not the best option if you’re trying to “get in shape” for softball. Ok, it’s a complete waste of time. Seriously.

Slow running does not benefit any capacity directly related to softball performance. It certainly may improve cardiovascular efficiency which is critical for general fitness, but it is only one way to do so.

Now, I don’t think running is bad for you; however, bad running is.

Most team sport athletes are bad runners.

Hitting the ground with bad mechanics often enough will lead to shin, knee, IT band, hip, or back pain. If your posture and breathing is bad enough, it might even lead to shoulder pain. I’m very serious when I say too much long distance running can be a direct risk for a softball-related shoulder injury.

Slow running doesn’t improve speed, strength, stability, or flexibility. Too much of it will, in fact, make you slower, weaker, and tighter. Need I say more?

Circuits using a combination of strength training, core, and agility exercises are better conditioning options for developing athletes. They don’t require much space, equipment, or time. They improve a spectrum of qualities, not just conditioning. You can use basic exercises which a coach or parent can instruct with groups of athletes.

Here are three examples of conditioning complexes. I demonstrate one round per complex, but you can complete up to eight rounds with one or two minutes rest in between rounds.

About the author

Joe Bonyai

Joe Bonyai is a strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Fastpitch Power. Joe operates Empower Athletic Development, a speed, strength and conditioning business for competitive athletes in Westchester, NY. Joe also authors a multi-sport training blog at www.Empower-ADE.com. Feel free to connect with Joe through Facebook at www.facebook.com/JJBonyai.


  1. Jonathan Holzer


    I just wanted to say I could not agree with you more about the basics and supplying power to baseball/softball athletes alike. My coaching has been limited, but I have been in one game or another for over 30 years. There is absolutely a push off the ground with that back leg when it comes to good hitting especially with power. I am now coaching 14U fast pitch and checked out your site just to see what I could incorporate into my coaching as far as conditioning. You basically solidified my thoughts on what is most important and where to start these young ladies condition wise. Thank you for sharing your videos, they helped a ton.

    1. Carly

      Thanks for the comment Jonathan! So glad you’re finding Fastpitch Power helpful!

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