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Softball Off Season Leg Strength Program

Here is a five-month leg strength development program for middle school and high school softball players. It requires only ONE piece of equipment, a 12 or 16 kilogram kettlebell (you can purchase here). Each month has a routine that should be completed 2-3 times per week with 1-2 days of rest in between training sessions. Each exercise has been assigned a range of sets and repetitions. Athletes should begin at the low end of those ranges at the beginning of the month and progress toward the high end.

This is NOT a conditioning program. It’s not designed to run your athletes into the ground. Building strength is developed by QUALITY execution, not quantity of repetitions. You should rest 1-2 minutes in between each set. You do not have to rest between sides of a single leg exercise (rest only after you’re finished with both legs). Do NOT pair these workouts with ANY cardio. Do not go for a run before or after, or get on a bike of elliptical. These workouts are best juxtaposed with lessons or blended into total body workouts including upper body and core work.

October
Wall Squat 3x 8-15 reps
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Hold 3x :20-:60
1 Leg Hip Bridge 3x 5-15

November
Kettlebell Wall Goblet Squat 3-4x 5-10 reps
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat with Pause 3-4x 5-8 reps
1 Leg Superman 3-4x 5-8 reps

December
Kettlebell Goblet Squat 3-4x 5-10 reps
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 3-4x 5-12 reps
KB RDL to Wall 3-4x 5-10 reps

January
Jump 2-3x 3-5 reps
Kettlebell Swing 2-3x 10-15 reps
Kettlebell Goblet Squat with Pause 3x 3-8 reps
Kettlebell Goblet Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3x 5-8

February
Lateral Bound to Base 2-3x 5-8 reps each way
Split Squat Jump 2-3x 5-6 reps each leg
Jump 2-count  2-3x 3-5 reps
Kettlebell Swing 2-3x 10-15 reps
Kettlebell Goblet Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat with Pause 3-4x 5-8 reps

If you have any questions regarding the program, or exercise technique, please leave a comment below! If you would like to begin an individualized, off-season program, please email me joe@fastpitchpower.com for more information on our Online Strength Training Programs.

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.

3 comments

  1. Kelly Clinevell

    Hey Joe,
    I really like this progression. Are there any considerations to having any strength/stability based movements in the progression before the lateral bounds in february? Do the unilateral movements require enough lateral strength/stability to prepare the athlete for the lateral bounds?
    Thanks,
    Kelly

  2. Joe Bonyai

    Hi Kelly, thanks for the message. I feel this progression develops sufficient strength/stability to support the addition of lateral bound-to-base in month 5. It’s my first progression for lateral movement, and I no longer use loaded lateral squats and lunges as I’ve found they leave hips very angry for too many days following the workout. Unliateral exercises (especially iso holds and pauses) develop the requisite stability for the leg that’s responsible for landing/decelerating during a lateral bound. Bilateral squats, when coached to “spread the floor”, develop the specific ground force application via the hips for lateral/rotational athletes. During a bilateral squat, I cue the athletes to screw their feet into the ground and drive out HARD (pushing their feet away from each other, “spreading the floor”) throughout descent and ascent. No other strength exercise allows you to create this much specific force/muscular teamwork in the hips.

  3. AJ

    Joe,

    Very nice use of function & controlled progressions… Just enough, but not too much! I have some integrative tools I’d love to share for softball. Great usage as a mixer during movement patterns for performance.

    http://youtu.be/VysW9j1FCzg

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