I’m going to walk you through this upper body eccentric strength workout my baseball athletes went through the other day. This workout is part of their off-season prep training protocol.

The eccentric phase is a part of the triphasic training approach I take with most of my athletes. This is typically the “lowering” portion of your movement.ย As always, start off with a full body warm-up like this one.

upper body mobility

Upper body prep

Kicking things off with some mobility prep for the upper body:

  1. Wall slides – this is a staple in our programs, especially for baseball athletes to work on retraction of the scaps and the ability to hold five points of contact on the wall while moving through a range of motion.
  2. Dowel rod thoracic spine rotation – this movement has the athlete perform extension and rotation.

Upper body eccentric strength:

Next we’ll move onto our primary push and corrective strength work.

  1. Eccentric dumbbell bench press – focus on slowly lowering the weights at an even tempo and then exploding the weight through a horizontal push.
  2. Cable face pulls – the opposite and corrective exercise to our heavy bench press are these high horizontal pulls. These help to balance out your upper body strength training.

upper body eccentric training

Push / Pull eccentric training:

This phase takes your two main upper body power movements and works them back to back.

  1. Rope pull ups –ย I love this movement for baseball athletes since it forces you to constantly work across the elbow and develop grip strength. It’s also important to be working on improving the vertical pull.
  2. Half – kneeling landmine push press – using the half kneeling position allows the lower body and hips to be slightly more involved which allows you to press a little more weight and integrate the whole body.

Arm flexion / extension:

We finished this workout with an arm flexion and extension burner circuit.

  1. Dumbbell incline hammer curls – focus on doing this with a slow tempo, accentuating the eccentric (lowering) phase.
  2. Overhead tricep cable extension – hinge forward at the hips slightly to fully push and extend the arms over your head.
  3. Side plank hip lifts – add some resistance by placing a dumbbell on your hip.

That’s a full upper body strength workout that we performed with these baseball athletes in prep for their season. Watch us train the full session here:

If you’re in need of a full baseball training program, be sure to check out my program below using our three step approach to baseball performance:

  1. Establish a strong structure
  2. Develop your absolute force
  3. Build full-body explosivenessย 



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