Texas Rangers Strength & Conditioning

MB Series

The following MD ball drills are plyometric exercises for the trunk to help convert the strength and stability developed in the previously listed core exercises into explosive rotational power. One of the keys to MD ball training is proper ball selections. You goal is to increase velocity. Heavy balls limit velocity. Therefore, use a 6-10 pound ball to ensure that you are able to achieve velocity in your throws. 

Half-Twist

This exercise can be used to increase core strength and trunk range of motion or as a warm-up exercise for the following drills.

  • A partner is needed for this drill.
  • Partners stand back to back, one arms distance apart with feet a little wider than shoulder-width and knees slightly bent.
  • One partner holds the MD ball at chest height with both arms fully extended.
  • Set the abs and keep the upper body erect and trunk stabilized.
  • Partners twist their trunks in opposite directions, i.e., one twists to his right and the other to to his left.
  • The individual who has the ball passes it to his partner. The ball is passed from the right side of one partner to the left side of the second partner throughout the drill.
  • Keep the ball at chest level throughout the exercise and accelerate and decelerate the ball in a smooth and controlled manner.
  • For variety, repeat this drill in a kneeling or half-kneeling position.

 

 
MD Ball Half-Twist

MD Ball Half-Twist

 

Full-Twist

This exercise is similar to the half-twist, but each partner makes a full-twist when passing and received the ball.

  • A partner is needed for this drill.
  • Partners stand back to back, one arms distance apart with feet a little wider than shoulder-width and knees slightly bent.
  • One partner holds the MD ball at chest height with both arms fully extended.
  • Set the abs and keep the upper body erect and trunk stabilized.
  • Partners twist their trunks in the direction, i.e., one twists to his right and the other to to his right.
  • The individual who has the ball passes it to his partner. The ball is passed from the right side of one partner to the right side of the second partner and then from the left side to the left side. 
  • Keep the ball at chest level throughout the exercise and accelerate and decelerate the ball in a smooth and controlled manner.
  • For variety, repeat this drill in a kneeling or half-kneeling position.
 
FullTwist

 

Front Throw 

This is an explosive exercise designed to increase strength and power from the ground up. Use a wall when available to minimize the risk of injury to your partner and maximize the eccentric to concentric switching effect needed for max results. 

  • A partner or wall is needed for this drill.
  • Stand facing a partner or wall with knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart and hips down and back. 
  • Holds the MD ball just above waist  height with both arms fully extended.
  • Set the abs and keep the upper body erect and trunk stabilized.
  • Twist your hips and trunk to one side, shift your weight to your back foot and bring the MD ball back beyond the rear hip.
  • Twist the hips and trunk and explode the ball forward to your partner or wall.
  • Emphasize throwing with the hips and initiating the action from the back foot.  Throw from the ground up with the hands as the final point.
  • Make all throws from one side before switching to the opposite side.
  • Keep the volume (number) of throws constant from week to week. Focus on throwing harder and with better technique, not making more throws.
  • For variety, repeat this drill in a kneeling or half-kneeling position.

 

 
MD Front Twist Throw

MD Front Twist Throw

 

 Alternate Front Throw

This is the same exercise as the front twist throw, but you alternate sides for the prescribed number of throws instead of performing 10 throws on one side and then 10 from the other side. The movement should look fluid and athletic as you move from side to side. This exercise demands more coordination and athleticism than the front twist throw.

Side Throw 

This is an explosive exercise designed to increase strength and power from the ground up. Use a wall when available to minimize the risk of injury to your partner and maximize the eccentric to concentric switching effect needed for max results. 

  • A partner or wall is needed for this drill.
  • Stand about 3 feet from a partner with one side of your body facing the partner or wall.
  • Your feet are a little wider than shoulder-width and knees slightly bent.
  • Holds the MD ball just above waist  height with both arms fully extended.
  • Set the abs and keep the upper body erect and trunk stabilized.
  • Twist your hips and trunk away from your partner or the wall, shift your weight to your back foot and bring the MD ball back beyond the rear hip.
  • Twist the hips and trunk and explode the ball forward to your partner or wall.
  • Emphasize throwing with the hips and initiating the action from the back foot.  
  • The movement should look like a good bat swing.
  • Make all throws from one side before switching to the opposite side.
  • Keep the volume (number) of throws constant from week to week. Focus on throwing harder and with better technique, not making more throws.
  • For variety, repeat this drill in a kneeling or half-kneeling position.

 

 
MD Ball Side Twist Throw

MD Ball Side Twist Throw

 

 Side Twist Throw with a Step

This is the same basic exercise as the side throw, but with movement. Step toward the wall with the front foot to increase the force being generated from the back foot. Emphasize shifting weight from the front foot to the back foot. All other aspects of the side throw remain the same. Make sure you master the side twist throw before performing this drill. Since this is a more explosive exercise, limit throws to sets of 3-5 reps. Make all throws from one side before switching to the opposite side.

Side Twist Throw with a Jump Back

This is the most intense exercise of the MD Series. It is the same basic exercise as the side twist throw, except that you will jump backwards about one step on your rear foot as you bring the MD ball back. The jump back will increase the eccentric load on the rear hip, leg and foot which will allow you to make a more explosive forward throw. Make sure you master the side twist throw and side twist throw with a step before performing this drill. Since this is as explosive exercise, limit throws to sets of 3-5 reps. Make all throws from one side before switching to the opposite side.

 

 

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The game of baseball requires strength, speed, power, endurance, core strength, agility, balance and coordination (hand/eye and hand/foot). To improve these qualities it is necessary to “build from the ground up”, by developing explosive legs, a strong and stable core (abdomen, low back, and hip girdle), strong back, stable scapula, mobile thoracic spine and strong mobile shoulders and arms. Your body is a 3-link chain; 1) hips and legs, 2) core and 3) shoulders, arms and hands. Forces needed to swing fast and throw hard are initiated in the hips and legs, and then transferred through the core to the shoulders, arms and hands where they are applied to the bat and ball...

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This section is to help you understand and prepare for the rigors of the spring training schedule. If you have any questions on how to prepare, please ask a staff member. The rangerstrength.com program is designed with the workload of spring training in mind.

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