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When it comes to men's softball, you have two options. While many men opt to play the slow-pitch version, men do play fast-pitch as well. While the versions differ in pitching style, ball size and game strategy, the muscles and techniques used to play the games are very similar. Maintaining strong shoulder muscles, for example, helps you throw the ball harder and farther. A strong trunk and upper body contributes to more powerful hitting. Staying fit and sharp during the off-season is also important.
Strong shoulder and rotator cuff muscles impact a softball player's throwing arm, whether he's a pitcher or field player. The standing 90/90 external rotation focuses on the rotator cuff and the scapular muscles. Anchor a resistance band to a wall on your right side. Cross both arms in front so the elbows are bent and your left forearm rests on top of the right. Your forearms should be parallel with the floor. With the end of the resistance band in your left hand, rotate your arm upward so your forearm is now perpendicular with the floor. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for eight to 10 repetitions. Turn your body so your left side faces the resistance band's anchor. Repeat the steps with the right arm.
To help you hit the ball farther, you need strong legs and a strong core. Perform regular exercises such as squats and deadlifts for building power and muscle. Another exercise, the resistance band trunk rotation, targets the core and torso muscles while putting your body through the same range of motion it executes when you're hitting. Attach a resistance band to a wall or other secure object. With the band to the right side, if you are a right-handed batter, hold one end in your hands as you would a bat. Swing your arms as if you were hitting a home run. Use as much force as possible. Have your coach or trainer check your batting form and look for any areas of improvement.
In addition to strength training, softball requires speed to get from base to base. An indoor gym is a handy place to perform regular drills, especially during the offseason and bad weather. The 20-20 drill works on sprinting speed as well as endurance. Grab a stopwatch and place a pair of cones 20 yards apart. Begin at the first cone and start your stopwatch. Sprint to the second cone, back to the first, then back to the second to complete one repetition. Rest for 60 seconds between each repetition. Repeat for 20 reps.
Before starting a softball exercise program, talk with a physician about any medical conditions you may have. Once cleared by your physician, talk with your coach or trainer about any specific aspects of your game on which you should focus. For example, you may already be a power hitter but are slow to run the bases. In this case, focus on speed and endurance rather than building more power.