Training for the game of baseball is often misunderstood and incorrectly executed. Training should closely mimic the movements and energy systems utilized during the game. Baseball players should train to generate force from the ground to fingertips in a rotational movement plane through a stable core.

We have found the BOSU ball to be an outstanding tool for training core and lower-half stability, which are two prerequisites for creating the rotational power required by baseball players. If the lower half is not stable at landing then force cannot be developed from the ground. If the core is not stable, that force cannot be transferred up the kinetic chain to the fingertips.

The BOSU ball helps baseball players and all athletes develop the dynamic balance and body control required by their sport. In addition to its versatility, the BOSU ball provides a unique combination of stability and instability when the dome side is up, that enables athletes to fully commit their body weight to the dome and load it ballistically through the lower extremities unlike any other device. This creates a distinct training stimulus that produces both neural and structural adaptations that help athletes load the ground with greater efficiency for increased power and reduced chance of injury.

When the body can stabilize itself on the BOSU ball dome, it is capable of producing greater stability when trying to generate force from a stable surface like the ground.

Below are the most important exercises we do to stabilize the core and lower body:

Front Planks:

To perform this most basic of core stabilization exercises, put one hand on each side of the BOSU ball with the flat side up, in a push-up or plank position. Keep the body flat and tighten the core muscles. Pay close attention to the middle of the body. It should not sag or rise up in the air.

BOSU Plank Partner Taps:

In the same position as the Front Plank, have your partner tap the flat side of the ball at various points creating even more instability. The goal is to keep or return the BOSU ball to a level position as quickly as possible.

Plank Circles and Figure 8s:

In the BOSU ball Plank position, keep the hands in the same place at the edge of the ball and rotate the BOSU ball in a circular pattern while keeping the body in a straight line. Switch directions halfway through the repetitions.

To perform more advanced movements, move the ball in the pattern of an 8 while keeping the body in a straight line and the core engaged. Switch directions halfway through the repetitions.

Side Arm Balances:

To perform this hip and oblique stabilizing isometric hold, put one hand on the round side of the BOSU ball with the other hand straight up in the air. Keep the body in a straight line from head to toe. Tightening the core and glutes will help maintain this position properly.

Starfish BOSU Push-Ups:

BOSU Starfish Push Ups

This complex movement will develop chest, hip, and oblique strength and stability. Begin in a push-up position on the round side of the BOSU ball. Perform a push-up, then place one hand on center of the round side of the ball. Turn into a “side-arm balance" and lift the top leg off the ground. Hold this position for one or two counts, then return to the push-up position and repeat on the other side.

One-leg High-knee Balance:

BOSU One Leg High Knee Balance

Baseball requires dynamic balance more so than static balance. The One-leg High-knee balance training exercise demands that the athlete maintain balance on the unstable surface while moving the body through a fullrange of motion.

Begin with one foot on the top of the round side of the BOSU ball, the other foot on the ground to the side, and the opposite arm at a 90-degree angle in front of the body. Then, explosively drive the knee of the foot on the ground up while pumping the arms. Hold this position for one or two counts and return to the starting position. Halfway through the repetitions, the other foot is switched to the top of the BOSU ball.

Below are the most important exercises we do to develop explosive lateral movements with the lower body:

BOSU Side Lunge:

BOSU Side Lunge

The BOSU Side Lunge can be performed with or without weights. Perform a side lunge onto the round side of the ball keeping the back straight and the chest up. Then, explode off the BOSU ball, which should result in the leg lifting to the side. Hold that position for a count before returning to the starting position. Perform an equal number of repetitions on each leg.

BOSU Speed Skater:

BOSU Speed Skater

All baseball activities require a positive shin angle (knee inside foot) to maximize lateral drive. The BOSU Speed Skater exercise requires athletes to keep a positive shin angle while moving explosively in a lateral plane.

To perform this exercise, start to the side of a round-side-up BOSU ball. Load on the outside leg, while bringing the other leg slightly behind the knee. Drive onto the BOSU ballfrom the inside of the loaded leg while pumping the opposite arm. Be very careful to land on the inside of the BOSU ball because landing on the top or outside could cause injury. Drive back off the BOSU ball with the inside of the foot to the starting position and repeat. Switch the side of the BOSU ball and repeat.

About the Author: For more great information on baseball specific conditioning, check out Coach Kyle Nelson and Cornerstone Coaching Academy's blog post on The Top 7 Mistakes Baseball Players Make in the Weight Room. You can follow Coach Nelson on Twitter @Coach_KNelson.

If you enjoyed these BOSU Ball exercises, check these ones out next….

BOSU Elite Core Strengthening Exercise: Flat Jacks

BOSU Elite Speed Training Technique: Sprinter Squats