Get in Playing Shape--FAST!

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Every year coaches and athletes are faced with the same problem. For whatever reason (work, camp, pure laziness) athletes show up out of shape at the beginning of every season, especially after the summer.

Here is the exact program I use to get athletes in shape FAST. It has a high carryover to sports and will not cause overuse injuries. The following four exercises are to be done in circuit fashion.

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Jumping Jacks

I'm sure everyone knows how to do these. The biggest piece of advice is to make sure you are making wide arches with your arms and taking your hands from your sides and touch above your head.

Shuffle Splits

Stand with one foot 6 to 8 inches in front of other foot on balls of your feet. Simply shuffle back and forth, switching places at feet. Be sure movement is generated from hips. Hands are on hips and posture is perfect with eyes looking forward.


Start by jumping straight up with arms extended. Come down to a squat position, on your toes and hands on ground on front of feet. Then kick legs back into start of a pushup position.

Now bring those legs back to the squat position and from there jump up again with arms extended overhead. That is one rep.

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Mountain Climbers

Start in push-up position with arms straight. One knee is bent and up near elbow and one leg is outstretched. Alternate "climbing" legs back and forth with speed. Ensure feet and knees always point straight ahead.

The ides is to do all four exercises for 30 seconds each. You're not trying to go very fast on these. You always want to be in a state where your focus is on breathing properly. You want to always keep your feet moving, but control your heart rate. That's important because when you're competing you want your heart rate to be as low as it possibly can. That's going to allow you not to get clouded in your decision-making.

But again if you can build up to—I'd consider four minutes straight a significant amount of time on this to be able to do that. If you could build up to four or six, eight minutes in a row you're not going to have any kind of problem with getting fatigued.

And that's going to carry over to your training because it will allow your training to be better. It's going to allow your technical sport skills to be better and it's going to allow you not to have technical breakdowns.

More: Baseball Strength and Conditioning 101

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About the Author

Jon Doyle

Jon Doyle MA, CSCS is considered the world's foremost authority on baseball training.  His training techniques have been used by over 500 MLB players, 28 MLB teams, 400 NCAA programs and tens of thousands of High School and youth players to gain a significant advantage of their competition. His website, , is the most visited site of its kind in the world.

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