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WHY BASEBALL PLAYERS DON'T BENCH

 

By: Iya Lindahl

The bench press is possibly the most stereotypical, “buff guy” lift in the gym. Go to any LA Fitness and you’ll see people benching with cringe-worthy technique, walking away with more aches and pains than an increase in muscle.

But even in a more professional gym with coaches that are monitoring technique, the bench press is simply not a beneficial exercise for baseball players.

Baseball players spend their entire careers creating “a shoulder that’s loose in the front and tight in the back, along with an elbow that doesn’t straighten all the way.

[On top of that, they develop] scaps and hips that don’t move well, gritty tissue surrounding the shoulder, and a spine that’s stuck in extension” (Eric Cressey, 3 Reasons We Don’t Have Baseball Players Bench). And bench pressing only furthers this dysfunction. 

The movements required for a bench press are very similar to a baseball player throwing.

This is one thing we want to steer clear of because it only further locks the shoulders. In regards to an increase in strength, the benching movement also doesn't translate well into throwing.

On the contrary, it is the exact opposite from the fast, light weight throwing of a baseball (as it is usually very heavy and slow). 

Overall, since there are so many other exercises baseball players can benefit from, bench pressing is just not worth it.