This is a great core workout for Joey Votto. Having a strong core translates to a more powerful and explosive swing.
Joey Votto has emerged as one of the best baseball players in the MLB. Besides possessing innate ability and natural talent, the Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman worked hard in the weight room to develop even more power and finesse to his game.
When it comes to his workout training routine, Votto trains in Bradenton, FL, at the IMG Baseball Academy with his longtime trainer, Corey Stenstrup.
According to an interview with Men’s Fitness, the majority of Votto’s training revolves around making his body more compliant, which means he’s adding more strength rather than bulk. “If I got him to 260 pounds and he was really strong that does not mean he’s going to the hit the ball any better,” Stenstrup tells Men’s Fitness.
To begin his workout, the 6’3, 225 lb. Votto warms up with a series of activation exercises priming his muscles to fire. Then, he starts on the Powerplate, doing a series of squats on the vibrating platform, adding more advanced movements to each set. The first is a bodyweight squat, then weighted with cables, then a squat with an overhead press, and finally a squat with lateral raises. The Powerplate circuit, like the rest of his exercises, is completed without shoes. “We want to make sure he develops force from the ground,” says Stenstrup, “and it has a clean and efficient transfer through his body.” Doing squats is one of the best baseball-specific exercises you could do. This exercise strengthens the hips and lower back, which can help you hit the ball harder. It also strengthens the muscles used for running and helps you get through the base paths quicker.
The Powerplate consists of a vibrating base, which may vibrate up and down approximately 1 to 2 millimeters. The Power Plate uses whole-body vibration, or WBV, to contract muscle 30 to 50 times per second rather than once or twice per second without it. According to Power Plate’s website, their product “offers a host of benefits, ranging from an immediate improvement in blood circulation, to a variety of other measurable outcomes: such as increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness and faster recovery.”
Votto’s workouts have helped him develop some of the best hitting mechanics in all of baseball.
Next, Votto goes outside to work on his mobility, doing 20 minutes of shuffles, stretches, and additional movements. Then, Votto performs medball throws in a lunge position. He’ll do two sets of 10-15 reps on each side, and sometimes goes for 20 if he can push it. Votto keeps his lower body still and stable, getting all his all power from twisting. Baseball players twist their bodies when they hit the ball so it’s important to develop the power from twisting.
Stenstrup likes to continually add different types of movements in between sets of other exercises. Votto will do posture work with the kettlebell throws, holding a warrior position for about 20 seconds on each side with a Swiss ball held up over his head. Kettleball throws is a total body exercise and trains almost every muscle in your body, especially the hamstrings, glutes, abs, back and shoulders. These are some of the most important muscle groups for playing baseball.
For his last exercise, Votto combines single dumbbell cleans with sandbell slams, and ring pulls with grid pushups. The cleans are done with a heavy dumbbell while Votto stands on sand bells, and the grid pushup is weighted with a sandbag on his back. To end his session, he’ll do some shoulder mobility work and finish with a sandball shoulder combo. These exercises strengthens the entire body, specifically the shoulders and chest, while improving posture.
Here’s a breakdown of Votto’s workout:
Powerplate, one set each:
Squat with cables
Squat overhead press combo
Squat lateral raise combo
Movement drills: low-grade plyometrics (20 minutes)