top of page

The Best Baseball and Softball Warm Up

An often overlooked tool to prevent injury and improve performance is a proper warm up. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I specialize in working with baseball and softball players. When I see them for an evaluation I like to ask about possible causes that led to the injury. Many times these athletes tell me they warm up before their game by doing a couple of static stretches and they go right to throwing. This is not enough of a warm up and puts them at increased risk of injury.

Why You Need to Warm Up Before Baseball and Softball

A proper warm up is essential to prepare your body, specifically your muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. for the stress of competition. The primary goal of warming up is to increase your core temperature. You should break a sweat or come close to it. Increasing your temperature will improve the flexibility of your muscles and tissues which will allow them to react better during your game. Think about how stiff you feel first thing in the morning when getting out of bed. Your body needs time to loosen up in the morning just as it does before a game.

A general warm up is a great place to start prior to your game, but you also want to capture the specifics of your sport. Baseball and softball are obviously reliant on upper body movements for throwing, as well as rotation. Specific movements to target the shoulder to prepare for throwing as well as the hips and low back for rotation can help improve performance. A proper warm up for your shoulder can add distance to your throws by helping the muscles move efficiently, which will help you throw with greater ease.

How Do You Warm Up for Baseball and Softball

I have created a Youtube video highlighting my favorite warm up routine for baseball and softball players here. It should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete, which allows plenty of time for a good throwing program and any other steps you need to be ready for the game. This warm up should be performed prior to throwing, hitting, or any other activities when you get to the field.

Dynamic stretches are the proper way to warm up before any athletic activity. Static stretching refers to holding a movement for a prolonged period of time, but dynamic stretches involve moving quickly through the entire range of motion. Research shows that dynamic stretches are more effective at improving performance and decreasing injury risk prior to activity because they actively prepare the muscles to move in a way similar to how they will during your game. Static stretching does not offer similar benefits.

Feel free to add any additional movements that you like as part of your warm up. I will often give clients a couple of specific exercises to perform based on their injury history. This should serve as a template for a general team or individual warm up, but it is ideal to see a Doctor of Physical Therapy or similar healthcare professional if you need individual guidance. If you are near Sterling, Virginia and would like to schedule an evaluation to determine how you can individually prevent an injury and improve performance, then please reach out. You can email me at At Eclipse Wellness we want to provide the best options so that you can be the best possible athlete!


bottom of page