Seattle Mariners Weightless Workouts

by Nate

in Athlete Workouts

The Seattle Mariners train without weights

No weights? Sounds preposterous right?  How can a professional sports team possible have a strength and conditioning program that doesn’t incorporate heavy dumbbells or a squat rack?

Well the Seattle Mariners are doing just that this Spring as part of a major overhaul within the organization.  The M’s hired fitness consultant Dr. Marcus Elliott as their new Director of Sports Science and Performance.  Elliott has previously worked with other professional sports organizations including the New England Patriots and the Utah Jazz and is the founder of the Peak Performance Project (P3), a program designed to optimize performance and reduce injury among athletes.

Elliott works on the principal of rotational mechanics, which focuses on developing strength in the hips and lower bodies of the Mariners players. Many of the athletic movements performed by baseball players require short bursts of energy, so Elliott’s program is designed around improving the explosiveness within those movements.  His program also focuses on lateral or horizontal power as opposed to vertical power, which may be prohibitive to baseball performance.

“If you’re going to build athletes, you have to do athletic things with them,” he said. “The whole philosophy of building athletes is you have to expose them to an environment that forces them to develop physical tools that they need when they’re out there,” said Elliott

While much of the standard equipment you would find in a weight room is missing from the Mariner’s facility, one piece of equipment Elliott does have the players using is the Keiser air-compression pulley system.

The Keiser machine is considered to be one of the safest pieces of equipment available as it provides consistent pneumatic resistance without shock loading to connective tissue and joints.

So far the Mariners players are impressed with Elliott and the new program.

“It’s as technologically advanced a program as I’ve ever seen,” said outfielder Eric Byrnes. “It’s very baseball specific. I’m always open to trying new things, but it seems like they really have it figured out over here.”

“It gives you a really good feeling about using a lot of your legs,” said catcher Rob Johnson. “But it’s not like a squat where you’re just pounding your muscles. Everything’s explosion. So, you get in that rhythm, you simulate your swing, you simulate certain movements that you make. The point of the whole thing is really to translate it onto the field,”  said Johnson, who has already had two hip surgeries and the first player to work with Elliott.

While the current Mariner’s big leaguers are not being forced to use the program, Elliott’s training methods are being used throughout the organization’s minor league system.  All players have been given diagnostic testing to determine their lateral strength and flexibility and will be tested again as they progress with the training.

With the Hot Stove cooling down and Spring Training about to heat up it will be interesting to see how the Mariners strength and conditioning overhaul plays out on the field this summer.

For more baseball workouts check out our earlier posts on Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek’s offseason training and the Five Biggest Losers of this offseason.

Source: Seattle Times
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