The Seattle Mariners have switched from a generic strength and conditioning program to a “high-tech” advanced program by Dr. Marcus Elliot. Many articles on the switch have talked about the lack of weights in the weight room and the emphasis on plyometric/movement training, leading many to believe that weights were completely left out of the program altogether. As the video below shows, this isn’t exactly the case:

As you can see, they have a significant amount of cable pulleys with variable resistance to train hip rotation, a rack of dumbbells, and three power cages with a variety of barbells. While this doesn’t constitute a “lack of weights” by anyone in the know, I’m willing to bet most reporters were used to seeing a bunch of isolation-based machines and equated them as “weight training.”

As Dr. Marcus Elliot so succinctly points out, training hip rotation is extremely important in baseball athletes. He also goes on to say that athletes must train their legs for strength and also mentions the need for improved thoracic extension. Improving tissue quality via self-myofascial release (SMR, also known as foam rolling) and performing postural exercises that address these needs is extremely important in a baseball training program.

I’m glad to see a major-league organization that “gets it” and doesn’t have their guys training on machines like most other organizations do. The attention to thoracic extension, hip rotation, and leg strength (just to name a few things I like about the program) are all very good and necessary if you want to effectively train baseball athletes.