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How athletes train: Cody Bellinger

The training regimen: 

“I go a little harder and do more strength between seasons since we play almost every day during the other months. 

Lower-body and leg workouts are a main focus for me in the offseason. One of my favorite routines includes front squats, back squats, and deadlifts. It’s important that I maintain this strength year-round because once you lose it, it’s hard to get it back. I also do a lot of bench presses and dumbbell exercises, which I cut back on during the season to avoid getting too stiff. 

Once practices start up again, my go-to lower-body moves shift to hamstring curls and elevated split squats. I’ll also do more push and pull routines. For example, I’ll use the TRX, alternating between rows and push-ups. It’s low-impact and easier on the body than heavier lifts are. 

A strong core can keep you from getting injured in this sport. Baseball players hit on one side of the body or the other (I hit on my left), which means we twist a lot. I do medicine ball slams to stabilize my core and spine, standing with a wall to my left or right and rotating through my torso to throw the ball into the wall. I’ll finish my sessions with agility drills and footwork.

Mindset is also important, and I’m a big music guy. I choose what to listen to depending on my mood. Before a game it’s usually rap or hip-hop. If I’m on a plane or road trip, I’ll put on reggae to calm my mind.”

The nutrition regimen: 

“Before I train, I usually eat a protein bar to make sure I have energy. Afterwards, I like to have another bar or shake to help me recover. As an athlete, I need to prioritize nutrition, and fueling correctly at the beginning and end of my workouts is a big part of staying healthy. 

The team makes sure all the food we eat is as clean and organic as possible. I try to get protein at each meal, usually from fish, chicken, or another meat. One of my favorite things to have for lunch and dinner is grilled fish, like salmon, with some rice and vegetables.

I do my best to stay away from junk foods and sweets that will set back my progress. You can indulge once in a while, but to be at the top of your game you need to have consistent nutrition.”

The recovery regimen: 

“To stay loose after my workouts, I stretch. Most of them are core-related, like supine twists. Our trainers help us perfect our routines. 

Mostly, I focus on hamstrings after lower-body sessions. If I don’t, it hurts to walk the next day. The last thing I want is to pull these muscles or for them to get tight, and stretching prevents that.”

What’s next: 

“This season has been fun so far. Our team is great and we know what we can accomplish together, but we need to concentrate on our main goal: winning. We did well the past two seasons, but we have to push a little harder to be on top in the end.” 

Photos: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers