Pro Tips

Matt Harvey's 3 Exercises for a Stronger Core

The Mets starter relies on these moves to build core stability and leg strength.

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Mets ace Matt Harvey was sidelined for the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. Doubts lingered as to whether the All-Star righthander would be as dominant upon his return. But Harvey blocked out the pessimism. “Once I decided to get the surgery there were no negative thoughts,” he told us at an Axe Hair event in Manhattan. Back on the mound in 2015, Harvey wasted no time getting back to the top of the rotation as the Mets became unexpected contenders in the pennant race, making it clear that taking the long road to reboot his throwing arm was the right call. “It was mostly all shoulders with a focus on strength and flexibility,” he said of his post-surgery training program.

Harvey spent most of last January training with the Boras Sports Training Institute (BSTI), focusing on strengthening his legs and core. He also relied heavily on Pilates. “Especially during my recovery, I found Pilates to be the most successful workout for my core and stability. During the season, I do it about once a week.” 

No. 1: Pilates Planks/Elephant Combo

Stand heels together, toes apart. Reach to the floor, walk hands to pushup position, hold a five count, do 5–10 pushups, walk hands back to start. Do 3 sets. 

No. 2: Compound Lunges

Holding light dumbbells, stand with your left heel against the arch of your right foot. Step forward with left leg and raise hands overhead. Drag left leg to start position and lower arms. Do 6–8 reps per leg; 2–4 sets. 

No. 3: Wall Stand to Chair Sit

Lean against a wall with shoulders back, feet hip-width apart. Hold for a 10 count. Walk forward into a squat position. Hold 30 seconds. Slide up, repeat twice. 

Moves courtesy of Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates in New York.

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