LAKELAND, Fla. -- After earning American League Rookie of the Year Award honors in 2016, it's hard to believe that Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer would change much of anything during his offseason. But the 23-year-old right-hander altered some of his training methods in the hopes of adding more strength and explosive movement to his lower body.
Fulmer, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, said his trainer wanted him to focus more on posterior chain training that will strengthen his legs, hamstrings, hips, calves, back and other related areas.
"I could tell you this offseason I worked out probably the hardest I ever have of any offseason before," Fulmer said. "We did a lot of explosive training and flexibility and a little bit of strength stuff. I'm a firm believer of staying loose, staying flexible and combining that with the strengthening phase and trying to mend the two together."
• Fulmer looking to make strides after ROY effort
According to Fulmer, the training was also designed to increase his endurance to help him stay strong throughout the season.
"It was based around doing high repetition with lower weights," Fulmer said. "And then we'd go on the big rehab treadmill and work on everything. We did sprints and backpedaling and then more sprints, and then we would push the sleds."
Fulmer said he usually tends to try to strengthen his whole body and work in some explosive training after that, but this offseason he and his trainer made the change. Fulmer doesn't throw weighted balls because he's comfortable with his current shoulder routine.
"It was a different way of doing things, and I feel good and I feel stronger," Fulmer said. "The goal is always to get better and learn how to do things better and do what it takes to stay healthy and stay on the field."
No social media needed
Fulmer is also one who will stay away from social media for weeks at a time during the season. He hasn't sent a tweet from his account (@MFulmer12) since Feb. 10, and expect the usage to be even lighter once the regular season begins.
"It's tough because you see some good things on Twitter or Facebook or social media in general and it gives you confidence," Fulmer said. "But if you don't have such a good start or you don't do something as good as you have been, they will let you know."
Don't expect Fulmer to take offense, however. He says it just goes in one ear and out the other.
"People have their rights and their freedom of speech," Fulmer said. "I just try to stay levelheaded and maintain my eyes through my tunnel."
Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.