Improving Power in the “Stride” (Softball Tip #7)

Tip #7 - 1By Nunzio Signore (B.A. CPT, NASM, FMS, PES)

In today’s post we are covering strength and conditioning tip #7 for softball players. In case you missed #6 please click here.

Today’s softball tip seems to be geared towards pitchers, but in fact stride length also relates to an outfielder throwing someone out at home or a catcher throwing someone out at second or even a stronger swing at the plate. You see, a wider stride length gives us a more stable base of support for the core and upper body to pivot off of in all of the movements mentioned above. I liken it to a pyramid.

Which pyramid would you feel more stable being on top of?

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Not only is this important from a power perspective, but as far as velocity goes a wider stride length combined with a pitcher’s “glide” when moving towards the plate enables for the ball to be released further down the mound.  This creates what we call “perceived velocity”. It also is much more intimidating to batters. Last but certainly not least as far as injury reduction goes, a wider stable base of support (pyramid on the right) allows for less compensation or “wiggle room” in the lower back and knees.  This is extremely important, especially for females who have a higher risk of ACL injury due to the natural angle of their hips.

We use lateral slide board lunges to strengthen the adductors (inner leg), and teach “hip hinging” (getting the hips back to activate the glutes).  The latter a key factor in achieving anything explosive whether it be pitching, hitting, throwing or running.  Allie Wood demonstrates below:

For more softball tips please visit our Elite Softball page by clicking here.