6 Musts for a High Bat Speed… Lower Half Strength and Power (Part 2)

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)


Today in Part 2 of this series on improving hitting in the weight room (if you haven’t read Part 1 please click here), we’re going to look further into some key factors in swing mechanics as well as some things we can do in the weight room to increase your strength and power (explosiveness) at the plate.

As far as strength and power go, both are vital to optimizing athletic ability. Both also need to be trained separately and at different times of the year. Much like training speed, we need to first work on getting strong and then learn to apply that new strength rapidly into the ground and up through your swing into your bat. Let’s take a look.

2. Lower Body Strength and Power – In the early off-season (October through December) is when we train absolute strength for ball players. This is when we need to put on some size muscle-wise, as well as strength-wise to be able to really crush the ball. Most movements in baseball (or all sports for that matter) start from the ground up so strengthening the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings) is crucial. You would have a tough time finding a great power hitter in the MLB who doesn’t have a respectable deadlift or hip bridge. Bergen Catholic’s Dave LaManna demonstrates here:

(Trap Bar Deadlift)

Once we’ve established a solid base of strength, only then can we start working on power to help take bat speed and power to the next level.

On the other hand, just because you can deadlift 2x’s your body weight doesn’t mean you’re going to be explosive at the plate. We need to learn to take that strength and apply it in a manner more specific to hitting. This would include things like med ball throws to work on rotary power as well as sprinting and jumping to incorporate the lower half.

(Med Ball Shovel Pass)

(Split Squat Jumps)

Bottom line, with the exception of cleaning up really poor swing mechanics, generating more bat speed will be an uphill battle unless you can apply more force (power) into the ground.

These are a few of the principles that go into our “Hitters Rx” program (click here) for position players. Please call or stop by to inquire about getting on board.

See ya’ in the gym…


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