6 Musts for a High Bat Speed – T-spine Mobility (Part 1)

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

improving-your-reps-at-the-plate-part-1-top

A few months back I sat down and watched Mike Rozema (of Rozema Baseball and Director of Hitting at RPP) give a hitting lesson.  While listening to his cue-ing, I tried to pinpoint some physical limitations that could prevent a player from getting into the best position to succeed while stepping up to the plate. I thought of some things we could do to help correct them in the weight room.  The results were eye opening and prompted us to start our Hitter’s Rx program. In this four part series, I’ll go over 6 topics that I consider paramount for generating a high bat speed to help players at the plate.

1. T-Spine Mobility – During the session, I heard Mike talking about “keep your hands back while your hips are moving forward”, in other words, getting great separation between the hip and shoulders. Along with great hip mobility (which we’ll discuss next time), t-spine rotation and extension are the other key contributors that allow this separation to occur. One just doesn’t work without the other. As an added bonus, adequate mobility in the upper back allows the hands, to not only get back but, stay there as the hips are moving forward, a key component in force transfer.

Also, the longer the upper body can stay back the longer the batter can keep his eyes on the ball allowing for critical split second adjustments to different pitches. Here are two we’ve used with great success. The first works on pure rotation and the second adds a core stability component to the mix.

(Cable Ball Rotation)

(Core Stability, Hip and Sh. Separation)

Getting great rotation btw, is pretty much impossible with a rounded, kyphotic t-spine. So working on thoracic extension as well is paramount.

That’s why t-spine extension on a foam roller has become a staple around here.

(SMR – T-spine Extension)

Stay tuned next time when we’ll talk about lower body strength and hip mobility.  Give us a call and inquire about our Hitter’s Rx program or click here and here.

See ya’ in the gym.

 

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