Three More Great Ways to Help Improve Power and Bat Speed – Part 2

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Let’s face it everyone is always talking about bat speed when it comes to position players and their ability to drive the ball.  In Part 1 of this blog (please click here for Part 1), I talked about 3 key factors and how to train baseball players to help improve “the almighty swing”.  Today, we’re going to touch on three more great ways to try and help you improve your power and bat speed.

4. Hip Internal Rotation – When coming through the swing, much like a pitcher coming down the mound, the lead leg hip needs to have good IR to help with deceleration as well as taking much of the strain off of the lower back by creating good extension in the back leg. Working on #3 core stability (listed in Part 1) will help get the ball rolling by correcting posture and creating more space in the hip socket (acetabulum) for the femur to rotate.  Here are two drills to help with Hip IR:

(90/90 Breathing w/ Hip Shift)

(Bowler Squats)

5. Lumbar Stability- Normal range of motion for the lumbar spine is anywhere between 3-15 degrees, as compared to the 35-55 + degrees available in the t-spine. Therefore creating good stability in the lumbar spine will help the athlete resist any unwanted rotation that may occur there and create a stable base for the t-spine to rotate on.  This can go a long way in helping to alleviate lower back pain and oblique strains associated with the swing.   Bird Dogs are a great exercise to train lower lumbar stability.

(Bird Dog)

6. Grip and Forearm Strength – Regardless of height and weight, the one thing that most hitters will have in common will be strong forearms and grip strength.  Quick wrists go a long way in helping to increase bat speed. This will enable them to really get more out of every swing.  Quite often we’ll use Fat Gripz during upper body exercises to not only increase forearm strength, but  grip strength as well.  EMG studies show that grip strength is directly related to increased cuff activation  (Please click here if you would like to read more on this topic: “Review Paper: Activation of Shoulder Girdle Muscles during Gripping Task”).

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A great hitting coach can “drive the car”, but not if the car isn’t fully tuned up and ready to go. Getting strong and mobile is the key.

See ya’ in the gym.

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