PITTSBURGH – Nearly every player is looking for a way to add some power to their swing. The difficulty lies in achieving that goal consistently.
In terms of ball exit velocity and the distance a ball travels, bat speed + bat weight is a huge factor. A heavier bat has more momentum than a lighter a bat. So when the heavier bat comes in contact with the ball, it imparts more velocity than a lighter bat would.
As far as being able to do this on a consistent basis, the mass of the body factors into being able to create more bat speed + hand speed and being able to swing a heavier bat. Typically a heavier player is stronger than a lighter player and therefore, able to produce more bat speed + hand speed, coupled with the ability to swing a heavier bat which allows the batter to create more momentum and more exit velocity and distance.
There a few key core muscle groups that can be toned and strengthened to help improve bat speed.
We know that the top 20% of collegiate players who use SwingTracker have a larger power output in their swing than the power output from a 220 lb. male during a max load squat. So with that in mind, let’s look and see what we can do in order to improve one’s bat speed with exercise.
Muscles Groups and Exercises:
Legs. Powerful hitters have tremendous leg strength. The legs are responsible for generating the power necessary for a quick swing through the strike zone. Strong legs provide the stabilized foundation that is needed to transfer energy from your trunk to your arms to the bat. Some great exercises to build leg strength include:
- Leg presses
- Leg curls
Core. Having a quick and powerful twist in your core helps create torque behind your swing. The core is the body’s central hub for strength. The core encompasses the muscles of the chest, abdominals and back. Working out these muscles will increase the body’s overall strength. A few great exercises to improve core strength include:
- Sit ups/crunches
- Push ups
- Bench press
- Medicine ball rotations
Forearms. The grip and forearms are very important areas when it comes to increasing bat speed. Strong forearms and grip provide faster hand speed and control. A baseball swing involves incredibly controlled movements in the forearms, wrists, hands and fingers. It’s important to practice forearm and hand exercises. A few great ones include:
- Squeezing a tennis ball/racquetball
- Wrist curls
- Farmer’s walk
- Finger curls
- Reverse wrist curls
Increasing and maintaining strength is a huge part of a great hitter’s routine. Use SwingTracker and DiamondCLUB to monitor progress over time to see how changes in strength and endurance are beneficial to your game and your swing.