Hitting is about increasing bat speed to create more power which makes the ball fly farther – after all, who doesn’t want to hit MORE homeruns?!
There are many different ideas for improving swing speed, but focusing on core strength is critical. There are two factors influencing core strength – building a solid base and increasing rotational power. To make the abstract simple, to hit for power your base from the waist down needs to be solid, and from the waist up your torso must rotate quickly and powerfully.
Sounds easy, right?
In fact, the exercises detailed below are not very complex, but before diving into each exercise it’s important to emphasize your form. With any exercise, focus on doing the movement correctly instead of quickly. It’s better to start off with less resistance focusing on form and gradually increase the exercises difficulty. This will translate to your swing and ultimately deliver the results you’re looking for.
Before discussing the exercises, it’s important to emphasize that all must be done in an athletic stance. This means keep your knees slightly bent, hips engaged, head up and hands ready. To make the exercises even more applicable, use your batting stance. Of course, your hands won’t be in the same position, but the more you can work on muscle memory the better you’ll do at the plate.
The first exercise for the aspiring power hitter is landmines. The goal with landmines is to use your hips and obliques to drive the weight from one hand to the other. On the video, you’ll notice the high-end set up where the bar is easily inserted into the landmine. No need to worry if you don’t have that – simply put the bar in a corner so that it doesn’t slide around. Make sure you’re in a good, athletic posture when doing the exercise and the recommendation of 4 sets of 5 reps per arm should do the trick.
- Rotation with a physioball
The cable rotation with a physioball is another great exercise. Unlike landmines which focus on core strength, the cable rotation focuses on building explosive rotational power. Similarly, you need to maintain an athletic stance but in this case the goal is on rotating quickly and powerfully. It’s important to start off at a low weight to emphasize the power of the rotation. When rotating, it’s important to go as far as your body will allow. Flexibility training will help you get more power in this exercise, meaning you have more range. The greater the range, the more power you can hit with.
- Cable rotational chops
Cable rotational chops are like the cable rotation with physioball in that the exercise must be explosive. This particular exercise has you rotate while chopping from your shoulder to your hip. The benefits for your swing – besides the rotational strength component – include increasing contact. Most hitters have swings that are effective on a couple swing planes. Using the cable rotational chop can help you develop a power swing that sends the balls to all fields at all angles. The best hitters hit the ball where it’s pitched, and this exercise helps you do with most effectively.
- Medicine ball throw
The last exercise profiled is the medicine ball throw. This is a great exercise for partners because it can be turned into a competition. Same rules apply as the other exercises – the key is an explosive rotation from an athletic position. Furthermore, keeping a solid base is very important here. One thing to add is the “squishing the bug” part of a swing. Drive off your back foot to rotate while keeping your front foot stiffened. Replicating the mechanics of your swing as closely as possible is very helpful to turning this exercise into a success.
There are tons of different exercises you can do to improve your hitting. It’s important to stay away from traditional strength training modalities like the bench press. Hitting is about a function of the muscles, not building mass. When you’re at the plate it’s important that your body reacts with power and precision.
This reaction can be intensified with the right workouts. As always, be sure to do these exercises in a safe, controlled environment. Most importantly, have fun and keep track of your achievements as you begin to drive the ball with greater power.
About the Author:
My name is Andrea, I’m an editor and founder of sportmystery.com. I’m a lifelong baseball enthusiast. I have a passion for baseball and writing about baseball in various settings.