How to Hit a Baseball: Power Leg Drive for Baseball Players
While some of the videos and training guidelines in this series focus on body technique and the mechanics of the swing, this video offers a set of three exercises designed to strengthen the muscle groups behind this technique. Follow along with the Kbands trainers as they explain how to hit a baseball farther by building power and control in the core, hips, and lower body.
These exercises will rely on the use of the KB Duo, a strong, portable lightweight suspension training system that can be attached to any sturdy overhead structure, including a squat rack or door frame. In these exercises, the KB Duo will support the body in split squat and bridge positions while the user executes the moves.
Before beginning the set, the equipment will need to be installed, which takes only a few seconds but will need to be done correctly to provide strong support. Wrap the extension strap around the overhead mount two or three times, then tuck one end of the strap through the other and pull the end tight. Attach the two carabineers of the KB Duo straps to the free hanging loop of the extension strap and make sure the clips are securely in place and locked. Once the straps are adjusted so the loops hang to the desired level, the workout can begin.
How to Hit a Baseball: One Leg Squats
The first move in this core building set may be slightly advanced for some users, so baseball players should make an effort to push themselves to their limits and put their balance and lower body strength to the test. Users can start by facing away from the hanging suspension system and enlisting the help of a partner to place one raised foot into the loop on the corresponding side. With one foot held up by the loop, the baseball player can hop forward until his body weight feels unevenly suspended between the foot on the ground and the foot in the loop. Players should hop out to the point of slight imbalance and then hop one step further.
Staying within the comfort zone will actually interfere with proper technique for this move. So once users have hopped out to a point of unstable balance, they’ll be in the correct position to maximize the benefits of this move. For a correct one-leg squat, the knee should be behind the toe. The player can then bend at the knee and lower the body, rocking back and generating pressure on the hips and core. Users should keep these elements of technique in mind:
1. The chest should stay high
2. The trunk should stay vertical and upright
3. The hands should extend forward for balance
4. The hips should stay in line
Ideally, this move will increase body control during the baseball swing and will allow the player to maintain stability as the hips open up and the force of the swing moves from hips, through the torso and through the arms.
How to Hit a Baseball: Hamstring Curl
The next move will focus on the back side of the hips, the glutes, and the hamstrings. For this move, the user will roll over and lie on the floor face up while placing both heels into the loops of the KB Duo. When the player is in position and the body is properly aligned, the weight should be centered between the heels and the upper back, and everything in between should be straight, but elevated from the floor.
To execute the move, the user will bend at the knees and draw the feet forward and the knees toward the chest. With the body in a bridge position, this move will create targeted tension in the backs of the legs and glutes. This exercise will generate far more burn in the focus areas then a workout with weights, but in order for this to happen, users should keep these points in mind:
1. A strong, straight back bridge
2. Solid trunk position
3. A strong burn in the right muscle groups
4. Proper hip alignment
How to Hit a Baseball: Suspended Side Bridge
This next move will tax the core, hips, obliques and back muscles, all of which provide essential support to a powerful baseball swing. For this move, users will stay on the floor but rotate onto one side. The foot closest to the floor will be placed in a loop of the KB Duo and the upper foot will be stacked on top, so the feet are side by side. The user will raise himself so his body weight is resting on his elbow and forearm, and his body line will form a bridge between the arm and the suspended feet.
This is a static move, so the necessary muscle groups will begin to burn as the user simply holds this position. But in order to maintain this bodyline, users will usually need to rock the hips slightly forward and work hard to keep the rear end from sagging toward the floor. Keep these points in mind:
1. Rock the hips forward
2. Stay in a straight line
3. Develop the back muscles
4. Add power to the swing
How to Hit a Baseball: Final Notes
Baseball players and coaches should keep in mind that the primary force behind a baseball swing comes from rotational motion and rotational momentum, so the power of the connection between the ball and the bat begins in the movement of the hips. And powerful movement in the hips begins with a strong, stable base. Each of these three moves can help players develop a foundation for a controlled, powerful delivery of force through the hips. Keep these guidelines in mind for the set:
1. Complete four sets of each move with ten reps per set.
2. Concentrate on rotational power
3. Maintain a strong base
4. Keep the moves simple
For more baseball drills that can help players develop accuracy and force in the swing, and for drills that emphasize pitching, reflexes, running, or any other aspect of the game, visit the baseball section of Kbands Training. com.
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