Bat speed is important for baseball or softball players. It's not only is critical for power, but it also allows batters to catch up to faster pitches and wait longer to start their swing, allowing for better pitch recognition. Bat speed can be increased with several different exercises.
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Increased bat speed can be done by reinforcing good swing mechanics, according Mike Macenko on his House of Swing website. A good swing should begin with torquing the ankles, then the knees. Next to move will be the hips and then the shoulders, followed by the head. Practicing swinging from the bottom of your body and having the motion progress upward strengthens your muscles and helps you generate power throughout all of your body, which will increase bat speed. Macenko has a workout program where at least two times a week, you take 10 to 12 swings as hard as possible while focusing on these mechanics. Each week, you should switch between a heavier and a lighter bat, which will help train the body to use all muscles to generate bat speed.
The abdominal muscles provide much of the power during a swing. Workouts that strengthen the abdominals can help increase bat speed. For weighted crunches, lie on your back with your the legs in the air and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold a weight of your choice above your head at arm's length. While keeping your back on the ground, raise your upper body slightly into the air. Three sets of between 20 and 40 repetitions are recommended each day to increase bat speed.
Exercises that increase upper body strength and stability can also increase bat speed, according to Be a Better Hitter. One good workout is the rotational push-up. Assume a typical push-up position, with palms on the floor shoulder-width apart, toes on the floor and the back straight. Lower your whole body until your chest is near the ground. Then, while pushing upward, raise one of your arms and hands up to the sky, twisting your torso. Two to three sets of 10 done three times each week can help increase bat speed.
Medicine Ball Rotation
This exercise also works the abdominal muscles and can help improve core power. For this exercise, sit on the floor with the knees bent so the heels are on the floor. Grab the medicine ball and, using your shoulders, gradually move it from side to side, tapping the ball onto the floor on each side of his body as you move. One set is 15 touches of the ball on each side of the body. Do two to three sets three times a week.