Successful home-run hitters in the game of baseball have something in common -- a strong core. Although at first glance it appears that arm strength comes into play during a bat swing, the power is generated from the core. From an anatomical standpoint, the core muscles are found in the areas between the pelvis and trunk on both sides of the body. By strengthening this area, you will not only be able to hit a baseball harder, but you will also have better stability and balance.
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Russian twists require a weighted object, such as a medicine ball or dumbbell, and they are performed from a seated position on the floor. To start out, hold the ball in front of your chest, lean back slightly and extend your legs out in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, rotate your torso to your right as you move the ball to your right hip. Quickly change directions and move the ball to your left side. Alternate back and forth in a steady but controlled motion.
Supine Bicycle Crunches
Supine is an anatomical word that means "face up." To do supine bicycle crunches, lie on your back on the floor and place your hands on the sides of your head. After raising your shoulders, lift your legs, bend your knees and level your shins to the floor. In a smooth, fluid motion, move your right elbow and left knee toward each other while extending your right leg out straight. Quickly change directions to target your other side and continue to alternate back and forth.
Cable chops simulate the rotational motion required while swinging a bat. To do this exercise, attach a single handle to a waist-high setting on one side of a cable machine. Stand with your right shoulder facing the weight stack and grasp the handle with your hands overlapping and arms facing the stack. Your feet should be spaced about shoulder-width apart at this point. Keeping your arms straight, quickly rotate your hips and move the handle as far to your left as possible in a chopping motion. Slowly return to the starting point, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides. For a variation, perform this exercise with the handle at a low setting and high setting. With these exercises, move the handle at an angle.
Medicine ball slams work the core in an explosive motion from a standing position. Begin by holding the ball high above your head with both hands. Carefully come up on your tip toes and throw the ball straight into the floor in front of your body as you bend at the knees and hips. As soon as the ball bounces off the floor, catch it and repeat.
Alternating supermans work the front and back of the core simultaneously. To begin, lie flat on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you and legs straight behind you. Steadily raise your right arm and left leg 4 to 6 inches off the floor. Slowly lower your limbs, repeat with your other side and continue to alternate back and forth. To increase the resistance, wear ankle and wrist weights.