How to Increase the Power of Your Baseball Swing
A powerful baseball bat swing is important for making good, solid contact with the ball and ultimately hitting it fast and far. Developing power and thus speed in your bat swing is a matter of good technique and selected functional training exercises that anyone can do.
A powerful baseball swing starts from the ground, goes up and through the legs, hips and glutes, then uses the entire trunk as it rotates and brings the arms (and bat) around to make contact with the ball. Throughout the movement, a good grip on the bat is essential, which requires hand strength.
How to Train your Swing
As you can see, swinging a baseball bat requires muscles from the whole body. Exercises designed to train the swing should support and mimic the motion of a real swing.
To develop power, you must train for speed and strength. During speed training you will use 50-60% of your 1 repetition maximum to move the resistance as fast as possible in good form.
Cable Rotation w/ Pushout
Resistance Band Rotations
Practice swinging with weighted donuts. Using perfect swing mechanics, practice with a weighted bat. Don’t make it so heavy that you change your swing. The point is to get the bat moving in the same arc as fast as possible.
Do 3-5 sets of 5-10 repetitions, or keep swinging until the bat slows down.
Medicine ball wall throw: Stand in your swinging stance perpendicular to the wall, and hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of you. Raise the ball as if it were the bat, drive your rear foot into the ground and explosively turn the hips and shoulders to propel the ball into the wall. Catch it and repeat until the ball slows down. Do 3-5 sets of 5-10 repetitions
Cable Rotation w/ Push Out: Using a rope attachment, assume your swing stance and step out until you have tension. Bend the arms in, rotate through the hips and off the back leg, then push out in front of you as your hands come through.
Do 3-5 sets and perform 8-10 repetitions in perfect form with high velocity. Stop whenever the movement slows down.
See the video below for a demonstration of this exercise.
Resistance Band Rotations: The TRX Rip Trainer is ideal for this movement, but a closed loop power band attached to an anchor point will work just as well.
Attach the band to a point level with your where your bat would start. Assume your batting stance and step out far enough to develop tension in the band.
Driving from the rear leg, rotate the hips and core as you pull your arms explosively through your swing path.
Perform 8-10 repetitions in perfect form with high velocity. Stop whenever the movement slows down.
Strength for Swinging
Power is an important element in developing a home run swing, but without a strong foundation, a fast swing will never be enough. Be sure to develop strong legs, hips, glutes and core with the following compound lifts:
- Back Squat/Front Squat
- Bench Press
All of these exercises require multiple muscle groups and active core stability to execute with precision, and will help you build a solid foundation for your bat swing.
To sum it all up, increasing the power of your baseball swing requires 3 things:
- A lot of batting practice to develop motor memory and improve technique, but also to increase swinging speed
- Regular strengthening/power developing exercises mimicing the motion of the swing and using 50-60% of your maximum resistance at high velocity.
- Regular strength training to build up a strong foundation in the "engine" of the swing, the lower body.
Incorporate these training tips into your program and you will soon be knocking the ball out of the park!