Re: Re: Re: Dog-legging the bat
> > > I have a problem. When I take a swing my swing plane just doesn't seem right. It seems as if I am doglegging the bat. I really think it has something to do with my top hand/bottom hand. I think I am too top hand dominant. Does anybody know what I mean when by this?? This is really puzzling me and I can't seem to understand why when big leaguers take dry cuts their swing plane is nice and level and mine is more wavy. It's like the bat head is up in relation to my hands. Hope yall understand what I mean.
> > Your wrists are probably rolling prematurely. If you look at still pictures of good major league hitters their palm (rear arm) is almost always facing the sky at contact with the ball. A premature wrist roll causes the bat plane to lift up very slighty and result in an uneven swing plane and less consistent contact. Good hitting is about consistency and good hitters have developed a consistent swing plane among many other things. One of the reasons they are able to keep the palm facing the sky is because they have good core rotational flexibility. They don't have to roll the wrist to get the bat head around at contact. They simply rotate their core very quickly. If I had to develop power in a hitter it would consist of core flexibility and strength, strong hands and forearms, and one legged squats without weights. If you watch a Chase Utley workout you'll see a bunch of core workouts. Also, you can watch where hard hitters get injured to find out what is important to hard hitting. The most common injury to hard hitters is obliques so anything you can do to increase power and flexibility here will make you a better hitter and result in a better swing plane.
> Awesome stuff man. Just awesome. Thank you so much for explaining this. I know how I can strengthen my core but how can I make it more flexible??
There are a bunch of different core flexibility exercises but you really don't want to spend too much time exercising because when you reach a point of muscle fatigue in a baseball workout it can adversely impact hitting. I've done some core workouts that usually involve a medicine ball or plate weight of less than 20 pounds. You can lay on your back on the floor and hold the weight up in front of you and rotate the plate from one side of the floor to the other side. You can also stand up in a hitting position with your feet as far apart as when you make contact with the ball. Lock your hands together with your fingers and have your elbows out. Slowly rotate from one side to the other holding for a count of two and go as far as you can rotate. The rotational exercises are really very easy but important. I think the key is to not overdo it but still get good core flexibility and strength. If you add overunder bat swinging which is getting a broom handle cut to bat length and get your game bat and a heavy bat then practice taking dry cuts as fast as you can rotationally swing you will get faster and better core flexibility. You can also buy or get a small tire and throw it (make sure you rotate with a firm front side).
You can strengthen hands by opening and closing hands in a five gallon bucket of rice. Mix this in with wrist rolls using one of those rope wrist rollers you can buy at sports authority. This will give you very good hand and forearm muscle tone without getting too bulky. If you are a pitcher I'd be very careful in overdeveloping forearms because the increased forearm mass puts more pressure on the shoulder as the heavier weighted arm coming around and following through is something that may be more stress than your shoulder can stand and certainly more than it is used to. I think some throwers really get injured when they put too much muscle on their arms. One legged squats without weights are also very good. You can do a very good baseball workout in 35 to 40 minutes 3 times a week and get great results. You just can't stop working out between exercises. Great cardio too when you do it like that. Combine this with a light running program (2 to 3 miles twice a week) program and you should be in great baseball shape.
I was doing baseball workouts out in the fall and hitting some shots 380 ft. I'm mid 40's overweight and short. I haven't done any baseball exercises in 4 months and could only hit 340 this weekend. The things I notice as missing most are core flexibility and hand/forearm strength from not exercising.
I'm not sure how much research you have done into hitting but the circular hand path, top and bottom hand torque, and L slot for the rear elbow are critical for power. These are all discussed on this web site and in a DVD sold here. The working out and flexibility work well in conjunction with these things.
I have always been a right handed hitter and swung so many times over the last 35 years that hitting rotationally has been more difficult because my swing is burned in to muscle memory. I might hit 280 ft right handed. I have studied this website and burned in a rotational swing left handed and can hit up to 380 when combined with a light baseball workout several times a week. The rear elbow slot on this web site, focus on rotationally turning, having a firm front side, and hitting on plane with the pitch as opposed to swinging level (big Ted Williams concept) enable me to crush it. I naturally do the top hand and bottom hand torque left handed so really don't spend too much time focusing on it. Very important though. You have to make good contact because the best swing won't do much if you are just missing the ball by a half inch.
I think the key to training is moderation, using your own body weight for exercises, and swinging correctly a lot. You also really have to focus on the ball because it is so easy to get lazy watching the ball. I also notice it takes me about 15 to 22 swings at the ball to get dialed in and start crushing it so pregame swinging is important whether it be on the tee, soft toss or bp. This may be because I am older but I don't see how a younger person could get dialed in much sooner.
I promise you will crush the ball if you work on the swing mentioned in the DVD sold here focusing on getting leverage, get an effective weight shift (back then forward) for timing purposes not power, focus on the ball and making solid contact, have a firm front side, and hit on plane with the pitch. Sorry to be so long but you sound like you want to hit.
There are a lot of theories on hitting and everybody is an expert but if you want to hit hard look for some of the clips on this site. It is easy to get sidetracked with the next guys opinion but I have decided that this was the only way I was going to teach my son to hit and it has made him a very hard hitter. I really wish I had this knowledge when I was younger because I am shocked by my left handed power hitting this way.
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