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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attn: Tom, Jack

Posted by: Mike M (mike.myers@bellnexxia.com) on Mon May 27 14:56:36 2002

>>> a lot of people assume that since the lower body muscles (e.g., hips)are the larger & stronger muscles, these muscles contribute the most towards the hitter's power.....i have heard some speculate that the ratio of contribution is as much as 90-10 (lower being the 90)......
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > but....
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > a hitter can, with no rotation, arms only , hit a ball perhaps 320-350 feet, & with the rotation hit the ball 400-430 feet....
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > this seems to suggest that it is the ARMS, not the lower body that is making an 80 percent plus contribution....
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > would you agree or disagree?
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > if you agree, than why is it there is so much emphasis on the lower body & so little on the upper body?
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > and if you disagree, what is faulty about my logic?....
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > respectfully, grc.... <<<
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Hi grc
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > I would have to disagree with your assumption. – A batter may hit a ball a good distance without hip rotation, but even an arm hitter must rotate his shoulders. If a batter’s shoulders were glued to a wall (no rotation), I doubt if he could much more than clear the infield.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Professor Adair says it takes about 3 torque horsepower to hit a ball 400 feet. He calculates the arms can deliver about .6 horsepower.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Jack Mankin
> > > > > > > HEy Grc
> > > > > > > You would aslo have to factor in the counter-rotation of the torso. But you can also note that without the legs it would impossible to rotate the hips and stretch the pelvis.
> > > > > > > The Hitman
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > hitman.....perhaps i was being too simplistic in order to make a point....certainly there are a lot of variables....factor out all of the variables in order to focus on the main point, or cloud the issue with all the variables and lose sight of the main point.....
> > > > > >
> > > > > > i'll try to re-frame the issue but still try & not get too bogged down with extraneous issues......
> > > > > >
> > > > > > taking an outside pitch as an example(and PLEASE, let's forget about lineare vs. rotation for a moment), a major league hitter can, with perhaps 45 degrees or so of hip & shoulder rotation hit the ball to the opposite field about 370+ feet.....and this is fact, evidenced by what i have seen).....but a major leaguer, with full hip & shoulder rotation (90 degrees+)can pull an inside pitch 425+ feet....extrapolating from this one could conclude that 90 degree hip & shoulder rotation adds aprox. 15 percent to the distance of the ball that is hit with only 45 degree hip & shoulder rotation.....
> > > > > >
> > > > > > my point?....yes, i know the shoulders will not be glued to the wall, and i know there are other factors, BUT......the point is that there seems like a lot more potential power in the upper body (INCLUDING THE ARMS)than some people realize.....
> > > > > >
> > > > > > and could it be that major leaguers themselves realize this?....certainly in their conditioning programs they do lower body work but they do plenty of upper body work as well (e.g., biceps, triceps, forearms).....
> > > > > >
> > > > > > respectfully, grc.....
> > > > >
> > > > > Grc
> > > > > I can't tell you exactly how much power the arms produce, thats beyond my knowledge. But you also have to consider that not all major leaguers are experts on the swing. This question is really making me think i'll write back on this tomorrow
> > > > > Respectfully, the hitman
> > > >
> > > > Check out Jack's tape where he duct tapes the guys arms back and only lets the legs and body rotation do the work. Let's just say the ball is not going very far. Ok let's be fair and sit the same guy on a chair and let him swing only with his arms, it's not going very far either.
> > > >
> > > > This seems to be a case where your lower body helps swing your entire weight (say 200 lbs)to gain momentum through the ball, while your upper body delivers the speed to accelerate the bat. At the point of contact that momentum is delivered and multiplied by bat speed to exert an opposing force on the ball. That may be the reason some of bigger stronger players (Mac, Sammy, and Barry as he got bigger)consistently hit the ball farther.
> > > >
> > > > Anyway this is a very complex process of the entire body utilizing many muscles to do various things. I don't think your going to be able to isolate any individual muscle group and measure its contribution.
> > >
> > > as a matter of fact, jack's duct tape example is a good example of how little "power" there is in the lower body compared to the upper body....another example might be: rotate the hips just as if you were going to swing, but instead , at the last moment, bunt the ball (but don't loosen the grip so as to help deaden the ball)....the ball will travel less than 80 feet....on the other hand, swing, arms only & the ball will travel at leat twice, maybe three time as far....
> > >
> > > really, i know how complex the subject is & i know that 1+1 can equal 3.....the real point is that there is this myth out there that the most important muscle group to focus on is the lower body...there is a myth that there is very little power in the arms, forearms, etc....& those who perpetuate this myth also have a tendency to build their hitting philosophy around this myth ...for example, if you are of the opinion that the strength of the arms/forearms, etc is almost irrelevant, than your hitting philosophy is going to de-emphasize techniques that call for the use of arms, forearms, etc....
> >
> > Hey Grc
> > How would you set a hitter up so he could only use his arms? I've been thinking about it and I was thinking that the arms are used primarily for bat control. The back arm is more important than the front arm(not counting the shoulders). There is a slight pushing motion from the back arm, while the lead arm counts on rotation and pull of the lead shoulder. And I would say the back arm contributes a decimal amount of batspeed. As I'm sure you've heard before Arms are more valuable with linear mechanics than rotational mechanics. Maybe you should be an arms first hitter to try out your theory. If you swing without your legs there is no where for your shoulders to go. Go ahead and swing in a chair without your legs, you can't hit for crap, I just tried it, ha ha. It just goes to show you how proper use of the legs allows for the proper use of the upper-body. I would like to see a person with no legs hit it 320-350 feet, I will buy him a car. Your upper body is just not elastic enough to be able to rotate without the rotation of the hips. In order for the shoulders to come through, the hips have to come through.
> > The Hitman
> hitman....you have made a valid point...it is difficult to try & measure the power of the arms or hips directly, because even if we were to assume that the hips had zero power (and i certainly am not making thatassertion), in order for the arms to swing the shoulders have to turn, and in order for the shoulder to turn the hips have to turn.....
> so the "measurement has to be done indirectly.....and i think a valid indirect way would be to measure the distance the ball is hit with , for example 60 degree hip rotation (which can be done on an outside pitch)and the distance ther ball is hit using 90+ degree hip rotation (inside pitch)....the difference in the two distances should be what is attributable to the extra 30 degrees of hip rotation.....
> and perhaps a way to DIRECTLY measure the contribution the hips-only makes to the swing is to hold rotate the hips & rather than swinging, contact the ball with the bat in the "bunt" position...but keep a normal grip on the bat so as to not deaden the ball.....you will see that despite full hip and shoulder rotation, without the effort of the arms, the ball will not go even 90 feet.....
> again, i know there doesn't seem to be a scientific way of measuring these things, but i do maintain that there is enough crude experimentation that can be done to show that at the very least the arms provide a lot more power than some people want to admit.....
> and do the pros already know this?....why would canseco, mcgwire & others put in so much work on their upper body (in addition to the lower)?....why did mcgwire experiment with andro?......
> and one last point....comparing hitting with pitching is risky, but consider this: paul nyman recently asserted that a pitcher, without wind-up, leg kick, etc could still achieve 85 per cent of his maximum velocity....but of course, that example still assumes hip & shoulder rotation....suppose the pitcher were to not even start out with not even facing the 3rd baseman, but instead throw the ball with him directly facing the hitter...now he will have almost zero hip and shoulder rotation & he could still achieve close to 50 per cent velocity.....
> again, my overall point is that the strength/power in the arms is significant whereas some people seem to think that the strength/power in the arms is insigificant & almost irrelevant....
> respectfully, grc....

Hi grc,

To compare the contributions of the two systems, the same ground reference must be applied. If you consider a stationary individual swinging hard with arms, using no leg rotation, then an equivalent comparison would be with a person swinging hard with legs and no arm rotation.

Hitman's point about a seated person swinging with arms is not valid unless compared to someone standing on the same chair pivoting his waist with his legs. The fact is, the ground is either fixed or it is not - the same reference must be present for comparison. A person swinging with arms while seated is likely to disipate energy through sliding a 4 leg chair, or counter-spinning a swivel chair. The same can be said of a person swinging with legs - they will either disipate counter-rotating forces on a swivel chair with their legs, or they will cause a 4 legged chair to slide instead of fully rotating hips which again wastes energy.

Clearly, in absolute terms, you are correct; arms contibute more force and resultant batspeed than lower body efforts.

It is important to place mechanics in proper context, however. We all know that baseball players use their arms. This is really not the question. The question is, how much MORE utility can be gained by emphasizing arms as opposed to considering lower body motion?

I would say, any additional contribution to batspeed through arm development is probably not as significant as considering all of lower body contribution through leg and torso pivot. Try it yourself with any rookie. Have a rookie swing hard with his arms and have no lower body rotation. Then have the rookie use arms and lower body to swing hard. Note the difference in distance. Now have the rookie workout for 4 weeks on arms and upper body and have him hit again with all arms and no lower body initiation. I think you will find the distance will be greater for hits with arms and lower body motion than hits with just strengthened upper body and no lower body contribution.

A couple of other points:

1. Even if distance contribution by legs is as small as you suggested
(with no lower body effort 320-350 feet, and with lower body
effort 400-430 feet), then this is consistently the difference
between a home-run and flyout, so you should immediately consider
lower body contribution.

2. Applied force to the ball is not directly proportional to distance
travelled. In general, a ball hit twice as hard will not travel
twice as long (unless hit in the direction of a strong wind).
This is because air resistance is proportional to the speed of the
ball. The faster the initial velocity, the greater the frictional
drag. Therefore, when experimenting it is best to consider the
systems in isolation (either all arms and no hips, or all hips and
no arms) rather than the cumulative effect, until properties of
separate factors are better known.



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