Lower Body Mechanics
I have always wondered why the top major league hitters always end up on their toe and some even with their back foot in midair at contact, and I have figured out why.
Hitters are always told to rotate the back leg and to “squish the bug” but from what I have seen this isn’t what the top major leaguers do. Before a hitter’s back leg begins to rotate toward the pitcher, his back knee collapses, or it is moved toward the ground slightly. This movement causes a forward weight shift. As weight is shifted forward the front leg gradually straightens, pushing the front hip back in a circular arc. This action then pulls the back hip forward. As the back hip rotates forward toward the pitcher the back knee, (naturally without any effort), turns inward forcing the back foot to rotate to the point where only the back toe (or the tip of the players shoe) is touching the ground.
The physics behind the mechanics of the lower body in hitting are similar to the physics behind pole vaulting.
In pole vaulting a person runs creating initial kinetic energy, when the person plants his pole vault into the ground at a desired angle the kinetic energy he created is transferred to the pole as potential energy. The potential energy stored in the pole is converted back into kinetic energy as the man is propelled forward naturally without any additional effort by the force of the pole vault.
In hitting weight is transferred forward by bringing the back knee toward the ground. As this happens the front knee gradually straightens driving the front hip back. The “backside” (hips, legs, and feet) is then driven forward without any additional effort.
I don’t know if I explained this as clearly as I could have but I think most of you will get what I am saying.
I just don’t think that it is as simple as “rotating around a stationary axis” there has to be some forward weight shift.
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