Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Swinging At a Punching Bag Drill

The purpose of using a heavy bag is to absorb the bat's energy at the contact point and to train the batter to expend all bat speed-generating energy (rotational and torque) prior to or by contact. Good transfer mechanics and timing will have the batter depleting his rotational and torque energy as the bat-head reaches maximum velocity. Therefore, after all of the body's energy has been transferred into bat speed, the body and limb muscles are at rest. The hip and shoulder rotation is complete,  lead-arm pull and back-forearm lowering to horizontal position is complete, and the hand-path has slowed to a stop. There is no energy being applied to the bat after contact. The bat's energy has been expended into the heavy bag. Now you now have a frozen frame of the batters mechanics at contact which can show see if batter is properly rotating into the swing which is an important part of the swing. This also works on power within a swing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baseball Swing



Shoulder press w/weight Exercise:
Instead of doing the normal shoulder press in a wide stance and pushing arms out, a good exercise to improve the swing would be to push out the weight but in a batting stance. This strengthens the shoulders which are internally and externally rotated during a swing. In order to move the weight you must generate enough force to push up fully and lock the elbows. When performing a natural swing their is no weight to be pulled besides that of the baseball bat. With this exercise the batter works on the torque by stengthening the abdomen, and learns to turn into the ball with enough force so that the ball with travel a further distance.  

Batting Drill (One Arm):
This drill requires a partner or a tee. The batter first starts making contact with the ball by swinging through the ball with both hands. After warming up with the normal swing, switch to holding the bat with one hand. Swing through the ball with whichever hand you start with. After several swings with the the inside or outside hand, switch to the opposite hand. Then, continue to swing through the ball. This drill is used to increase eye hand coordination as well and learning to follow through and get your arms around your body. Sometimes people are too slow and do not continue the swing through the ball. By doing this drill the batter will pick up bat speed and learn to follow through. Swinging at a ball with one hand and making good contact only makes it that much easier when your swinging with both hands at the same time. Swinging with one hand and warming up the muscles of each arm allows for an increase in ROM. The shoulders are now relaxed and feel comfortable swinging into a ball with no support from the other side. After completing this drill the normal swing with a standard stance; feet shoulders width apart, the body learns to swing through and turn he ball with greater force and velocity. The one arm swing trains the batter to learn how to use the shoulder and turn into the swing.

Novice Baseball Swing

Expert Baseball Swing

Phases of Expert Baseball Swing

Phase 1: Lift up front heel. Put weight on back foot while keeping the center of gravity.

The anterior calcaneous is slightly lifted off the ground. The weight should be on the posterior leg while maintaining balance. The bat is held at about chest level, while the elbows are out and the wrist is hyper-extended. The muscles that hyperextend the wrists are the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, and the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris.

Phase 2: Step into the swing with the front leg. Just a short, soft, and straight step.

                                         Transfer weight from posterior leg to anterior leg.

Phase 3: Turn the hips into the swing, bringing power from the ground up.

The hips bring the obliques and rectus abdominis around through the glenohumeral joint and the hands go along for the ride.

Phase 4: Drive the hands to the contact point.

The rear slotted elbow against the ribs with backside palm supinated at contact is the link that ties the bat to the stronger leg, gluteus maximus, abdomen, and back muscles like the trapezius.

Phase 5: Extend through the ball.

The follow through begins after contact is made with the ball. The muscle involved in flexing the spine is called the Erector Spinae. Also at the time of contact, the arms fully extend and the wrists break. Flex the Flexor Carpi Radialus, the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, the Pronator Teres, the Biceps Brachii, the Brachioradialis, and the Brachialis. (Elbow)

Phase 6: Extend even further creating a bigger follow through.

This movement completes the swing through the transverse plane around a vertical axis which consists of horizontal flexion and exstension, internal and external rotation, supination and pronation.

Definitions of Terms:

Anterior - situated before or at the front of.
Posterior - Further back in position; of or nearer the rear or hind end.
Calcaneus – Heel Bone.
Hyper-Extended - Extension of a bodily joint beyond its normal range of motion.
Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus - a long muscle on the radial side of the back of the forearm that extends and abducts the hand
Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis - one of the muscles of the posterior forearm. It inserts into the dorsal surface of the third metacarpal bone and functions to extend the hand and forearm.

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris  - a muscle on the ulnar side of the back of the forearm that extends and adducts the hand .
Obliques - are the muscles that help you bend from side to side and rotate the torso.
Rectus Abdominis - The rectus abdominis muscle is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen.
Glenohumeral joint- Shoulder joint.
Supinated - a position of either the forearm or foot; in the forearm when the palm faces anteriorly.
Pronation - rotation of the hands and forearms so that the palms face downward.
Gluteus Maximus - large, superficial, buttock muscle.
Trapezius - either of two flat triangular muscles of the shoulder and upper back that are involved in moving the shoulders and arms.
Erector Spinae – Muscles of the lower back.
Transverse Plane - imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior parts.
Horizontal Flexion - a position that is made possible by the joint angle decreasing through a horizontal plane.
Horizontal Extension – a position that is made possible by the joint angle increasing.
Internal Rotation - rotation towards the center of the body.
External Rotation – rotation away from the center of the body.
Flexor Carpi Radialis - a muscle of the human forearm that acts to flex and abduct the hand.
Flexor Carpi Ulnaris - a muscle of the human forearm that acts to flex and adduct the hand.
Pronator Teres - serves to pronate the forearm (turning it so the palm faces posteriorly).
Biceps Brachii – muscles of the upper arm that that flexes and supinates the forearm.
Brachioradialis - is a muscle of the forearm that acts to flex the forearm at the elbow. It is also capable of both pronation and supination, depending on the position of the forearm.
Brachialis - a muscle in the upper arm that flexes the elbow joint. It lies just deep of the biceps brachii, and is a synergist that assists the biceps brachii in flexing at the elbow.