A strengthening program for baseball that doesn’t include rotational movements and “controlled rotation” is simply incomplete. Like the pitcher that throws 100 mph but has no idea where the ball is going, neither one is very effective.
Many of the primary activities in baseball consist of some amount of rotation in a powerful manner. Training should closely mimic the movements and energy systems utilized during the game.
Being able to rotate, and create powerful rotation is a must for baseball performance.
Try throwing a baseball with any force without rotation in your trunk. Have you ever hit a baseball out of the infield with just your arms and no trunk rotation?
Have you ever attempted to steal second without turning and driving your body in that direction? Not only would you look silly, but you’d be out! Get the point?
Baseball is a rotational sport. We must train that way!
Baseball players should train to generate force from the ground to fingertips in a rotational movement plane. Two areas that are largely responsible for controlled rotational power are the hips and the core.
The Hips and Core
When looked at more closely, the true function of the hips in baseball (and most other sports for that matter) is to stabilize the core from below and produce powerful but controlled rotation of the lower body on the upper body.
The role of the core is to control rotation and streamline the power generated below to the upper body. With most of this power coming from the explosive, rotational unloading of the hips, the teamwork between these two areas becomes obvious.
Now that we understand that importance of rotational hip and core strength and how they relate to the mechanics of pitching and hitting, what should you be doing about it?
Try incorporating a variety of controlled rotational exercises and conditioning drills focusing on maximizing hip and core strength and coordination.
Focusing on these areas during our training can help any baseball player develop rotational power that translates directly to the baseball diamond.
The game of baseball requires short bursts of speed and power followed by long periods of rest. Because of this, your exercise programming should include adequate rest periods of 1 minute or greater.
Adding the following exercises to your lower body/core training will most likely awaken the muscles you never knew you had. Now you realize the importance that strengthening them can have on every aspect of your game!
Here are five simple exercises that will help you develop rotational strength and power. Try them out during your next training session.
Back Leg-Loaded Medicine Ball Throw
Side to Side Medicine Ball Slam
Single Leg Rotational Medicine Ball Slam
Rotational Landmine Press