Some of the greatest players in the game are known for their hitting talent. These are players that are game changers because they hit with power and confidence. They create chaos for the opposing team. They are thrilling to watch, they make us excited when they walk toward the box. They make magic happen.
The public image of a power hitter is a little misleading. Power is not limited to size. A great power hitter has a formula that reads like a well tuned science project; tremendous strength in their legs, core and hips. They also convey amazing balance and mobility.
How do these players create such a powerful swing? Rule number one; do not confuse POWER with strength. These are two very different dynamics. Power is an explosive movement. It is created through a combination of speed, and strength. Strength is created through maximal force. This is the biggest learning lesson here; you do not create power for hitting by lifting maximum weight. Power lifting like bodybuilders and muscle heads do, does not translate into softball power hitting. Power lifting is mostly all for show and not athletic performance. If you have the biggest arms, traps, and chest in the world, how are you going to swing the bat? Power lifting and Power hitting are two totally different things.
These skills do translate into a power hitter;
Powerful Legs that are trained through various movement patterns and skill sets. For example, you create a ton of power by super setting (performing these two exercises one after the other with little rest, then repeating) an exercise like a squat and a box hop. This combination of a strength development exercise and a plyometric exercise create explosive power.
Explosive Hips are crucial to power hitting. They are also the most overlooked and underdeveloped group of muscles. They are typically extremely tight and weak. The two best things you can do to “unlock” your power in your hips; a comprehensive mobility routine and exercises that involve your hips. I like exercise that involve these two skills in one movement; lateral lunges and single leg split squats are two exercises that create mobility in the hips and are powerful movements.
A Strong Core is essential to a softball player. So why do so many players have a weak abdominals? Good question. This is another exercise routine that can get lost in translation. You’re not training your core to look good in your bathing suit, you’re training your core to be functional; to rotate when you swing, open up and rotate when you throw, stabilize your hips and create balance. Your goal is to mimic your core work in a fashion that transforms power onto the field. Here is a favorite exercise of mine to create rotational core power; rotational medicine ball throws. Start in your hitting stance and hold onto a medicine ball then rotate into a swing. Sounds pretty simple but super effective. My second favorite is bear crawls with bands. The key to this exercise is doing it correctly. Your butt should not be up in the air, back stays flat and your feet should move forward outside of your hips. This is a definite twofer. This exercise hits the hips and core in one movement.
Any drill that you perform for hitting can increase a softball player’s power hitting skills by strapping on a set of Myosource Kinetic Bands. These resistance bands can be worn while performing everyday drills and even hitting in the cage, all while getting maximum resistance. Using the Kinetic Bands will increase more than just power, it will increase speed, agility, and flexibility as well. This increase in athletic performance can be obtained without changing anything in your everyday practice routine. Imagine being able to increase your power hitting numbers without having to lift heavy weights and stress your muscles and joints. Most teams wont lift much during the actual season so when you cant get in the gym, you are still getting stronger, and faster throughout the season just by wearing Myosource Lower Body Kinetic Bands.
Hitting for power is a tremendous skill. After all no one will be left out of the lineup if they can produce. Follow these guidelines and you will be one step closer to hitting dingers.