How to Swing a Baseball Bat Faster to Hit Farther
In the sport of baseball, bat speed, or how fast you swing, dictates how the ball will travel after you hit it. Swinging the bat faster helps you hit the ball harder and farther. Baseball players use a variety of techniques to build strength across the entire body so that they can improve bat speed.
Lift weights to strengthen your upper body and the muscles that are important in the swing. These muscles include the chest, triceps, shoulders and upper back, all of which help to make your swing more powerful and faster. You should focus on compound exercises like bench presses and rows that involve many muscles of the upper body.
Train and strengthen the often-forgotten parts of the body in the core and the legs. According to baseball strength and conditioning expert Bob Alejo, the strength of the legs allows the trunk and abdominals to promote bat speed. The trunk and core refer to the lower back and abdominal area on the body. Exercises that focus on these areas include crunches, deadlifts, squats and lunges.
Swing a heavier bat during practice and or warmups to train your muscles and make them stronger. By swinging a heavier bat, your muscles are forced to work harder and they adjust and get stronger. When you then return to your normal bat weight, you are able to swing it faster. Choose a bat that is just a few ounces heavier than your normal bat.
Perform specific exercises to strengthen the forearms and hands. Grip strength is the most important part of forearm strength in baseball. Exercises to strengthen the forearms and hands include wrist rolls, wrist curls and squeezing objects such as grip strengtheners or even rubber balls.
Perform wrist rolls using a wrist roller, which is a weighted device with a handle at one end and weight at the other end. Grab the handle, hold it parallel to the floor with your arms extended and roll the device up until the weight is on the handle, before unrolling and returning to the starting position.
Perform wrist curls by holding a dumbbell or barbell in your hands, with the palms facing up for standard curls and down for reverse curls. Curl the weight using only your wrist as though you are trying to touch the weight to your forearm, before returning to the starting position.
Experiment by using a lighter bat if you are not getting the bat speed you think you need. Heavier bats will hit the baseball farther assuming you can maintain the same bat speed. However, if your swing is slow, switching to a lighter bat can speed up the bat and in turn give you more distance.
Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.