Hitting is one of the most important aspects of a game of baseball. A team can be great at everything else but if they are unable to score runs they aren’t likely to win the game. Learning how to hit can be a critical part of playing an effective game of baseball. Knowing how to increase hitting skills can make a major difference in how well the game is played and the overall success not just for the individual players but for the team as a whole. One of the major aspects of hitting better is the ability to increase bat speed.
What is bat speed?
Bat speed is essentially the speed at which the hitter is able to make a complete swing. A hitter that is able to swing the bat quickly has a greater chance to get the bat around fast enough to hit the ball. The faster the ball moves, the faster the bat has to move in order to catch it. Being able to swing the bat faster is incredibly important as it will ultimately determine how effective a hitter is going to be during each at bat, especially when going against a fastball.
Another reason for bat speed is momentum. The faster the bat moves, the greater momentum it has when it contacts the ball. Obviously a ball that is hit hard is going to be much faster and more difficult for a fielder to handle. Not only that but it is much easier to hit a home run when the ball is hit harder. Bat speed plays a huge role in how hard a ball is hit. Obviously contacting the ball is the most important aspect of it, but if the bat is able to swung fast enough to make contact and with enough force the ball has a better chance of clearing the fence.
Improving bat speed
Much of a bat’s speed is dependent upon both reaction time and strength. Someone with a great deal of strength is going to be able to swing a bat much faster than someone that is relatively weak. By improving arm strength a hitter is going to be able to move the bat much faster than they would be able to otherwise. This is why training should an important part of any hitters standard practice.
The easiest way to increase the muscles that are most important for hitting is to add additional weight to the bat in the form of hitting donuts. These donuts can add considerable amounts of weight to the bad which will force the hitter to strengthen the muscles used for hitting over time. This method is a very direct approach for exercising the proper muscles because it forces you to actually use the exact muscles used during a swing at the same time you are exercising. It is important during this exercise to attempt to swing the bat with enough weight and for a long enough duration that the muscles are pushed to exhaustion. Once this is done it is a good idea to rest for a short while and do it again. This should be done 3-5 times in a row on a regular basis.
Another way to improve bat speed is to regular arm exercises and should exercises. Since the upper body controls the bat during a swing it is a good idea to lift weights. By including exercises that replicate the actions of swinging there could be an even bigger benefit that should allow for the working of the muscles specific to hitting. One such exercise would include holding a dumbell directly out in front of the body with both arms and swing it slowly from one side to the other while it is fully extended in front of you. This will exercise most of the same muscles that are used during the swing, but more weight can be added than could be achieved through donuts alone. With this method it is a good idea to move very slowly to prevent injury.
Rowing is another excellent exercise for hitting. If you think about the muscles used in the process of rowing they are pretty similar to those used while hitting. The exercise not only includes the arms but allows for a better workout of the back and shoulders that many other exercises would. The rowing also provides a solid workout of the abdominal muscles which help to support the mid section of the body and give a stronger base of support for turning the body to give additional power to the swing.
If a weighted bat is being used to improve strength it is a good idea to only use this method without an actual ball or any type of pitching. By having a weighted bat and swinging at a real ball there is a greater chance of injury as hitting with donuts is unpredictable. It is also a bad idea because it will mess up the timing of the hitter and could potentially have a serious negative impact on the game rather than a positive one. For these reasons this exercise should only be performed in an area away from actual balls. The exercise should also be done relatively slow in order to further develop the muscles.
With any exercise it is important to ensure that proper steps are taken to reduce the risk of injury. It is a good idea to have a partner that can oversee the workout and call for help if needed. It is also important to think about speed when doing any exercise. It isn’t about moving as quickly as possible, it is about pushing the muscles to exhaustion. Slower is better than bouncing weights around. This is going to make it easier to avoid injury and should give a better workout in the process.