5 Rotational Exercises for Strength and Power
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. The majority of the primary activities in baseball consist of some amount of ROTATION. Training should closely mimic the movements and energy systems utilized during the game.
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? Attempt to steal second without turning and driving your body in that direction and not only would you look pretty 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.
HIPS & 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 “abs” is to control rotation and streamline the power generated below to the upper body. With the majority of this power coming from the explosive rotational unloading of the hips, the teamwork between these two areas becomes obvious.
WHAT TO DO?
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.
Here are five simple exercises that will help you develop rotational strength and power. Try them out during your next training session.
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 awake muscles you never knew you had, let alone, make you realize the importance that strengthening them can have on every aspect of your game!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Dale Bartek
Dale Bartek is a Physical Therapist and performance enhancement specialist with nearly a decade of elite-level training experience and advanced skills in manual therapy and functional dry needling.
Dale is currently working at Fyzical SPORTS in Las Vegas, Nevada where he has helped treat some of the world's top athletes including MLB All-Stars, Olympic Gold Medalists, and top NCAA athletes from around the country.
Dale is committed to continued learning and helping people achieve their physical therapy, fitness, performance and personal goals. He has a strong passion for baseball and weight training with a vision of combining high performance strength training principles, elite sports performance physical therapy, and pain free training approaches to revolutionize the way athletes look, feel, function and perform.