Got a case of warning-track power that's lowering your average and weakening your ego? Embarrassing, but the solution is not to tweak your fragile swing, causing more problems. Add more lower body work to your regimen to boost your power numbersand your confidencefast.
"Powerful hitters need to transfer force from the ground to the hips, through the core, then to the hands," says Jeremy Heffner, the University of Georgia's baseball strength and conditioning coach. "In college baseball, you won't be able to muscle the bat with your upper body through the zone and find much success."
To generate more speed, strength and explosion in your lower half, Heffner recommends performing the following drills once a week. It helped propel the 'Dawgs to a second place finish at the 2008 College World Series.
In athletic stance, with toes straight ahead or slightly out, grip bar in rack with Power Clean hold
With elbows parallel to floor, unrack bar and rest it on deltoids
Take deep inhale; squat to below parallel
Explode into start position; exhale
Perform next rep
Heffner's Help: Maintain air in belly during lift for a "natural weight belt" // Weight distribution should be 60 percent on heels, 40 percent on balls of feet // Keep knees wide so hips will fit through during squat // If unable to squat below parallel, cut back on weight, as full range of motion is more important // Keep chest up, eyes focused ahead
Stand on 4-inch box with dumbbell in each hand
Step back with right foot into full lunge, keeping left foot firmly on box
Stepping forward with right foot, return to start position by extending hips and squeezing glutes
Sets/Reps: 4x8 [alternate legs]
Heffner's Help: Start light, increasing weight gradually // Avoid too much torso lean // Keep weight on heels so not to push off with balls of feet
Benefits of Routine: Increases mobility, stability and lower body coordination // Develops
acceleration and explosiveness in legs and hips // Focuses on transferring weight from one leg to other, which you do when running down the baseline, playing D and swinging
Load sled with as much weight as you can drag for 30 yards; attach sled belt to waist
While running, body and shins should be at 45-degree angle so you can apply force into the ground
Sets/Reps: 3-5 sets with 4 minute rest time, or more if needed
Heffner's Help: Focus on maximal force production, not speed // Works explosive horizontal movements, as opposed to vertical explosiveness
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock