Welcome back to our open thread, our forum to throw ideas around. Ask questions, leave comments, let’s discuss whatever and learn something.
What was your favorite workout or exercise that you thought helped increase bat speed the most? A certain forearm circuit? Hip explosiveness?
Perfect timing. As you know, a not insignificant portion of our readers are athletes. In particular, they’re baseball players looking to optimize for power and explosiveness. Around this time of year, the bat seems to start getting heavy for many. Let’s drop some (nothing earthshaking here) knowledge.
Bat speed is not the result of powerful forearms alone. They don’t hurt, clearly, but they don’t produce power in a vacuum. A lever is anything that gives a human being a mechanical advantage. The bat whistles through the zone when force from the lower half travels up through the kinetic chain and out through the lever, in this case, the bat. In order to make that tool fly quickly, we want to recruit our largest muscles. Those muscles include (but are not limited to) the ass and the muscles of the core. Developing these muscles is far more prudent than isolating the forearms. If you want to develop those power drivers, squat, dead lift and jump explosively.
Now, just for fun, I’ll tell you how to build the complex machine which I used to isolate my forearms when I was coming up through the minor leagues.
Step #1: Saw off the handle of a baseball bat. Give yourself about 12 inches of room to work with.
Step #2: Drill a hole directly in the center of the handle. Give yourself enough room on each side of the hole to place each fist.
Step #3: Thread a rope, roughly 5 feet in length (you want the rope to hang from the bat long enough to touch the earth) through the hole and tie a knot.
Step #4: Tie a 5 pound weight to the long end of the rope.
Or, for a much less cool version of the machine, buy this.
Seriously, you want massive forearms? Lift massive weight. Carry it, hold it, move it. The more you can hold, the more muscle you’ll build. Having a powerful grip will certainly help you at the point of contact.