Get in Game Shape

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lower Body Power

Flexibility equals power

If a hitter is not flexible at home plate his swing will be long and lethargic. Otherwise, 'no bat speed'. A "stiff" bottom half will cause a "stiff" swing, and a lazy swing,simple as that.

If you want to maximize your bat speed, learn to become more flexible with the lower half of your body, mainly through your hips and legs.

I would like to allude to another sport and make my point about how flexibility produces power. UFC fighters are always in an "athletic and flexed" position as they walk around the ring, ready to strike their opponent. Flexibility allows fighters and boxers to generate tremendous punching power from the ground up (hips and legs). The same is true for hitting. Bat speed is dependent upon how flexible and balanced your stance is.

Flexibility also allows you to hit the off speed pitch. You will be able to go down and get a nasty curve ball or change up that is breaking away from you. It is very similar to bunting. To bunt a pitch low in the strike zone, you must be flexible enough to get the bat head on the same level as the ball.

I have a favorite saying that I use with some of my Major League Hitters. " If you drop the pistons, (your legs), the power will flow like a river". Dropping the pistons is just another word for being flexible.

Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Matt Holliday, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Suzuki Ichiro, just to name a few, are some of the most flexible and successful hitters you will ever see. Just study their swings and you will see the proper use of their lower bodies being "perfectly balanced and flexed” .

Once you understand the importance of flexibility throughout your swing, you will be amazed at the bat speed you can generate. Always remember, " Power comes from "within"your body not from "without". Use your lower body to generate power!

Proper use of your legs will generate more power than you have ever felt before in your career. Just ask the 2008 American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia. For a smaller player he is pretty "powerful".

Stay Focused
Mike "The Hitman" Easler

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