Hitter's Guide to Increasing Power

If there is one question I get more than anything, it's "How do I develop more power?"

A lot goes into power, some which you are not in control of. Traits such as height and arm length -- which can affect leverage -- play a vital role in power.

But you don't care about what you can't control, you want to know what you can control -- which happens to be a lot.

The Production of Power

When developing power, you must improve your body's ability to generate force.

This is not done by simply duplicating baseball movements with a heavy object. Doing so actually will slow you down because you are teaching your body to move slower, which generates less power.

So how do I build power into my stroke?

One major way is by developing a strong, athletic, powerful core and trunk. Now, this IS NOT done by standing on a wobble board, using machines or bands or any of the mass market "tricks" that look good for the camera, but do little for power.

This is done by utilizing certain exercises that can improve your power dramatically.

Here's one of my favorites:

Benefits of the Barbell Home Run Press

This exercise has a tremendous amount of carryover onto the baseball field. It stresses the muscles of the shoulder, upper back as well as every muscle of the body's core in a rotational motion.

There is a fine line between heavy rotational drills that increase your performance and those that mess up your hitting mechanics. For instance, swinging a weighted bat that is more than 15-20 percent heavier than your game bat will alter your swing mechanics; just as a swinging motion with a cable or other weight that mimics the swing will do much more harm than good.

This exercise will not mess up mechanics when performed properly and will significantly increase core strength, rotational power and explosion. This is an exercise that also can be done in a safe, effective manner.

Execution of the Barbell Home Run Press

Start with a barbell held vertically, loaded with weight on the top and the bottom against the footing of a wall. The feet are shoulder-width apart, with one shoulder facing the wall and the opposite arm holding the barbell close to the chest.

In one motion rotate the hips, drive the rear knee towards the floor turning the heel towards the sky, explosively press the weight directly towards the wall.

You want to use the upper body as little as possible. To the naked eye it may look as if you are pressing with the arm, but this should be a by-product of the legs and torso's explosive action. Return to starting position by reversing motion in a slightly slower manner.

Key Points

  • Initiate explosion from legs and torso. The arm extension is primarily a product of that.
  • Maintain perfect posture.

Common Mistakes

  • Using the upper body and arm to perform the movement.
  • Performing the exercise in a slow fashion