2013 Slugger

There is no arguing that one of baseball's biggest attractions is "the long ball." That's right, hitting home runs is exciting. Even though this is an exciting part of the game there is a lot that goes into being able to do it. It takes technique, bat speed, and power. As a strength and conditioning specialist I have included 2 hard-hitting drills, no pun intended, in this article to help you to achieve these necessary traits. Kettlebells are a great way for a baseball player to develop incredible power and tremendous bat speed.

1. The Double-Arm Swing: For this drill you will only need a single kettlebell that is of moderately heavy weight. To begin, set the bell between your feet and make sure that your feet are about shoulder width distance apart in length. From here perform a proper form squat and pick the bell up. Allow it to hang at your groin. The next step you have to perform is a technique known as the hip snap. The hip snap is executed by you flexing and extending at both your hips and knees in order to create enough momentum to swing the bell up from between your legs up to your chest level. Make sure that you keep your arms straight and your shoulders retracted. Lock out at the top of each swing. The hip motion is great for developing those muscles and your core which are the source of your hitting power! Attempt 30 to 50 of these in a row with a moderately heavy bell.

2. Kettlebell Push-Up Rows (aka Man-Makers): For this drill you will need the availability of a pair of kettlebells of equal weight. You will want to get into an upright push-up position while stabilizing your body on the kettlebells. Make sure that your hands and the bells are shoulder width distance apart in length.

Grip each handle of the kettlebell firmly in the palms of your hands. Your hands should be in a mid-pronated position or your palms should be facing towards each other. Stabilize and control your body. Make sure you maintain good rigidity from your shoulders all the way to your feet. Your feet can be shoulder width apart. From here simply execute a push-up off of the bells and when you ascend simply row one kettlebell to your rib cage picking it up off of the ground. Set it back down and perform another push-up to execute another row on the opposite side. This is a highly effective strength training drill for baseball players. You further develop incredible core strength and power to help prep you for the long ball! Train hard and enjoy my friends.

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