How Top MLB Power Hitters Create Power
A review of how the top MLB power hitters hit with more power is shown below:
In simple terms, here’s what these hitters are doing with their body to hit with such great power:
- Moving body forwards towards pitcher
- Moving their hips forwards and turning them fast
- Connecting their back elbow to the front of their back hip
Step #1 – The Hands
The commentator in the video above talked about the elbows, but what’s really happening is with their body & hands.
Power starts when the hitter steps or strides forwards towards the pitcher. It looks like the hitter is moving their hands backwards, but what’s really happening is they are holding their hands back, while their body is moving forwards. This action engages a really strong muscle, the “lats”.
Engaging the Lats
This action stretches, loads & engages one of the biggest strongest muscles in the back & body – the left “lat” or latissimus dorsi muscle.
The lats are a large, very powerful “V-shaped” muscle, that when stretched will create a great deal of power to the baseball or softball swing.
Did You Know?
Many baseball & softball hitters, who don’t hit with power, never get their hands back or get their “lats” stretched, loaded or engaged in the swing. So they are losing power!
The Powercore 360 Hands Teach
Here’s how we teach hitters the FEEL for the left lat load.
A Simple Cue
Tell the hitter to move the body towards the pitcher while trying to keep their hands in the same place. (Some instructors will refer to this as “walking away from the hands”.)
Step #2 – Moving the Hips, Fast!
The forward step or stride moves the hips forwards toward the pitcher and then when the stride foot lands the hips turn (from the hitter’s right-to-left). This creates Hip & Shoulder Separation.
Hip & Shoulder Separation
When the hips move forwards fast, and the hands and shoulders stay back, this creates a rapid stretch in the abdominal and back muscles (core muscles).
This stretch creates an automatic, immediate and explosive contraction of these muscles which creates what some authorities believe is 80% of the power for hitting and for pitching a baseball.
Watch this Hip & Shoulder Separation Explanation Video
Did You Know?
Many baseball & softball hitters, who don’t hit with power, don’t stride much in the swing. Some just sit back on their back leg and hip and just turn or spin. They still get some stretch in these core muscles, but not as much as when they work on the forward (linear) movement of the hips first. So they are losing some additional power in their swing!
The Powercore 360 Hip & Shoulder Separation Teach
Here’s some hip & shoulder separation training drills.
Step #3 – The Elbow & Hip Connection
The lower body and upper body (including the hands) can create great power for hitting a baseball or softball. Sometimes, however, hitter’s can lose power because they don’t know how to connect the upper body’s power to the lower body’s.
The key is to simply connect the back elbow to the front of the back hip as the hitter performs the swing movement.
Further Information on Training This Connection
Read this article for how we trained a 13 year old hitter to connect the upper and lower body.