Q: Hi Alex, Whatʼs your secret for increasing bat-speed? Is there any workouts or specific things I can do to increase my bat-speed immediately? Iʼm sick of swinging the smallest bat on the team! Anything you can do to help me. It will be appreciated.
Chris, I get this question more than ANY other question, so letʼs address it. Contrary to popular belief, building bat-speed isnʼt using the latest gimmick peddled to us from infomercials. Thereʼs so many different things that go into building bat-speed; general strength, grip strength, lower body power, and so on. As I have talked about in past blog posts, if you get stronger, your bat-speed will increase. Check them out for more information. Today I really want to focus on making an immediate impact that will enhance your bat-speed. So letʼs focus on grip strength. How do you swing a heavier bat FASTER? Increase your grip strength. If your bat feels lighter in your hands, you WILL swing the bat faster. What do we call swinging the bat faster? BAT-SPEED. Now thereʼs no specific “grip strength” workouts that I want you to do. To build grip strength, your goal should be to incorporate forearm and grip strength exercises into your daily workouts. Now, Iʼm going to give you my TOP 3 exercises for building a dynamite grip – no gimmicks involved.
3. Barbell Rack Holds – This an awesome grip strength endurance exercise. What you want to do here is set the barbell near rack lockout position with a double overhand grip and lift up the barbell and hold for time. Add this exercise to the end of one of your workouts, and try to hold the barbell longer and longer each week. Use a weight that is up to your strength level.
2. Towel Pull-Ups & Towel Shrugs – This grip variation can be added directly into your upper body lift. Towel training should only be used by athletes that posses the strength level to perform these exerciseʼs (advanced athletes) as they are extremely tough. The reason being is that the grip “shifts” and the athlete must adjust as this happens. However, once your strength permits, this is an easy, inexpensive, and effective way to increase your grip strength.
1. Farmer Carryʼs (ALL Variations) – I love farmer carryʼs of all variations for baseball players. Farmer carryʼs are safe, effective, and the variations are literally ENDLESS. Anytime you can enhance your grip and core strength with one single exercise it has to be an all-star exercise. I like using loaded carryʼs at the end of workouts with my athletes where I have them walking for distance in a limited amount of time. For example, I give an athlete 4 minutes to walk as far as possible holding the weight. Say they walk for 100 total yards in 4 minutes. We try to beat that distance every week. This is one of the many ways to train your grip via farmer carrying. I must also add, be careful this exercise doesnʼt coincide with a game, as farmer carryʼs tend to be extremely taxing on your nervous system, and grip. That means donʼt do them on game-day as your bat-speed might be slower than usual. Execute this exercises with at least a two day window from your next game.
There you have it, three of my “top secret” exerciseʼs to increasing your bat-speed. Thereʼs no gimmicks here Chris! Start incorporating these exercises today!