Not All Baseball Hitting Tools Are Created Equal & Boosting Bat Speed

Baseball Hitting Tools: Weighted Bat

Today Swing Smarter is going to discuss a few baseball hitting tools, and debunk the increasing swing speed myths surrounding them. One of the four will make the cut as the best bat speed booster, can you guess which one, between the following...?

  1. Swinging a weighted bat,
  2. Hitting a basketball off a tee,
  3. Exploding into a heavy bag or an old tire with a bat, OR
  4. Swinging a bat underwater.

Let's start...

Of the above baseball hitting tools, if you guessed number 1, you're dead wrong. The only thing swinging a weighted bat, or a bat with a weight on it, does for a hitter is for warming up or ballistic stretching.

The extra weight, after five or so swings, can make an unweighted bat feel light making the hitter think they're swinging it faster, but unfortunately it's a Jedi mind trick.

Studies show wielding a weighted bat can actually slow down the swing, if not given ample time for ATP and Creatine stores to recover (main source of muscle fuel for resistance training).

Problem number two with swinging a weighted bat is if the resistance is too heavy, then it can wreak havoc on the mechanics of the swing.

However, a weighted bat can serve very well for CORE strength/endurance building, such as soldiers during Basic Training working out during rifle conditioning drills. Check this article from HumanKinetics.com for more about this busted myth.

What's more...

If you picked number 2 of the baseball hitting tools above, then you're as right as rain! Hitting an old basketball topping a baseball tee is one of the best ways to train swinging THROUGH the ball, which is the other half to Swing Smarter's Down & Through hybrid hitting system.

Increasing bat speed starts with hitting mechanics, the down part keeps us short to the ball, and the through part keeps us long past the point of contact. Then, once technique is virtually mastered, we have to strengthen the CORE musculature and fill our bodies with the right nutrients for energy release.

Hitting a basketball off a tee gets our focus on bursting through the point of contact, acting as a mini gauntlet for the barrel, similar to how tail/full-backs train during football practice. They practice exploding through "the hole."

My advice, to save time, is to set up two tees on opposite ends of the hitting cage, so you don't have to keep chasing down the ball and walking it back. That's a BONUS Swing Smarter tip, so I'll be collecting money for it at the end of this article ;)

Moving on,

Now, of the three baseball hitting tools above, there's one problem with number 3 (hitting a heavy bag or tire), keeping it from being a bat speed booster.

"But it seems like the same thing you're doing with the basketball hitting drill," you might be thinking.

The problem is, your bat has to stop once it hits the bag or tire, keeping the barrel from getting through it, unless you are the Incredible Hulk, in which case, you should be writing this article :)

On the contrary, hitting a heavy punching bag or an old tire is a tremendous baseball hitting tool for exploding at contact, and seeing:

  • How sound the lower half mechanics are, AND
  • If the top hand is palm up, and the bottom hand is palm down at contact.

This can show a hitting instructor quite a bit about the first 2/3 of the swing. Plus, once the hitter explodes into the bag, they can then practice pushing the bag away with the barrel for about 10-15 repetitions.

Lastly,

As for number 4: swinging a baseball bat underwater, this won't boost bat speed, BUT the water provides resistance AND the hitter can work (in slow motion) on their Down & Through technique.

To increase swing speed, we have to work fast twitch (explosive) muscle fibers, and in the pool you're working slow twitch fibers, which provides good CORE and forearm resistance, thereby strengthening swing muscles.

All of the above techniques have their benefits, but only one increases bat speed, and the winner is...number 2: hitting a basketball off a tee.

Hopefully we've shed some light on a few of the myths to increasing bat speed, don't believe everything you read online or in popular media because most of the time it's false information and they're trying to make a buck by pulling the wool over your eyes.

Also, as you can see, the above baseball hitting tools are NOT fancy endorsed gadgets...they're what the old timers used to use, and last time I checked, they outperformed most, if not all, of our present day guys, hands down...even with the help of modern day steroids!

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