How to Hit a Baseball with the Grip of a Gorilla
Gorilla gripping is by far one of the best offenses on how to hit a baseball correctly. How tense OR relaxed the hands are will suggest either optimum or second-rate bat speed.
Increasing swing speed starts with the hands in the Stance Phase, and is one of the most argued concepts of the baseball swing. Do you use the "door knocking" knuckles, do you align the middle and major knuckles like Ken Griffey Jr., or somewhere in-between?
Here's an easy how to hit a baseball Gorilla grip test you can use, taken from Rod Delmonico, on determining the WHY behind the proper grip.
The 5-STEP Gorilla Grip Test:
- Open your strongest most dominant hand with the palm facing up.
- Lay the index finger of your other hand in the palm, and make a fist around that finger.
- Try to pull the index finger out.
- Repeat steps 1 & 2, but this time put the index finger at the base of your fingers (the underside crook/bend) just above the meat of the hand, and make another fist around that finger.
- Now attempt to pull the finger out.
Which index finger was harder to pull out? The one in the palm OR the one at the base of the fingers? You should have found the latter to be true, in which case, the handle of the bat should lay at the base of the fingers just above the meat of the hand.
Knuckle alignment will differ among players, in my case, it just so happens, my top hand middle knuckles settle in-between the main and middle knuckles of my bottom hand.
Gorilla grip comes in handy (pardon the pun) when learning how to hit a baseball while doing Swing Smarter top/bottom hand drills!
How do you keep the hands relaxed, thereby increasing bat speed?
If you keep the hands relaxed and loose, then the body will stay relaxed and loose. Ever catch yourself gripping the recliner like a squirrel with its last nut during the scary part of a suspenseful movie?
If the hands are tense, so is the body. Here are 7 helpful guidelines to relaxing and loosening up the hands to maximize bat speed:
- Grab dirt in each hand and squeeze as hard as you can for 3 seconds, then release it back to the ground. Then grip your bat.
- Try loosening your batting gloves instead of having them choking the life out of your hands!
- Try taking a deep 8-count belly breath, 4 second inhale through the nose expanding the belly, and a 4 second exhale out through the nose pulling the belly button in towards the spine (feels like you're sucking in your stomach).
- Open and close your hands in a rhythm during the Stance Phase of the swing.
- Imagine the bat is a spiky thorny broomstick, and if you squeeze too hard, then you'll pierce your hands making them bleed.
- Use pine tar. AND
- Actively think about keeping your hands relaxed: focusing on the hands will help to loosen them up, while also taking your mind off over-thinking (Yogi Berra-ism??).
Learning how to hit a baseball with the proper Gorilla grip is very important to increasing bat speed, so begin working in a few of the above into your hitting routine and you'll see remarkable results in less time. Swing Smarter!
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