Baseball Rebellion Article Revision: Fix Your Posture, Fix Your Stride, and Much More

Written by on January 19, 2017 in Hitting Methodology, Methodology / Mechanics - 10 Comments

Baseball Rebellion Article Revision:

Fix Your Posture, Fix Your Stride, & Much More

For the first time ever, Baseball Rebellion is going to start revisiting old articles and updating them. Far too often, I see conflicting teaching methodologies in the baseball/softball realm. That goes for pitching and hitting but for the sake of this article, we’ll be addressing hitting. I’ve looked at numerous other baseball/softball training websites. To be honest, many of them have information that is outdated. I am currently the Head of Athletic Performance for Baseball Rebellion. I’m transitioning more into a hitting instructor role but with that transition comes a transition of thought. In strength and conditioning, if information is outdated or isn’t currently being practiced, it’s IMMEDIATELY updated. Unlike hitting, if you’re a trainer and you’re advocating exercise technique that compromises the safety of your clients, you’re increasing the likelihood for injury. As a current trainer, if a client gets hurt under my watch, I’m more than likely going to lose that client. So, trainers (the moral ones) feel it only necessary to constantly update their knowledge for the safety and betterment of their clients. At least, that’s how I feel when training an athlete or anyone in general. If there is a better way that brings about better results and is safer, I’m constantly seeking it out.

Note: In the video above, I left the high five in on purpose. It was a solid high five. Now, back to hitting. Lots of coaches and instructors lack a need to update their information. I’m not saying that is correct, at all, but it’s the truth. At the end of the day, physical injury from a swing doesn’t happen nearly as often as injuries that occur due to poor lifting technique in the weight room. So, the sense of urgency, for a vast majority of hitting instructors, is not as great as the sense of urgency trainers (higher level ones) have for keeping their clients safe. That is where we, at Baseball Rebellion, are changing. This goes for all of our instructors here. Our clients careers are of the utmost importance to us. We want the best information for our clients so they can perform the best at whatever level they are at or get to.

The article being revised is the Fix Your Posture, Fix your stride, and Much More article written by Chas in October of 2014. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can read it here. In the article, Chas demonstrates how keeping a taller spine angle throughout your stride and turn is what you want in the swing. This is something we have gotten away from. I would absolutely agree taller posture helps you turn easier. If every pitch were at your letters, I’d be an advocate of staying tall. The truth is, the majority of pitchers are trying to get hitters to hit the ball on the ground. They accomplish this by throwing low in the zone. From a pitchers perspective, the hitter who stands too tall, and doesn’t hinge at the hips as he strides, is the easiest hitter to get out. That’s why pitchers are constantly affirmed to pitch low in the zone.

Secondly, hip hinge is CRUCIAL in the swing. When teaching any hip extension related exercise (RDL, Kettlebell swing, glue bridge), in the weight room, the number 1 error I see in athletes is their inability to load their hips to set themselves up to subsequently extend their hips to the best of their ability. When you do a hip hinge, your spine HAS to change angles. To keep the spine tall and upright would rob you of your ability to load your hips properly. Therefore, if the load isn’t efficient, how can one expect to unload properly? Here are a couple examples of hitters spine angles changing pre and post stride.  

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.36.29 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.49.54 PM

I also felt it necessary to write this article at this time because we are in an instruction era where a major of the hitting world is hyper focused on the turn or the unloading of the swing. Although that is important, it is the sequence of events leading up to it that allows optimal unloading to happen. The real aspect of the swing that is vastly undervalued is how a hitter loads. The elite hitters, have a combination of hip hinge and rotation in their lower bodies before they decide to launch the barrel or take the pitch. This hinging and rotation in the lower body, causes a definitive change in spine angle. There will be numerous examples of this sequencing at the end of this article.

Bottom line is, we are getting away from cueing hitters to stay tall in theier strides. Are we advocating excessive hinge at the hips in the stride to the point that the chest is parallel with the ground? No, but there should be a definitive spine angle change, led by the loading (hinging) of the hips in the stride. This move is simply a trait shared by many of the games best hitters and one, we at Baseball Rebellion, want to be clearly visible in the hitters we work with. Here are a couple more examples. Please comment below with any questions or comments. Thank you for reading.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.39.48 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.42.47 PM

About the Author

KC Judge is Baseball Rebellion and ITS Baseball’s Head of Sport Performance and Speed / Strength Coach, from Las Vegas, NV. KC holds a BS in Exercise Science from Cal. Lutheran University, a CSCS certification from the NSCA and is FMS Certified. KC is specialized in speed and agility training, having previously worked at 2 high profile Strength and Conditioning facilities in Las Vegas, Phillipi Sports Institute and TSPT Sports Performance, training many high level major league baseball players. KC played collegiately at Taft College and Cal. Lutheran University. After a record setting season in 2010, which included the single season all time record for batting average (.453), an NCAA All West Region selection, & the SCIAC leader in batting average & on base percentage, KC was named a pre season All American prior to the 2011 season. KC spent 4 seasons playing professionally in the Independent League. With his playing history and knowledge / training with Baseball Rebellion, KC applies his knowledge of speed/strength training directly to the Baseball Rebellion hitting and pitching training systems.

10 Comments on "Baseball Rebellion Article Revision: Fix Your Posture, Fix Your Stride, and Much More"

  1. Brad Adams January 20, 2017 at 9:15 am · Reply

    Great Article and I actually replied to the 2014 article asking if this was correct and used Barry Bonds as and example, I appreciate the edits or changes because most people rather not admit something might not be what they thought or there may be a better way of doing something. Love what you guys do.

    My reply from the 2014 Article. … I see the benefit, can you show with some players with their Chest’s up when they stride but Everyone I see from the front or back view is bent over at the waist? Maybe I don’t understand the concept but can’t wait to hear more.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CtH-0mVp20&list=PLfDEV2P77UguhlSZSWS-hyXo85veu8kZJ&index=10
    Even Bonds before the Vitamins.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kasaxBLWgo

    • KC Judge January 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm · Reply

      Brad!

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad our willingness to go back and revise our information is appreciated. There aren’t too many instructors out there that are willing to admit they haven’t taught perfectly since they began instructing (we’re all humans). Anyone who claims they have taught perfect technique from day 1 is lying. It’s human nature to gain deeper insight over time in anything you do or teach for that matter. I hope this article inspires more instructors to go back and revisit their information and how they have either changed or improved upon it.
      I don’t really have any examples of elite hitters staying tall in the stride. Some hitters don’t hinge their back hip as much, so they subsequently don’t undergo that drastic of a posture change but, there is indeed a change. That spine angle change represents an efficient loading of the lower body. Once again, thank you for reading and I really do appreciate your acknowledgement of our willingness to go back and update our information. More to come! Stay tuned!

      -KC

  2. JD January 20, 2017 at 10:15 am · Reply

    Good job guys.

    Joey M had this article recently which I think dances around the same topic:
    http://hittingperformancelab.com/get-rid-of-c-shape-impact-once-and-for-all/

    Not a fan of the hunched stance @ the start, but do think there might be something to the hip hinge combined with a little bit of the rounded back posture during load.

    Seems like coming out of that position into the turn helps engage the bigger muscles as opposed to the smaller lower back muscles.

    Thinking Donaldson, Bonds (older version), Oh, and Big Papi would be good examples of that pattern.

    What do you think?

    • KC Judge January 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm · Reply

      JD!

      Absolutely! We teach the swing similar to that of how a wave builds then crashes. It builds energy slowly and before you know it, the wave crashes down violently. From a pure analogy standpoint, I don’t think there is a better visual representation of how your body should work in the swing. Donaldson, Bonds, and Ortiz are all great examples of how they are more upright in their stance and then when they stride, the angle in their spines change to to a combination of rear hip hinge and rotation. Thank you for reading!

      -KC

  3. John Kempt January 20, 2017 at 10:54 am · Reply

    Hi KC,

    Some start with proper posture, some get proper posture as the pitcher starts their wind up and others get it as you’ve noted. Many ways to get there, just make sure you get there….

    Long time follower of your site as it is one of he best…. Keep up the great work….

    John

    • KC Judge January 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm · Reply

      Hey John!

      I agree! I will say, from a pure movement principle, I’d rather roll into that position (Tall to hinged) than preset the hinge. If you preset the hinge, it doesn’t allow your body to transition out of it as smoothly. Thank you for reading and we will continue to provide the best information for our readers!

      -KC

  4. Marco January 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm · Reply

    Hi KC-

    Thank you for the article and the revision. Do you see any issue with the hip hinge causing the hitter to put more weight on the front two-thirds of his foot (maybe even lifting his heel) compared to staying solid in the back heel during the stride? I thought transferring weight to the front of your feet causes a loss in power compared to having your heel rooted before hip rotation.

    Thank you,
    Marco

  5. Jon Ball January 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm · Reply

    Great job gentlemen. When people ask me if I like Baseball Rebellion I have always replied yes, but I disagree with their opinion on posture. Now I can just say BR is awesome.

  6. Shawn February 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm · Reply

    Hi KC,

    Can you tell me what education you have when it comes to sports science and/or bio-mechanics? I’m interested in getting into the field and maybe opening up my own hitting instruction business, but I’m not 100% sure where to start. Any pointing in the right direction would be really appreciated.

    Keep the good info coming. Love the work BR does.

    Thanks,
    Shawn

    • KC Judge February 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm · Reply

      Hey Shawn,
      I have an Undergraduate degreee in Exercise Science which included courses on biomechanics and functional anatomy. That helped the most. Secondly, I have a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification which helped me gain a better understanding of lever systems in the body. Outside of that I’ve always been very interested in the swing. As far back as I could remember, hitting a baseball was my favorite thing to do. So I’d say, if you are passionate about the swing and are looking at taking classes, definitely look into biomechanics. Let me know if you need anything else. I appreciate you reaching out and reading our articles. Take care!

      KC

Leave a Comment