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Core Training for Hitters…It’s NOT all about getting JACKED!

Written By: Chas Pippitt

Many people are jumping on the “Core Training Bandwagon” for baseball and softball players.  There are core workouts and abdominal movements using bands, weights, medballs…you name it, you can crunch, sit up, plank or turn with it.  Shoot, if you train hard enough, you could look like Gabe Kapler…but does training that HARD really make the player?

Gabe Kapler...The most JACKED baseball player ever

Gabe Kapler…The most JACKED baseball player ever

At Baseball Rebellion, we wanted to point out the fact that many people are not training the opposite side of hitters like they should.  Baseball is far and away the most imbalanced athletic sport so it lends itself to CONSTANT overuse and imbalance injuries in the core as stated HERE. Think about it, each time you swing, you’re doing a full effort trunk rotation and you’re never turning around and doing that motion the opposite way.

As documented many times in biomechanics, your body will only accelerate to the level that it can decelerate, so the muscles that stop you  must be capable of doing just that or your body will naturally slow itself down prematurely.  Imagine sprinting towards a wall…you will never run all the way into the wall…you slow down before you crash into it unless you’re this guy…

Using a medicine ball, Will Fox, the Director of Performance at I.T.S. Baseball, and Chas Pippitt show the exact drills they use to train Chas’s hitters in person.  These drills promote safe deceleration of the swing so Chas’s hitters can be explosive in their turns and stable at the swing finish.  For those of you that have a Rebel’s Rack, there’s even some extra stuff at the end for you!

Many people do not have medicine balls at the house, but lots of people have rubber tubing or P90x style weight bands they can use to do this awesome anti-rotation exercise, the Pallof Press.

Co-Author Will Fox is the Director of Performance at I.T.S. Baseball.  Will has an undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sports Science from UNC at Chapel Hill, CSCS, PES, Muscle Activation Techniques Certification, and is currently working on his masters in Exercise Physiology at UNC at Greensboro.

2 thoughts on "Core Training for Hitters…It’s NOT all about getting JACKED!"

  1. ed kovac says:

    curious about palm up palm down ititiated via flattening of bat behind back shoulder. does this include a low inside or low outside pitch? on the inside low, I always thought the vertical bat would get to that pitch. Love the rebel rack! I have a 54″ chest so extra large is good for me. I guess when i order for my student boys should be a large?

    1. Chas Pippitt says:

      Ed,

      We’ve found that the earlier you can get to Palm Up, Palm Down generally the better you’re gonna do. If you allow the back elbow to slide forward however, you get in some trouble.

      Also, getting behind the ball is always a better option than getting ‘to’ the ball, so the more vertical the barrel the more knob drive and less turn the hitter will have. That decreases early acceleration of the bat head and limits the chance for hard and solid contact no matter where the pitch is.

      As far as Rebel’s Racks go, an XL would fit you and we have high school kids in Mediums and Larges generally.

      Chas–

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