Load Your Back Hip For More Torque and Power

Loading in the Back Hip for More Power

When it comes to maximizing your rotational power there are a lot of things that will come to mind.  Here at Baseball Rebellion, we know for a fact that your body has to work a certain way to do so. In this article, I will be explaining how creating torque with your back foot in your hitting stance can lead to better and more efficient swings. Most importantly, how loading into the back hip can help increase your power.

What is Torque?

The scientific definition of torque is simply applying rotational for to and object.  Meaning that it is twisting motion. This concept is mainly applied when moving weight during a bench press, squat, and deadlift. 

When you create torque you create tension allowing your body to work in a more efficient and safe way. The gif below is a good visual of what torque is.  As you can see when to externally rotate my hands and arms I can bend the PVC pipe.  This is torque and what I have created is more tension.

gif for torque1

Why You Need to Create Torque

Creating torque with your back foot is something that every hitter can accomplish.  The swing starts from the ground and works up through your body. As a hitter who is trying to create more force, it all starts with you preparing your body to do so. Such as loading into the back hip.

Creating torque with your back foot creates tension through the inside of your foot, leg and all the way up into your back hip. This allows hitters to truly feel what it is like to turn into their back hip.  As a result, the hitter will start there swing from where they feel the tension. This is stored energy allowing you to use it when you rotate into the ball.

Lastly, another benefit on why you need to create torque from the ground up is that you gain hip stability.  Meaning that you will have better body control allowing you to have a better swing direction.

Banded Knee Drill

I know I am performing the drill barefoot.  But you do not have to, just make sure you are activating your foot properly within your shoe or cleats.  Do not try to externally rotate too much.  If you try and screw yourself in the ground too much you will become too stiff and slow.  Therefore do not try and create 100%  torque it should feel like you're in the ground but not exaggerating it.

Final Thoughts

If you want to maximize your rotational force, power and consistency understanding how to use torque is something that you need to consider.  As I have said before there are a lot of things that go into having a good swing.  Meaning as a hitter there is always something that can be tweaked or slightly changed to improve.

The goal is to hit the ball hard, far and consistently and that all starts with how you prepare your body to do so.  My favorite quote ever from my former head coach Sam Riggleman goes like this "The accumulation of little things, in fact, is not little".  This is something that I try and apply to my life every day and now hitters need to apply this same mindset as well.

Therefore, taking the time to not hit a million balls off the tee or front and truly break your swing down to work on the little things will be key to your success.  Athletes who make it far take ownership of their mistakes and what they need to work on. If you want to be the best you have to practice and spend time fine-tuning your skills.

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3 Tee Drill

Get Consistent Hard Contact with the 3 Tee Drill

If your hitter struggled to make contact to all fields last season check out our version of the 3 tee drill series & how it can help them develop a consistent bat path

UPPER BODY ISOLATION Drill

Upper Body Isolation Drill

Learn how isolating your upper body during hitting drills can help improve your hitters side bend and make them more consistent hard contact hitters.

Not only do we have to move our body properly but we also have to keep the bat connected to our swing. Once hitters understand the relationship between bat angle and early connection they can make the adjustments rather quickly. This article will explain exactly what you're looking for in regards to the ideal bat angle when you load and how fixing this will result in a much more powerful swing

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Create Proper Bat Path with the PVC Pipe Drill

Create Proper Bat Path

Bat path issues plague hitters of all ages. With most hitters being taught a level, straight to the ball approach, you see a ton of mishits and pop-ups. To help create proper bat path in your hitters, try this PVC Snap Drill with a resistance band

 This drill focuses on hitters to turn behind the ball early which helps create a better bat path through the zone. 

Once a hitter feels the correct path to the ball they will be able to understand and correct themselves much faster.

PVC Pipe Snap Drill

3 Ways This Drill Helps Create Proper Bat Path

1.Start of the Swing

  • We all know that we have to create separation with the load and fire the hips when we swing.   
  • This drill is to help understand what the hands, arms, and shoulders should do in your swing. 
  • If a hitter pushes their hands down early their bat path is not efficient versus what I want to happen when performing this drill.
  • Once a hitter feels the upper body movement correctly they then can understand what not to do and why they aren't hitting the ball as well. 

2.Turning Behind the Ball

  • As I have written out before the difference between attacking bat path and the ball is very different and produces very different results. 
  • Understanding that the bat has to work behind you first before it can move forward is crucial for making hard consistent contact.

3.Pushing

  • This is a significant problem that many hitters have.  Due to the fact that many coaches say “ get your hands to the ball”. 
  • Well, that makes zero sense because your barrel is what hits the ball, I know pretty crazy right?
  • That cue alone will cause hitters to push their hands forward resulting in a slow swing and inconsistent contact.

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3 Tee Drill

Get Consistent Hard Contact with the 3 Tee Drill

If your hitter struggled to make contact to all fields last season check out our version of the 3 tee drill series & how it can help them develop a consistent bat path

UPPER BODY ISOLATION Drill

Upper Body Isolation Drill

Learn how isolating your upper body during hitting drills can help improve your hitters side bend and make them more consistent hard contact hitters.

The Roles of the Back Hip and Knee in the Swing

How the Back Hip & Knee Generates Power

“Turn your hips to the ball” or “use your legs” is something every hitter has heard before when hitting.  But what does that actually mean?

  • When coaches blurt these phrases out it can often confuse the hitter if they don't know how to turn their hips the right way. 
  • This can cause them to spin out of control resulting in poor contact and zero power.
  • Learn how cueing the back hip and knee properly will help hitters day in and day out.  

What to Look For: Position at Contact 

The backside of the hitter has to be the main driver of the swing.  By loading properly and creating good hip hinge hitters will be able to set themselves up to drive the ball. 

But what happens when hitters get to a good position and still are not getting the most out of their swing?

Often times hitters spin the back hip and knee resulting in minimal force into the ball.  The video breakdown below will give you an insight into whether you are actually getting the most out of your swing.

3 Positive Outcomes from this Drill

Initial Start of the Swing

  • Cueing the back hip and knee firing first is vital for hitters. 
  • This move is something that has to be done in order to hit the ball consistently. 
  • Often times when hitters feel slow to the ball or rushed it’s because they are more upper body dominant. 
  • Performing this drill correctly will help hitters have to start their swing correctly.
  • Hard contact starts with being consistent with your back hip and knee starting your swing.

Force Direction

  • The goal in hitting obviously to deliver as much force as possible into the ball. 
  • When hitters don't feel like they are getting everything into the ball often times it's due to the hitter spinning their back hip and knee. 
  • This can happen more and more if coaches cue “turn your hips!” but when a hitter doesn't understand how this will lead to more miss-hits and confusion of what they actually have to do. 
  • Do this drill correctly and you will feel more power in your swing.

Posture

  • Another issue that many hitters have is not creating the right posture when they get to launch position and when they begin their swing. 
  • Having the ability to hip hinge and then transition into side bend is crucial to getting the most out of your swing.
  • Pay careful attention to how I performed this drill and you will get the most out of your swing.

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How You Can Practice Using Your Whole Body to Swing

Often times it is hard for hitters to feel their backside working to the ball.  With this front arm constraint drill, the hitter only has one way to turn, behind the ball.

This drill specifically forces hitters to turn efficiently due to their front arm being held still. 

This will make hitters feel how they have to initially work behind the ball. While also promoting more power and a quality bat path.

Benefits of the Front Arm Constraint Drill

1.Front Side Flying Open

When hitters fly open with their front side it is often due to a pull forward with their front arm.  Causing the front shoulder to yank, making the hitters spin off the ball.

Since we are holding onto the pad or a net with our front arm the hitter will feel their front shoulder pull causing them to pull away from the net or pad.  Then they will have to make adjustment correctly to turn from their backside and crush the pad or net correctly

2. Avoid Top Spun Groundballs

Everyone hates top spun grounders, this is mostly because the hotter pulls with their front side causing their bat path to swipe across to the pull side. 

Swing direction starts from where you start you swing from. With this front arm constraint drill, this will help hitters create a better move behind the ball making them drive ball versus top spun grounders.

3. Quality of Contact

 If you are having a lot of mishits and not squaring up the ball, this drill is for you. Mishits come from lack of timing and poor bat path. 

If your timing is good and you're still not crushing the ball, try this drill to help feel the proper sequence of the swing.

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The front shoulder flying open is one of the biggest mistakes hitters make. Check out two cues you can use to help your hitters stay on the ball longer

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Using Movement Patterns to Build Each Hitter's Swing Standard

Learn How Building a Strong Foundation In Hitter's Early On Can Help Them Become Successful

When it comes to teaching young hitters the correct way to hit it can get a little frustrating depending on how young and how well they can stay focused.  Some coaches think that getting “technical” with young hitters is a waste of time. I personally couldn't disagree more. The goal for young hitters is to build a strong base through the right movements and then build off that. 

Delivery and Verbiage

Teaching hitters how to hit is something that I personally take pride in.  If you can get a young kid hitting the ball harder and farther, they appreciate it so much more.  But how do you do that without making it so confusing?

Young HitterYou have to use the right verbiage to get them to do what you want. 

For example, if I have a kid who has trouble keeping his head back in his stride. I’ll have the kid imagine that there is a wall that his head cannot go past. 

Sometimes I will say that there are spikes sticking out of the wall that they can’t hit! You will see their eyes light up like “what?!”

Usually, after that, they keep their head back.  There obviously are other ways you can do this as well.

The bottom line when you’re working with young kids you have to get creative and make it fun! Or else they won’t get anything you want to teach.

 

Breaking Down the Stages of the Swing

Simplifying the Batting Stance- Tap for More Info

Keep it Simple

  • When it comes to getting young hitters to hit better it all starts with their stance.
  • Making things simple will only allow them to get into a more athletic position when they stride out.  Often times hitters will start very upright and then land upright. This does not allow them to cover the whole zone correctly.
  • If you are looking to gain more power and overall consistency at the plate then you must learn how to hinge as you stride out. 
  • Starting hinged is also a good option for young hitters or any hitter for that matter because it gets them into an athletic position early.
The Load & Stride- Tap for More Info

Load & Stride

If you don’t load the body then your swing will be weak and nobody wants that.  Load up and take some hacks!

Position at Contact- Tap for More Info

Initial Start of the Swing

After we learn how to load the body properly and start the initial part of the swing we can now talk about what we are looking for at contact. 

In regards to the things, we look for at this contact watch the video below.

Initial Start of the Swing- Tap for More Info

After hitters have learned how to load and stride now its time for them to start their swing. 

Young hitters have a tough time understanding side bend when they swing. Therefore on lower pitches, they tend to push their hands and cut the ball.  Is it impossible for them? No. Is it getting too technical? No. The earlier that these kids can’t understand some side bend and or tilt the better they will be in the long run.

Video Analysis

The Results

Below is Jake’s results from his initial evaluation on January 14th and the first time he hit after our movement progression on January 28th. 

Jake Ham Progress
Average Exit Velocity Up
MPH
Max Exit Velocity Up
MPH
Average Distance Up
Feet
Max Distance Up
Feet

Final Thoughts

Now I know some of you out there are going to strongly disagree without what I have said in this article, and that’s ok.  Since my team here working at Baseball rebellion I have seen our movement progression and teaching methods get results from hitters of all ages. As an instructor, my job is to help hitters really help themselves. 

Through using the Rebel’s Rack, other drills, changing the hitter’s mindset and overall understanding of hitting through proper movement. We have to help hitters at all ages get better results or else what’re we doing?

Sometimes it is going to be difficult with young hitters but that’s part of the challenge.  As I have said before and I will say again. If you can get a young kid to load, stride and turn better they will hit better, bottom line.

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Back Hip Load

Load Your Back Hip For More Torque and Power

Learn how loading into your back hip in your stride can create more torque in your swing and help you hit the ball harder and farther with more consistency.

What Does Being Connected in the Swing Actually Look Like?

What Does Being Connected in the Swing Actually Look Like?

Not only do we have to move our body properly but we also have to keep the bat connected to our swing. Once hitters understand the relationship between bat angle and early connection they can make the adjustments rather quickly. This article will explain exactly what you’re looking for in regards to the ideal bat angle when you load and how fixing this will result in a much more powerful swing

Understanding the Initial Start of the Swing

The start of the swing is the start of the turn. Without the hitter knowing exactly how they must start their swing, they will be inconsistent with how they deliver their barrel through the hitting zone.

We teach hitters how to use each individual body part to start the swing and not just the hands. Hitters’  have been taught for so long about how important their hands are in the swing. Because of this, most will just use them to start the swing. This is wrong and so detrimental to hitters. It takes away any power they have by them not learning how to correctly use their body.

Learn the Start of the Swing with Movement First

We first teach hitters how to start their swing first without a bat in the movement progression. Because of this, they learn to engage the main parts of the body that start the swing (the hips, core, torso, shoulders).

What Are the Main Focal Points of the Start of the Swing?

Use the Torso

Make sure the hitter's turning bat through the zone with the body and not the arms or the hands. By using the whole body to turn/swing the bat through the zone we are ensuring maximum force being delivered at contact.

Bat Position & Timing

The main focus should be for the hitter to prepare their turn during the stride. Land with their head back over the back hip and hips hinged. Their bat should be angled over their head (knob pointed to catcher) and not wrapped behind it or too vertical at front foot landing. Having the bat over the head allows it to enter the hitting zone from behind the hitter. Because of this, they are able to accelerate the bat through the zone cleaner and more efficient. 

 

Early Connection

Learning the proper start and position of the downswing helps hitters with their early connection. According to Blast Motion, Early Connection measures the relationship between your body tilt and vertical bat angle at the start of the downswing. Establishing good connection (90 degrees) early in the swing helps you get on plane and increases your ability to adjust to all pitch locations.

These drills come directly from the Rebel's Rack Certification Course. To gain access to more drills and become Rebel's Rack Movement Progression certified click the box below.

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Instant Feedback With The Barrier Tee Drill

Everyone can agree that to become a great hitter you have to practice.  Although hitting off a tee a lot can cause some issues with your swing and create bad habits.  The barrier tee drill is great for practice on your own.  It is simply effective and will help you train smarter.

The main purpose of this drill is to engrain habits that will help you perform better in the game.  Gaining an understanding of swing direction, proper bat path, and extension through the ball are all things you need to become the hitter you want to become.

3 Things this Drill Will Help You Improve

1. Contact point- When hitting the outside pitch often youngers hitters tend to hook around the ball.  As a result, this can turn many pitches that are thrown on the outside corner into rollovers aka outs.  With the placement of the screen, it will force hitters to adjust there contact point on the ball closer to the inner half as opposed to the outer half. For the pitches down the middle and inside your contact point will be more out front.

2. Swing Direction- Probably the most important thin this drill will help with is the direction of your swing.  Many hitters lack the ability to get their bodies moving through the direction of the ball.  Sure you load and stride the same every time but in regards to the pitch height and pitch depth that solely comes from the direction and tilt of your body.  Doing this incorrectly will result in hitting the screen and a possible ricochet of your face! Check out this other drill for swing direction to get your swing moving in the right path.

3. Delivering the Barrel- Often times kids will have a difficult time getting the barrel properly to the ball.  Especially on the outside pitch.  They will push their hands forward resulting in the barrel to lag too far behind and creating a mis-hit ball to the opposite field.  The goal is to deliver the barrel flush and square.  If you are not hitting the ball hard you may be "attacking contact vs attacking bat path"

Contact Point Outside Pitch
Outside Pitch Tee Drill

Above you can the hitter demonstrating the three things to look for when hitting an outside pitch.  His shoulders are rotated at the correct degree when hitting this pitch.  This will also allow him to stay on the baseball driving it to the right-center gap. Notice where his barrel is hitting the ball.  Slightly on the inside part of the ball, this is hitting the ball square on this outside pitch.

Contact point middle pitch
Middle Pitch Tee Drill

Here you can see what it should look like at contact for a pitch down the middle.  The shoulders have rotated slightly further but as you can see his direction is through the middle of the field.  Hitters may try and push their hands too far forward to avoid hitting the screen.  If you do this properly you will not hit the screen and it will be a hard line drive up the middle.

Contact Point Inside Pitch
Inside Pitch Tee Drill

Lastly, we are making contact on the outside pitch.  The hitter has rotated his shoulders slightly further again to help him meet that pitch out front.  Notice though he is still not coming or hooking around the outside part of the ball.  The goal here is to drive the ball are with a true spin through the left side of the cage.  No hooking just hard consistent contact.

One Thing to Lookout For

The Barrier Tee drill will give you instant feedback from swing to swing.  The thing that will inhibit your hitters from getting better is changing where you stand in the box.  In the videos below I explain that you must remain consistent.  The only thing that will move around is the tee depending on what part of the field you're trying to hit too.

The pictures above also give a great indicator of where you need where the tee needs to be set up.  Pay attention to where you stand in the box and move the tee around accordingly.

Barrier Tee Drill Backside and Pullside

Barrier Tee Drill Up the Middle

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Increase Strength and Flexibility In Hitting

We have used the Rebel’s Rack, power bands and the rack bat attachment in many videos.  This drill combines all three creating a drill that will benefit almost all hitters. Whether you’re a young little leaguer or a Division-1 athlete you have yo be able to side-bend

Getting hitters to feel a certain movement is crucial for them to learn it. Having them increase strength and flexibility while practicing hitting is rare. Thankfully we have tools and drills such as this one to accomplish that. Not only will hitters get into side-bend better they will also get stronger due to the resistance the bands create.

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The Biggest Benefits for Hitter's From this Drill

Feeling The Transition From Hip Hinge to Side Bend

Many Hitters struggle with this the most especially on low and in pitches. Often times hitter think they have to clear their upper body out of the way to reach low pitches.  This results in top spun balls to the hitter’s pull side. Getting hitters to feel the transition from hinge to side bend will allow them to crush those lower pitches just by improving their posture.

Gaining better body control and Awareness

Since the bands are attached low and the increased length of the rack bat it will force hitters to have to control their “Turn”  much more. Again if we can get hitters to feel where their body needs to be and how it needs to move. Only then we will get hitters to do what we want.  Creating a difficult movement like this will enforce good posture and overall body control.

Core strength and Range of Motion Through the Spine

A Lot of young hitters lack core strength and stability.  With the bands it will force them to get stronger or else they will be falling all over the place.  This will also help hitters gain more range of motion due to the fact they have to hold their side bend throughout the turn.  By going faster while doing this drill properly it will make them stronger with the correct posture.

Don't be a Hero

We need the bands to create some resistance but too much resistance will cause some bad habits.  If your hitter is young and small then using just one black band will be enough resistance.  After the hitter gains more control, technique and speed then you should add more resistance. Therefore don't try and do too much to soon, master the movement and feel the side-bend then load the movement even more.

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Help Your Swing By Striding Forward

In regards to tempo and timing, the Long Stride Drill is great when done correctly.  Hitters who feel that they are spinning off the ball are probably caught on their backside.  Being able to move forward during your stride is key to getting the most out of a hitters swing. 

This is for hitters to gain a better understanding of how early they start to load, the tempo they move at, and overall body control.  

What Are We Trying to Correct with this Drill?

  1. Tempo: I am very big on how fast and how smooth my hitter’s stride in lessons.  When hitters are forced to start in a more narrow stance they have to start earlier to time the pitch.  The early preparation gives them time to set up their body with a good hinge at the hips and a slight turn in with their upper body. Moving smoothly while staying controlled is key here. 

2. Swing Direction: Since we are striding farther the hitter's body will move forward more than normal.  When hitters keep there head back as they move forward this helps set their body up in power positions.  The forward motion will help their swing go where it needs to go. Since the ball comes from the middle of the field (pitcher) we need our body to stride that way properly so we can react to the pitch with the correct swing direction. 

3. Getting off of Your Backside-  As I mentioned before, hitters who have a tendency to get stuck back and spin-off the ball have minimal forward movement. Feeling the longer stride, in my opinion, will help free up the hitter's movement patterns and get them comfortable with starting early and moving the hips forward. 

Keep in Mind

Hitter's, especially young ones, will have a tendency to drive their head forward during this drill. This is extremely detrimental to hitters and put's them in terrible positions that hinder their success.

If we have the hitters focus on striding with their hips and moving them out farther, then we are creating the proper angles needed to drive the ball into the outfield.

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Back Hip Load

Load Your Back Hip For More Torque and Power

Learn how loading into your back hip in your stride can create more torque in your swing and help you hit the ball harder and farther with more consistency.

Stay at Home Hitting & Fielding Drills- Week 1

Stay at Home Hitting & Fielding Drills- Week 1

Baseball Rebellion gives you five stay at home drills for hitting and fielding that can be done anywhere in the house! Don’t let your training fall behind.

If you are tired of seeing inconsistent contact at the plate check out this drill to help prevent your hips from sliding forward and turn with more power.

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