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Baseball is an American favorite in terms of watching and playing. One aspect that marks a player’s skill is their exit velocity: the velocity with which a ball moves right after it hits a bat, and people see it as an accurate objective measure of how hard the player hits the ball. Players train hard to achieve higher exit velocities. Let us know more detail about ‘Increase Baseball Exit Velocity’.
Increase Baseball Exit Velocity
There are many ways to increase exit velocity, and different tips work for different players. You can improve your bat mass, swing mechanics, and bat swing velocity. However, factors like age, body mass and pitch speed also affect your exit velocity, which is not something you can change. Many exercises can help you increase core strength to help swing the bat faster, and with practice, tips, and techniques, you can swing the bat more accurately and send the ball off at a higher velocity.
We will look at: Increase Baseball Exit Velocity
- Choosing your bat
- Bat swing speed
- Swing Mechanics
- Strength and Training Exercises
Choosing your bat
A heavier bat should help increase bat speed. However, for less experienced players, a heavier bat can also be more difficult to swing or control, defeating the purpose.
Choose a bat that is not too heavy for the match. If your bat ‘feels’ heavy after multiple swings, or you cannot hold it by the handle with your arm extended to your side for 30-45 seconds, the bat is probably too heavy for you. Alternatively, a bat that is too light will be easier to swing fast, but it will not have much energy to transfer to the ball to give you a good exit velocity.
Bat swing speed
Increasing bat swing speed also contributes significantly to your exit velocity. The bat mass combined with the swing speed makes up the total power that causes a faster exit velocity. You need to consciously work on swinging as hard and fast as possible because the more powerfully you swing the bat, the faster the ball should go.
One recommended trick is to warm up with weighted or extra-heavy bats right before a match. Doing this should help swing the bat better while playing with your regular bat.
The third factor to work on, and perhaps most important, is how you swing. There is no point swinging the bat fast and hard and with a heavier bat if you cannot swing it accurately, or if your stance and method are incorrect. You cannot expect brute strength to do the work alone.
Some tips related to swing mechanics, especially for matches, are
- Use the smash factor: hit the ball with the bat’s sweet spot to send it out faster.
- Hit with a lower launch angle. You will get a greater exit velocity, even though the ball will not go as far.
- Swing as hard as you can: put power, and not just speed, behind the bat.
- You can use a leg kick for optimal forward weight transfer and rotational power.
- To further improve weight transfer and add momentum to your swing, cover more ground with your stance.
- Watch slow-motion or other videos of your favorite professional baseball players. Notice how they hold the bat, position their fingers, wrist, bat, bat knob, et cetera for guidance on how to load your body before a swing.
There are other tips for showcasing your skills during a test using a tee, but the ones mentioned above should come in handy for a match.
Strength and Training Exercises
Overload and Underload
The idea is to train your Central Nervous System to respond to the ball better when you work with different bats for better exit velocities.
You will need three bats: your normal game bat, one that is approximately 4 ounces/12% lighter, and a third that is around 4 ounces/12% heavier. Alternatively, you can use a broomstick or click stick and extra weight for the normal bat to substitute for the extra bats. The lighter bat/broomstick/click stick should have the same length as your normal bat.
Take 15 swings each with the lighter, heavier, and normal bat one after the other, in that order. Rest, and then repeat. Hit a soft toss, tee, batting cage, or live shots to practice the swings. Do not take more than 15 swings at a time with the heavy bat to maintain your swing mechanism. You should improve within 4-6 weeks.
Strength and resistance training
Earlier, we looked at faster, harder swings with a heavier bat as key factors toward a higher exit velocity. To manage these, you need to build strength in specific muscles. Ensure your technique is correct before intense workouts, as an incorrect technique can do more damage than good.
- Legs: A powerful hit starts from the legs and the energy moves upward. Exercises you can try: squats, leg presses, lunges, leg curls, and deadlifts.
- Core muscles: Your chest, abdominals, and back form your core, which must be strong to add power to your swing. Core strength leads to better twists with more torque, directly impacting the swing. You can do push-ups, planks, situps, bench presses, medicine ball workouts, leg raises, and some other core strengthening exercises.
- Forearms: Stronger forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers lead to better grip and more hand speed with control. Do not overwork these areas and damage your body. Exercises include squeezing a tennis ball/racquetball, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, dumbbell wrist flexion and extension, farmer’s walk, and finger curls.
These exercises should help strengthen the muscles you need to achieve a high exit velocity. If possible, you should consult a coach before you begin, or do extensive research about side effects, et cetera. Done incorrectly, these workouts can become dangerous.
Now We’ve learnt about ‘Increase Baseball Exit Velocity’, Exit velocity is something you can work to improve and not an inborn skill, and you can do much to improve it, from using an appropriate bat to swinging it harder, faster, and better. You have the tips. Go ahead and put them into practice! Best of luck!
- Q: How is exit velocity measured?
A: You can get it measured professionally, where they will use a radar gun to evaluate a series of your hits and give you your average exit velocity. You can use a bat sensor swing analyzer to measure your bat swing speed, which directly affects your exit velocity.
- Q: Why is it good to increase exit velocity?
A: The faster the ball moves as it leaves your bat, the further it is likely to travel (ignoring things like launch angle and spin rate, which also affect the distance covered by the ball). According to studies, if the exit velocity increases by 1 mph, the distance covered by the ball should increase by around 4-7 feet if you keep all other variables constant. It should give you more time to clear the base and lead to more home runs and doubles. A faster ball should be more difficult for defenders to catch, too. Additionally, exit velocity is a significant indicator of your baseball skill to scouts and recruiters. For college or q Division 1 Minor League Team, you should have an exit velocity of at least 90 mph.