In today’s blog post, we are talking about 2 great conditioning drills for hitters. The “Medicine Ball Swing” conditioning drill works well to make sure you are not pushing the ball, while the “Blow the Hands Away” conditioning drill teaches you to coordinate your breathing with your swing.
Medicine Ball Swing
All you need for this drill is a medicine ball, a bat and some open space. If you can, get a partner to soft toss a couple of balls to you at the end of each set, but if not, dry swings work fine as well.
Get into your batting stance, holding the medicine ball in the same position you would hold the bat. Now turn through, swinging the ball to the ground out in front of you in a straight line. If you have a partner, after completing 10 reps, have them throw you five soft tosses after to drill this in the muscle memory.
Make sure you’re not pushing the ball — your elbow should be in front of the ball,and your hand underneath it, to best replicate the swinging motion. It’s also important to rotate the hips and body before swinging the ball, keeping it close to the chest and not extending your arms out until the end of the swinging motion.
Rotate all the way through swinging the ball behind you instead of in front. For example if you’re a right handed batter, and your left foot represents your north, you should be rotating all the way through, throwing the ball west.
Blow the Hands Away Drill
You’ll need a partner, a couple baseballs, and a bat.
The goal here is to coordinate your breathing with your swing, inhaling as the ball approaches, then exhaling forcefully as you make contact with the ball — much like the way a weight lifter will exhale on each rep, or a tennis player will with each swing. Execute 10 reps with this exaggerated breathing, then go back to five more with your normal swing.
This is a great exercise for getting rid of tension, loosening up your swing. You’ll notice that even after going back to your normal swing, it will be tough for you not to use the same principles as you did on your previous ten reps — even if your breathing may not be so loud and exaggerated.
If you enjoyed these conditioning drills, be sure to check out my “Softball Drills and Practice Plans” series! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will be sharing more great conditioning drills, tips and techniques.