HEY HITTERS!!! As we've discussed in previous posts, "Show & Go" with no warm up simply does not work. It is a recipe for disaster and injury. The key to an effective warm up is simply this:
"Get Sweaty to Get Ready"
How do we do this? It is actually easier than you would think. Implement a system of exercises to WAKE UP the body and get it ready for action. If you don’t WAKE IT UP, then don’t expect it to be ready for the toughest task in all of sports...hitting a baseball. A sweaty body is a heated body with muscles able to fire. Cold bodies can’t fire with any type of explosiveness. A cold car in minus temperatures when started, barely turns over and sputters. If you immediately drive away, it will sputter until the engine warms up, then presto, it runs like it should... smooth and fluid, just like a hitter's swing should be... smooth and fluid, with no choppiness, sputters or hesitations.
For hitters to make the most of their hitting time either in practice or games, they should prepare their body for the ultimate mission...SWINGING THE BAT! The readiness routine below is designed for body organization, balance, self-discovery and body symmetry for exactly that. We've broken it down to 4 components:
Dynamic: This dynamic phase must occur first, before any other movements are produced. Ensure the heartrate is elevated and the body is sweaty; this is accomplished by a variety of movements... running, jumping jacks, seal claps, prisoner squats, etc. Without these, it will be difficult to get the car moving... fire it up and then you can get after it.
Readiness: Ensure each hitter activates the joints, hinges and swivels, such as the hips, ankles and spine. The body is all encompassing and needs to work as one. This creates timing, flow and rhythm.
Functional: Use bands to create some rotational movements to ensure the oblique muscles are loose and ready. Use bands to stretch out the arms, shoulders and back.
Active: Lastly, start a series of swings with the hitter easing into his actual game swing beginning at 50% and working up to 90%. During this phase, the hitter should start from his set up and execute the movements that would occur in game, while being totally focused on what the body needs to do. It is a great time for any hitter to visualise in their minds eye what they are trying to accomplish. A smooth, fluid transition from start to finish.
Good luck with preparation and remember, hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult skill disciplines of any sport, don't make it more difficult with a lack of preparation. And above all...
GET SWEATY TO GET READY!