Are you a softball batter who has one goal in mind: to smash the ball hard and fast?
Since a dedicated player (like you) would never want to stop getting better at hitting, it is out of the question that you wish your bat speed to increase.
Increasing your bat speed will improve your overall batting performance since the ball will come off the bat with a much greater exit velocity and go farther than it normally does for you.
In this article, you’ll come across various things, from the steps in your hitting to the ways you can help increase your bat speed in the weight room.
So, keep reading to have that bat striking like lightning.
Steps To Increase Softball Bat Speed
It is critical to understand what you can do on the field to improve your bat speed.
I’ve listed the stages of getting ready to strike the ball with speed below.
1. Proper Grip
Your grip on the bat should neither be too loose nor too tight.
Grasp the bat lightly in your palm so that the swing does not get held back and your motion does not get restricted.
Keeping the bat at the tip of your fingers will help you generate a quick whip-like motion which aids in increasing the bat speed.
Ensure that your grip on the bat does not make your swing encounter any breaks and that it travels the whole distance without losing pace. If the grip of your bat is making it difficult, then consider purchasing a bat grip.
2. Placement Of Hand And Elbow
Your hands should be keeping the bat up high at the height of your shoulder with the twist in your torso so that the momentum you need in your bat for a higher speed gets generated.
On the other hand, your elbows should be down in the same line as your chest.
If you place your elbows high, you will be working against gravity and fail to get the speed you are looking for in your swing.
A good stance for hitting with speed is a level stance, the appropriate distance between feet, and relaxed shoulders giving your body proper balance and ease.
It is good to start with the square stance, but if it is difficult for you to get the bat around, an open stance may be of some help.
In an open stance, the bat is closer to the ball before the pitch has even been delivered.
4. Use Your Weight
You have your body weight; use it to get that speed you are looking for.
You should know how your body’s weight can get transferred to your bat and generate more speed.
It is best to get a little stronger, bigger, and faster, which I have discussed in the next section.
Muscling Up To Increase Bat Speed
Now that you have gone through the on-field mechanics of increasing bat speed, let us see what you can do inside the weight room to help your bat speed to improve.
A bigger player is often stronger than a smaller player and hits a softball with more power.
As a result, muscling up to boost our bat speed is a great approach.
1. Leg Strength
Legs are in charge of creating the force required for a rapid swing through the striking zone.
If you have strong legs, your body will be stable, and the transfer of energy from your core to your arm and the bat will become much more manageable.
Batter’s leg muscles aid in the acceleration of the bat barrel to and through contact.
Exercises such as squats, and lunges may help to improve leg strength.
2. Stable Core
A certain degree of twist or rotation in your torso is required to get those hands up high before executing your swing, which necessitates a sturdy core.
If your core is strong enough, rotating your trunk will be simple for you, and you’ll be able to repeat your comfortable posture without having to make changes for every pitch.
Your core muscles, which comprise your chest, belly, and back, are important for becoming more steady and balanced.
Balance allows for simple energy transmission and rapid arm and forearm action without shaking the whole body.
Exercises like crunches and planks may help you develop a strong core.
3. Forearm Strength
If your forearms are strong, the quickness in your swing will come across much easier to you.
Strong forearms help make strong movements in your hands, creating strong and speedy movements in the bat.
The forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers are controlled throughout a softball swing.
Wrist curls, finger curls, and reverse wrist curls are good for growing strong forearms. Along with that, you should also include all the different exercises in your softball workout to get as much strength as possible.
4. Strong Grip
Although you should not hold the bat tightly, you should not have a weak grip.
It should be sturdy enough to prevent your bat from escaping before making contact.
A firm grip allows for quicker hand speed and, as a result, faster bat speed.
Aside from the on-field and off-field efforts you are putting into your hitting, you should be aware that the softball bats you use also have some hand in the speed with which you are hitting the ball.
A heavy bat helps in hitting the ball farther than a lighter bat, but you should be able to have the same swing speed as you do on a more lightweight bat. The balanced and end-loaded bat can also affect your bat speed.
If you successfully maintain the swing speed, higher batted ball velocity, and distance will be produced by the heavier bat.
But, to put it simply, it is much easier to swing a lighter bat than a heavier bat.
So, if it is becoming difficult to have the same swing speed as you do on a lighter bat, it is better to use a lighter bat. So, that’s why it’s very important to choose your softball bat with care.
Tips for Increasing Softball Bat Speed in Slowpitch & Fastpitch
Here’s a useful chart outlining tips for increasing softball bat speed in both slowpitch and fastpitch:
|Grip||Use a loose, relaxed grip to allow for maximum bat speed.||Use a firm grip, but not so tight that it restricts wrist and forearm movement.|
|Stance||Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and weight evenly distributed.||Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and weight on the back foot.|
|Load||Load up by shifting your weight back onto your back foot and bringing the bat back behind your shoulder.||Load up by bringing the bat back behind your shoulder while simultaneously stepping forward with your front foot.|
|Swing||Focus on generating power from your hips and core, then whip the bat through the zone with your wrists and forearms.||Use a rotational swing that generates power from your hips and core while keeping your hands inside the ball.|
|Follow-through||Finish your swing with your weight shifted forward onto your front foot and your bat pointed toward the sky.||Finish your swing with your weight shifted forward onto your front foot and your bat pointed towards the opposite field.|
|Training||Use exercises that focus on improving hip and core strength, such as medicine ball throws and hip thrusts.||Incorporate exercises that improve explosive power, such as plyometric push-ups and resistance band swings.|
|Bat selection||Use a bat with a balanced weight distribution to allow for faster bat speed.||Use a bat with a slightly end-loaded weight distribution to generate more power through the swing.|
Remember that these are general tips and may not apply to every player or situation. It’s important to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.
Additionally, consistent practice and dedication to improving technique and strength can help increase softball bat speed over time.
Exercises for Improving Softball Bat Speed
Here are some exercises that can help improve softball bat speed:
- Medicine ball throws: Hold a medicine ball with both hands and stand in a batting stance. Take a step forward with your front foot and rotate your hips as you throw the ball forward. Repeat on the other side for a total of 10-12 throws.
- Plyometric push-ups: Start in a push-up position, then explosively push off the ground and clap your hands together before landing back in the push-up position. This exercise helps improve upper body explosiveness and power, which can translate to faster bat speed.
- Resistance band swings: Attach a resistance band to a sturdy object and stand facing it with a softball bat in hand. Step back until the band is taut and swing the bat as you normally would. The resistance from the band helps strengthen the muscles used in the swing and can lead to faster bat speed.
- Single-leg Romanian deadlifts: Stand on one leg with a dumbbell in the opposite hand. Hinge at the hips and lower the weight towards the ground while keeping your back straight and balancing on one leg. This exercise improves balance and strengthens the hamstrings and glutes, which can lead to a more explosive swing.
- Hip thrusts: Sit on the ground with your upper back resting against a bench and your feet flat on the ground. Place a weight on your hips and thrust your hips towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes. This exercise helps strengthen the glutes and hips, which are crucial for generating power in the swing.
Incorporating these exercises into a regular training routine can help improve softball bat speed and overall performance at the plate.
As with any new exercise, it’s important to start with lighter weights or resistance and gradually increase as strength improves.
You’re searching for a rapid swing since a quick swing indicates a quick bat speed.
You may feel that focusing all of your time in the weight room on building overall strength, mobility, and stability with the proper workouts and regimens to increase bat speed is a solid way to reach where you need to go.
Although it is vital to devote time to building muscle, some players little yet have the ability to strike the ball faster than some larger players.
So your technique, muscles, and equipment all work together to enhance your bat speed.