The home run reigns supreme as the most recognizable gameplay element of baseball.
Even someone who has never watched a game in their life probably knows what a home run looks like––and how it makes the crowds go wild!
Hitting a home run means big points for the team, and it needs a powerful swing to make it happen. If you’re trying to increase your batting power, here’s how you can do it.
Build Your Core And Legs
You might assume that strengthening your arms for a stronger baseball swing is a foregone conclusion, and to an extent you’re right.
The upper body is a huge part of the strength equation that sends those balls flying.
However, a baseball swing is about far more than just your arms. Your core and legs play a very big role in following through the entire range of the swing, long after your arms have stopped moving.
Strengthening your lower body is the extra step you need to take to bring your swing to the next level.
Get The Right Grip
The position of your hands on the bat is a tradeoff between swing speed and momentum.
Holding close to the barrel makes your swing faster while holding it closer to the handle will give you greater speed.
It’ll take a lot of trial-and-error, but you need to keep swinging that bat with all sorts of different grip positions so you get a feel for what works.
Choose The Right Bat
All the form and technique tips in the world begin and end with having a bat that suits your style. We’ve a guide on the best baseball bats elsewhere on this site.
Every bat is different, from the quality of the materials it uses to the weight of the bat itself. You should try out every style of the bat and find one that really speaks to you.
For optimal batting strength, though, there are some tips you want to follow.
One, you should choose a composite or metal bat to maximize your hitting power. This is because wooden baseball bats are very solid and don’t deform on impact when they hit a baseball, which means that less energy is transmitted back to the baseball.
Aluminum and composite bats (check big barrel bats here), on the other hand, are very thin and deform slightly as they hit the baseball, which causes a spring-like action that transfers more energy to the baseball. This is called the ‘trampoline effect’.
You should also use a bat with a balance point that you’re comfortable with.
A bat with a center of gravity closer to the handle is going to feel much easier to swing, but a bat with one that’s closer to the sweet spot on the end will send balls flying when hit right.
Maintain Proper Form
The stance that you assume when you step up to the plate is what provides you with a balanced swing, as well as the maximum possible swing strength.
Make a mistake, and you’ll end up slipping and dampening your swing when the ball comes flying at you.
Keep your feet firmly on the ground and open up your hips a little.
Maintain a relaxed stance so that you remain on balance up until you need to swing. Put slightly more weight on your back leg than on your front to help you rotate and produce swinging energy.
Aim For The Sweet Spot
Basic physics says that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
So when you feel those heavy vibrations in your hand after you’ve hit a ball, that energy had to have come from somewhere.
In baseball, this is bad news because those vibrations are wasted energy that could otherwise have been used to accelerate the ball.
To avoid the vibrations, you need to hit every baseball with your bat’s ‘sweet spot.’ To find this spot, hold your bat and tap it against a solid object on different parts of the barrel. The area with the least vibrations is your sweet spot.
Hit At The Right Angle
The angle at which you hit the ball will determine how far it goes, and also whether it’ll be launched at a trajectory that can send it past the outfield.
The best angle is usually between 25 and 30 degrees. This isn’t particularly hard to get to, so you can practice your angle once you’ve maximized your swing strength.
After they’ve felt the impact from the ball, many beginner batters stop leaning into their swing.
This is a big mistake because they’re not making the most out of their contact with the ball. You need to keep throwing yourself into the swing long after the ball has made contact. This is known as a follow-through.
One good mental exercise to help you with follow-through is to imagine that there are two additional balls immediately behind the one you’re about to hit, so you need to swing wider and faster even after you’ve felt the ‘real’ ball in order to hit the imaginary balls.
Getting a powerful baseball swing involves not just a lot of strength, but also a whole lot of trial and error.
Even then, no tip could ever be a substitute for diligent and dedicated practice. If you combine scheduled training with the tips you’ve just learned, you’ll be ready to knock it out of the park!