How To Hit A Softball Farther

Whether it’s slow pitch, fast pitch, or T-ball, adding these exercises to your gym routine will help you go yard … or at least hit it out of the infield.

By Zack Zeigler

In softball, there are no role players. Pretty much everyone goes up to bat hoping to do one thing — go yard.

Of course, you probably don’t actually do that every at bat … or the vast majority of at bats. But we’re going to help you change that with the help of our favorite nutrition and strength guru, Dr. Jim Stoppani. His workout program will turn weak bloopers into frozen ropes and fly outs into four baggers.

“Along with strong legs, a strong core is crucial for a powerful swing,” Stoppani says. “The faster you can transfer energy from your calves, legs, abs, hips, and pelvis into your swing, the harder you will hit the ball.”

The exercises below need to be done in addition to stuff like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses — multijoint exercises like those are great for building power and muscle. So add these exercises in after your regular workouts three days a week, and you’ll finally get the ball past that smack-talking shortstop jerk-off.

RESISTANCE-BAND TRUNK ROTATIONS

Resistance bands allow you to perform the movement of a softball swing while adding resistance, which will improve your bat speed.

“Specificity training mimics movements you do on the field, so if you’re adding resistance, you’ll increase your power output when it’s time to bat,” Stoppani promises.

How To Do It

• Tie an exercise band to a machine, fence, or anything that won’t topple over and crush you when you give it a yank

• Perform the movement as explosively as possible

• Do 10 reps on one side, then switch and do 10 more on the other side (yes, even if you’re not a switch hitter)

WEIGHTED CRUNCH

We know, we know. The dude in the photo isn’t doing weighted crunches. That’s because a weighted crunch is a goal you’ll work up to as you build strength in your abdominals.

“Do bodyweight crunches until you can do 15 reps for three sets, and then begin to add weight for sets of 8 to 10,” Stoppani says.

How To Do It

• Lay on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet on the floor

• Hold the weight at arm’s length above your head

• Using your abs, raise only your upper back off the ground (don’t do a full sit-up) keeping it as flat as possible

• Perform 15 reps (without weight) for three sets; perform 8 to 10 reps for three sets if using weight

ROTATIONAL PUSH-UP

Yes, this exercise builds upper-body and core strength. No, you don’t have to do it without a shirt on for it to work.

How To Do It

• Get in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor

• Lower your body until your chest is near the floor

• Push your body up; as you ascend, raise one arm and hand toward the ceiling and twist your torso

• Repeat and raise the opposite arm and hand

• Perform 8 to 12 reps 

HANGING LEG RAISE

“Using a vertical bench means your back is supported,” Stoppani notes. “Hanging makes your muscles work harder to stabilize your core.”

How To Do It

• Hang from a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip; don’t sway and don’t allow your feet to hit the ground

• Lifting both legs together, bring your knees just above your waist

• Lower, repeat

• Perform 10 to 20 reps

FOREARM PLANK

The forearm plank builds strength in the abs, back, and stabilizer muscles. More importantly, it’s not that intense. So if you’re a guy who likes to creep out talk up women at the gym, you can do so without gasping for air.

How To Do It

• Get into push-up position

• Align your elbows under your shoulders and put the weight on your forearms and toes

• Hold for 15 to 20 seconds

TAGS: abs, core strength, exercise, hitting, softball

 

Post a comment:

Tex Dus Wilson (Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:57:53 +0000): This stuff helps alot! Even if you don't play softball. The core is where its at!
Samuel Ohh (Mon, 01 Aug 2011 13:45:22 +0000): samuelkk11@hotmail.es 698643967 0034664593556
Jerry Jones (Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:41:28 +0000): or take a leaf out of A Rods supplement book.
Janet Myers (Sat, 29 Mar 2014 05:41:16 +0000): regular strength training would prob work just as well as these specialized exercises.

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