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Hitting weight shift - why?

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  • Hitting weight shift - why?

    I am rethinking everything I know about hitting. (More-so than ever this month )

    Why do we shift our weight from back to front?

    Some do this with a stride. Some without.

    But why do it at all? What is the purpose?

    If it generates more power, then why not stride way out?

    If it doesn't generate power, what's it for? To prevent lunging? To rotate hips faster?

    Has anyone used a bat speed radar to test stride/no stride/ no weight shift?

    I appreciate your patience with this basic question.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

  • #2
    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
    I am rethinking everything I know about hitting. (More-so than ever this month )

    Why do we shift our weight from back to front?

    Some do this with a stride. Some without.

    But why do it at all? What is the purpose?

    If it generates more power, then why not stride way out?

    If it doesn't generate power, what's it for? To prevent lunging? To rotate hips faster?

    Has anyone used a bat speed radar to test stride/no stride/ no weight shift?

    I appreciate your patience with this basic question.
    It mainly adds power but the weight shift/stride also helps with balance and timing. I believe the stride adds power although many would disagree. Maybe technically it doesn't but in combination with all of the movements I think it helps.

    Not saying a hitter can't hit by basically sitting on their back leg and spinning but I don't see it as being the best way. Far from it.
    Major Figure

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    • #3
      It absolutely adds power. Not necessariy a stride of X distance... but rahter lower body movement, weight shift, and hip movment. I'm no expert on kinetics or body movements whatsoever, and am much better at teaching youth players than teens and above.

      But can you bowl a ball harder standing stock still at the foul line or approaching in a traditional way? Even with the same height arm swing? Does a baseball pitcher throw harder with a stride or when he throws flatfooted with no body movement at all. Even table tennis players move the body towards the ball when hitting most shots. Javelin throwers run up, discus throwers spin, shot putters rotate. Even golfers (of which I'm a single digit handicapper and former college player) use the lower body and hips to help generate clubspeed/increase arm and hand action through impact, which of course generates more power.

      Movement of the body improves batspeed. Movement of the lower body, hips, torso allows the arms and hands to move faster into the ball.
      Last edited by StanTheMan; 11-29-2012, 06:23 AM.
      "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by songtitle View Post
        I am rethinking everything I know about hitting. (More-so than ever this month )

        Why do we shift our weight from back to front?

        Some do this with a stride. Some without.

        But why do it at all? What is the purpose?

        If it generates more power, then why not stride way out?

        If it doesn't generate power, what's it for? To prevent lunging? To rotate hips faster?

        Has anyone used a bat speed radar to test stride/no stride/ no weight shift?

        I appreciate your patience with this basic question.
        Hey songtitle, how goes it. Here's my opinion.

        Something to keep in mind with regards to your questions.

        There is a sphere being hurled at you in baseball, coming at an unknown speed and direction, and you have literally hundredths of a second to read, decide, react. The stride is a timing mechanism and is necessary in order to achieve success. Ever been to a batting cage, where the ball drops down, and shoots out of the hole even a split second before or after you expected? Of course in a game, you have a consistent pitchers release to work from.

        I prefer a wide-base no stride approach, just using a toe tap (see Pujols), but some stride forward, some just pick up their front foot and bring it back down.

        I don't think the stride itself provides power. I think having a solid base and your legs apart (whether you start that way or stride) provides the proper avenue for your hips explode, which is where the power comes from.

        You create a lot of energy when your hips explode and your hands accelerate forward. As with any athletic movement, whether it's a running back cutting, or a slalom skier (see pic below), your body needs to be balanced and compensate. How a baseball hitter deals with that, is hitting against a firm front leg.

        skiing.jpg

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        • #5
          I suppose it can contribute to hip-speed.
          Similar to the way that a figure skater is moving forward, slams on the brakes with one of the skates, enabling the conversion of forward momentum into rotational momentum.
          At 22 seconds:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DlhUW441fo

          If you've demolished a plaster wall with a sledgehammer, you probably stepped towards the wall before delivering the blow. Again, in my mind, converting forward mo into rotational mo.
          Skip

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          • #6
            Thanks a lot. My girlfriend just walked in as I was watching slow motion ice skating

            That's a good point about the sledgehammer. Unless you wanna go through that wall with it, you'll create a solid base to counter the forward energy.

            Comment


            • #7
              IMO it helps with timing and tranferring energy into the swing. I always use a boxing analogy with my son. If I'm going to punch something will I generate more power punching with a jabbing punch or cocking my arm back, transferring as much of my body weight and plowing through the object I'm attempting to hit? If you can do that and time it right your going to deliver a pretty hard punch.
              Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.
              (Babe Ruth)

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              • #8
                Weight transfer from back (foot) to front (foot) is linear. Most people agree that the good core mechanics are rotational. Proper rotation needs a stable axis. Rotational energy goes around that axis, not back to front. Weight stays in between back and front.

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                • #9
                  there are basically two camps. one group thinks that the swing is first linear and then rotational starting with a linear weightshift and then rotate around the front leg.

                  the other group tends to think that you first load the back leg/hip by coiling and then shift the weight as a part of the uncoil process.
                  I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Molitor and Mantle-- a couple of HOF'ers at the opposite ends of the weight-shift spectrum:

                    advance to 39 secs.
                    Paul Molitor in slow-mo
                    minimal stride and weight-shift
                    often hit with no-stride at all
                    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...47115&c_id=mlb


                    advance to 28-35 secs.
                    Mickey Mantle (side view)
                    narrow stance, very long stride and, presumably, a significant weight shift
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioALzM98jaQ
                    Skip

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                    • #11
                      Buh Bye BBF!
                      Last edited by NoonTime; 11-07-2013, 07:19 PM.
                      @noontimegifs

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                      • #12
                        And yet at launch their back leg gets into the same position. Good clips noon

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
                          Weight transfer from back (foot) to front (foot) is linear. Most people agree that the good core mechanics are rotational. Proper rotation needs a stable axis. Rotational energy goes around that axis, not back to front. Weight stays in between back and front.
                          Think that's what I was getting at, except you said it in a smarter way

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Okay, so the whole point about the weight shift. If all the weight was on the back leg, it would be extremely difficult to explode properly with the hips. Their motion would be hindered.

                            So during a normal swing, with all that energy moving forward, you need to unlock the gate for the car to drive through, so to speak. Having your legs apart with energy weight transfer allows that. Try to keep your feet literally shoulder width apart, take a stance, and do a dry swing without striding. Your hips are as powerful as a 70 year old who wakes up a 5am and puts together puzzles all day.

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                            • #15
                              The point I am trying to make is the weight needs to be back over the back leg that is if you want your back knee to do what Molitor and Mick's knees do. Any kind of shift forward before that happens and you'll have to use your hips to get through. Wide radius of rotation like a swinging gate. When your back leg can do what these two pros do, your radius of rotation is small, the back hip gets through cleanly and you'll have a pulling rear hip, not a two-hip spin.

                              It also helps the hitter with setting a good swing plane. The natural upward plane we see in elite hitters. If if they are all launching downward their bodies are tilted. It all starts with not shifting out to the front leg, otherwise you end up with this downward swing plane like the you see here, whereas Posey even on the high pitch stayed back enough for the leg to go down and in before any weight shifted.

                              adams_posey.gif

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