Improve Your Baseball Hitting Power With the TRX Rip Trainer

February 19, 2013 | Pete Holman

Ever wonder how small baseball players like Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley (190 pounds) can smash the ball out of the park? Ackley may not look physically imposing, but he has the perfect balance of strength, power, mobility and speed that is needed to forcefully swing a bat.

Dustin Ackley Rip

Dustin Ackley on the Rip Trainer

Regardless of how "natural" your swing is, you can develop your hitting power with proper training. The TRX Rip Trainer is an ideal tool for this, because you can perform exercises that mirror swinging a bat. Training in a similar movement pattern will increase strength, power, balance, mobility and coordination in the same muscles that you use when you're at the plate. (See our review of Rip Trainer.)

Working these muscles with the Rip Trainer will also help prevent injury. A baseball swing is a violent movement. Strong muscles on both sides of the body help decelerate the bat and reduce the amount of stress placed on your body.

So, next time you hit the weight room, grab a Rip Trainer and do the following three exercises. Perform them two to three times each week.

Rip Stack

This exercise develops a "rock solid" core for enhanced power and durability throughout the season. Developing maximal core strength is an integral part of power production and should not be neglected. "Maximal strength is the critical quality that underpins the ability to develop high power outputs in a variety of sporting movements." [1]

  • Stand sideways to the anchor with your feet in a parallel stance
  • Rotate your hips, spine and shoulders as a "cylinder" away from the anchor point while holding the bar perpendicular to your body
  • Hold the bar at the end range for 10 seconds, rest for 3 seconds and repeat

Sets/Reps: 2-3x3 each side

Rip Rotation

The Rip Rotation is designed to increase mobility in the ankles and hips, while activating the core. Mobility allows for increased range of motion and fluidity through multiple joints. Without proper mobility, speed is diminished and injuries are more likely to occur.

  • Stand sideways to the anchor with your feet in a parallel stance
  • Rotate your hips, spine and shoulders as a "cylinder" away from the anchor point, while holding the bar perpendicular to your body
  • Control the recoil allowing your "cylinder" to rotate back toward the anchor
  • Repeat with an aggressive concentric contraction and a slow and controlled eccentric contraction back toward the anchor

Sets/Reps: 2-3x8-12 each side

Rip Samurai Strike With Step

The final exercise in this series is a continuation of the Rip Rotation with the addition of a striking motion (a simultaneous push and pull on the bar) to accelerate the bar end and produce greater velocity. The added step is designed to maximize rear hip stability and power. Once this movement is fluid and controlled, start performing it at high speed. Training with lighter loads in a ballistic fashion is used to optimize the rate of force development and overall power output.[2]

  • Stand sideways to the anchor with your feet in a parallel stance
  • Rotate your hips, spine and shoulders as a "cylinder" away from the anchor point
  • Simultaneously push with your hand closest to the resistance cord and pull with your opposite hand
  • Step forward six to 12 inches with your lead leg while striking

Sets/Reps: 2-3x8-12 each side

References

[1] Baker D., "Comparison of upper-body strength and power between professional and college-aged rugby league players." Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. 15: 30-35, 2001.

[2] Cormie P., McGuigan MR., and Newton RU. "Developing maximal neuromuscular power, Part 2: Training considerations for improving maximal power production." Sports Med. 41: 125-146, 2011.

Pete Holman
- Pete Holman is a physical therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist and former U.S. National Taekwondo champion. As the Director of Rip Training at TRX,...
Pete Holman
- Pete Holman is a physical therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist and former U.S. National Taekwondo champion. As the Director of Rip Training at TRX,...
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