Bat Speed with the Houston Astros

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Tree-trunk forearms might make you look like a threat at the plate, but they don't actually make you a threat at the plate. According to Gene Coleman, Houston Astros strength and conditioning coach, grip strength is not a key to bat speed, because your grip doesn't initiate the movement of the bat.

"Bat speed results from a summation of forces—initiated in your hips and legs, transferred through your trunk to your arms and applied with your hands," Coleman says. "We improve this series by strengthening the kinetic chain, which includes your hips, legs, core, hands and arms."

The Astros perform a Lunge Med Ball Twist and Throw before they warm up for pre-game practice. Don't rest between sets on one side, but allow 60 seconds for recovery before switching to the opposite side.

Lunge Med Ball Twist and Throw

  • Partner throws med ball to you from left side
  • Lunge out on left leg; catch med ball in mid-lunge position
  • Let momentum from throw twist you to right
  • Stop lunge with knee just off ground
  • Push back up with left leg and twist left while throwing med ball back to partner
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 on each leg
  • Have partner switch to right side. Complete another 2 sets of 10 on each leg

Coleman's tips
1. Let the momentum of the med ball create a full twist.
2. Use a med ball that will not throw you off balance when you catch it.
3. Don't stop lunging once you catch the med ball.
4. Throw the ball back with force.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock