Don’t look now, but the Baltimore Orioles are 4-0 and sitting atop the American League East Division. One of their key additions was Mark Reynolds, a power-hitting third baseman playing his first season in an O’s uniform.
Reynolds is a bona fide slugger who swings for the fences every time he’s at-bat. As a hitter, he seems to have a boom-or-bust mentality. He’s posted 30+ home runs in back-to-back seasons, while also leading the majors in strikeouts in that same span.
“The home runs have always been a part of my game, but the big power has come on recently, in the past couple years,” Reynolds says.
The source of that “big power”? Lower body strength and power—clutch performance elements that Reynolds refines by performing explosive exercises in an unstable environment.
One of those power-promoting exercises is the BOSU Dumbbell Sumo Squat. The BOSU presents an unstable surface, requiring you to stabilize before you explode through the lower body, much like you would to generate power to swing the bat.
BOSU Dumbbell Sumo Squat
- Assume athletic position with feet on BOSU slightly wider than hip width
- Holding dumbbell between legs, squat until tops of thighs are parallel to ground
- Drive up to start position; repeat for specified reps
Coaching Points: Keep weight on heels // Keep core tight to maintain balance // Keep chest up and knees behind toes
Modification: If BOSU balls aren’t available, perform with feet on stability pads.
You can also try the Single-Leg Med Ball Squat, another great lift for boosting your power at the plate. Perform it on alternate days of the BOSU Dumbbell Sumo Squat.
Single-Leg Med Ball Squat
- Standing on bench or plyo box, balance on right leg holding med ball in front of chest
- Keeping weight on heel, lower into squat position until thigh is near parallel to ground
- Explode out of squat position; repeat for specified reps
- Perform on left leg
Sets/Reps: 3×10 each leg
Coaching Points: Do not allow chest to fall forward // Keep weight back on heel of balancing foot // Keep knee behind toes
Modifications: Perform on ground if bench or plyo box is not available.