As one of the top performance training companies in the world, EXOS is always on the cutting-edge with their training. They were an early pioneer of NFL Combine training and were one of the first to embrace air resisted equipment throughout their weight room.
Now EXOS has partnered with Blast Baseball to bring the industry’s most accurate swing data to the new EXOS Baseball Academy located in Frisco, Texas.
Blast Baseball allows coaches to measure an athlete’s swing, identify weaknesses or technical flaws, and develop a strength and skills training program that will provide meaning improvements. The effectiveness of the program can be verified with testing after completing the training program. If the athlete’s swing data improves, the athlete and coach can be certain that the training program was successful.
So how does EXOS improve their athletes’ swings? Randall Coburn, a performance specialist at EXOS, provides the following key areas that baseball players need to focus on when training to improve their speed and power.
Baseball players are primarily rotational and overhead athletes, so the ability to move through those ranges of motion is critical for performance and injury prevention.
Tip: Perform trigger point therapy on the thoracic spine for 2-3 minutes utilizing a peanut, which is two tennis or lacrosse balls taped together. Then do five Side-Lying 90/90 Arm Sweep Stretches on each side before practice or a training session.
The body’s pillar is defined as the shoulder girdle, torso and hip girdle, which either creates or transfers all movement through it. It is important for baseball that the pillar not only be strong but can also resist rotational forces.
Tip: Following your thoracic spine mobility work, perform a Supine Kettlebell Arm Bar for shoulder and torso stability. Then perform a Half-Kneeling Cable Chop to improve rotational stability.
In any ground-based sport such as Baseball, the ability to produce force with the legs is the foundation for speed and power.
Tip: Prioritize lower-body strength movements into your training program. This includes lower-body push movements, such as Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squats, Front Squats and Trap Bar Deadlifts. It also includes lower-body pull movements such as Romanian Deadlifts (RDL), Single-Leg RDLs and ValSlide Hamstring Curls.
The above exercises combine to increase rotational power, thus increasing bat speed and throwing velocity. It’s important to use the ground to initiate rotation by producing force into the ground, then allow that energy to create a reaction up the chain in a coil-like fashion. The hip girdle rotates, followed by the torso, and ending with the shoulder girdle. This will create an efficient transfer of energy, minimizing leaks and improving rotational power.
Tip: Ensure that each training session includes some type of rotary propulsive movement, like Perpendicular Rotational Dead Ball Throws or Rope Rotational Chops.