Exercise to improve your baseball and golf swing, tennis stroke, and hockey slap shot. —Mens Health Magazine

A powerful rotational turn will give you an extra 10 yards off the tee or 10 mph on your fastball. Exercises to boost that strength are overlooked but important. “Most sports require stabilization, strength, and power through some type of rotation,” says Tyler Wallace, NASM-C.P.T., of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Here are the exercises Wallace recommends for powering up some key sports moves.

images_8         images1

Baseball Swing    Standing cable rotation.     Stand between the weight stacks of a cable station. Grab both ends of a rope handle attached to the midlevel pulley. Keeping your elbows bent, rotate your body to the left. Pause, then return to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps on each side.

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Baseball Pitch     Medicine-ball lift.     Lift a medicine ball from your chest to above your shoulder, rotating your hips and pivoting your back foot as you go. Pause when your arms are straight, then lower the ball. Do three sets of 10 reps on both sides.

images_2            images_3

Golf Swing          Swiss-ball Russian twist.    Lie with your shoulder blades and head on a Swiss ball and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms straight above you and clasp your hands together. Slowly rotate your shoulders to the left until your arms are roughly parallel to the floor. Pause, then rotate to the right. Do two sets of 15 repetitions.

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Tennis Stroke    Standing medicine-ball rotation chop.     Hold a medicine ball overhead with your arms straight. Keeping them straight, swing your arms down as if to throw the ball to the outside of each foot. Do four sets of eight repetitions on each side.

images            images_5     (couldnt find pic of someone doing this laying on swiss ball)

Hockey Slap Shot    Single-arm Swiss-ball rotation row.    Grab a dumbbell and lie facedown on a Swiss ball. With the weight in your right hand, let your right arm hang down. Place your other hand on your hip. Pull the weight up toward your chest as you rotate your upper body to the right. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Do two sets of 15 with each arm.

Great examples of matching an exercise to a specific activity to improve performance!  The same can be done for almost any activity.  Be creative and break out of the body building mentality!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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Comments
  1. Mike Reinold says:

    Chris, great article, this is an often overlooked component of core programs, and likely one of the most important for sport performance. Everything in sports is enhance with hip/shoulder separation and rotary power. Great blog, thanks,

    Mike Reinold

  2. Acai Berry says:

    This is some great inofrmation I will be sure to do these next time I work out!

  3. I love how you showed visually and explained in good detail how to exercise to get increased rotational strength through these easy exercises. It’s really good practice to stretch out these areas to the point of it being second-nature when it comes time to participate in that sporting activity. I was wondering if the hockey snapshot exercise or golf swing can be used to aid in other sports (i.e. bowling swing)? I think it would be beneficial if these exercises can be worked in tandem to multiple rotational strengthening for not just the sport depicted. Thanks.

  4. chriskolba says:

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

    @Fitness boot camp–these exercises can be applied to any activity that involves rotary movement which is all that I can imagine. The degree of range and the speed and strength will be dependant on the specific task and the context in which rotary stability or power are needed.
    Chris

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