The Speed Chains have many benefits for athletes of all ages and levels. They can train the right energy system, develop more efficient neuromuscular pathways, increase sport specific functional strength, as well as improve an athlete's speed and power. However, most baseball Speed Chain users are doing the chains before or after practice as purely a conditioning tool, which is great, but is not the only way it can be used. The Torso Burner and Bat Speed Chains can both be utilized to specifically improve a baseball players' swing, especially when incorporated into a practice for hitters.
What I'm suggesting to baseball coaches and players is to integrate the Speed Chains as a station between other hitting stations. Mix in the Torso Burner after tee work and before soft toss etc. By blending the Speed Chains in with hitting stations it will help hitters take the power and explosive movements created by the chains and translate it into their actual swings. A number of Speed Chain users throughout the nation have been utilizing the chains in this fashion and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. The power and bat speed in these hitters have increased tremendously and many of the players are having career years in both slugging percentage as well as batting average.
If you plan on blending the Torso Burner Speed Chain into hitting drills I would suggest you chose specific exercises with it that most replicate the movement made by hitters. A few that are especially good with the Torso Burner are: Take the TB and put it across your back like a squat bar. Now assume your hitting stance and work on exploding your hips like you are turning on an inside fastball. This will really emphasize your hip movement and lower half. Another that is great to blend with hitting drills is to hold the TB against your stomach right below the sternum. Once again assume a hitting stance and take a swing just like you would if you had a bat in your hand. You can swing once at a time or you can rapid fire the movement and repeat it over and over for a timed number of seconds. Here is a video with hitting instructor Perry Husband describing how the Torso Burner can be used.
The Bat Speed Chain can obviously be used in the same fashion as the Torso Burner to improve hitting as well. There are two basic drills a player can use the Bat Speed Chain in to help improve a swing. The first involves short fast movements right through the plane where contact between the bat and ball is made. By oscillating through this zone as fast as possible you can specifically target hand speed and in turn bat speed. The second basic use of the Bat Speed Chain are large powerful movements where the main object is to swing as hard as he can so the chain is moved as much as possible. The hitter should try and move as much chain as fast as he can in both the direction of their swing and the opposite way as well to help balance out the movement. Click here to watch the Bat Speed Chain being used in these two types of movements. Here is another video of Perry Husband demonstrating the benefits of using the Bat Speed Chain.
Although some of you may have already been using these drills with the Speed Chains it will have a different impact on hitters when you begin to blend them in with hitting drills as opposed to just performing them before or after practice. By having an athlete hit then use Speed Chains, hit then use Speed Chains, hit then use Speed Chains and continuing this cycle, he will start to incorporate the movement of the Speed Chains into his swing. This has led to significant improvements in a number of athletes throughout the country as power numbers have climbed due to the increased power the athlete develops into his swing.
Batting averages have increased as well because the hitter can be more explosive and quicker to the ball. This allows him to wait longer to react to a pitch thereby getting beat less often and giving himself more time to read the pitch. I highly recommend you try blending the Speed Chains into hitting as soon as possible because the results might just surprise you.
If you have any questions or comments about Speed Chain blending please don't hesitate to contact me.
Until next time,