Rotational Hitting. Spine rotation during the baseball swing. Muscle analysis and mechanics.

In a related blog post regarding rotational hitting, we talked about how it referred to the circular path that the bat-head travels in when certain muscles contract in your body when you swing the bat.

We found that the hips and spine are the only two regions where rotation takes place and how even though the arms may appear to rotate, there is no physical rotation taking place at the shoulder joint, such as internal rotation or external rotation.

And so in this post, the video identifies the muscles involved along the spine that cause it to rotate.  These muscles are the external abdominal oblique, the multifidus and the rotatores spinae.  Contraction of these muscles on the left side of the body turns your chest and abdomen to the right and likewise, contraction of these muscles on the right side of your body will turn your chest and abdomen to the left.

This muscular contraction enables the body to produce what most people are calling rotational hitting and the power that is generated from it is far greater than any other batting technique.

Please leave me a comment or suggesting regarding this post.

All the best!





Dr. Larry Van Such

Rotational Hitting – Hip rotation during the baseball swing. Analysis involving the external hip rotator muscles.

Rotational hitting is a phrase that you hear a lot in baseball but what does it actually mean? Well, it refers to the circular, or rotational, path that the bat-head travels in as a result of certain muscular movements that take place in the body when you swing the bat.

Specifically, there are only two areas in the body that are actually rotating in a circular path and those are: 1) the hips and 2) the spine. . You may have heard that the arms rotate during the swing, but this is not anatomically correct.

Arms or shoulders only rotate during the throwing, or pitching, motion. But during the loading phase of the swing, one arm is initially adducted across the body while the other is abducted away from it.

And what may appear as the arms rotating during the swinging of the bat during the launching phase is actually rotation that is occurring in the hips and spine, carrying the arms and shoulders around with them.

So, no arm or shoulder is undergoing any rotation whatsoever during any part of the swing.

Therefore, in this video, we are going to show you how rotational hitting applies to the hips during the baseball swing and in another post, I will show you how it relates to spine rotation.

Please leave me a comment or suggesting regarding this post.

All the best!





Dr. Larry Van Such


Exercise For Faster Hip Rotation Speed

I responded to this question the other day:

My chosen career requires a quick, powerful physical movement done alternately with each hand. I need to create an explosion of speed through just a few inches. . The movement starts with a resistance of about 10 lbs, and the resistance grows geometrically through the movement of just a few inches. I need an instantaneous explosion of speed through that resistance. Will the training help me to move quickly through a high resistance?

Yes, I would like to see a short video if you are able to provide one as it would enable me to gain a clearer understanding of what your are looking to improve. I would assume for the moment that you are looking to better develop your martial arts skills and especially your hand speed. As you probably know better than most, a lot of the upper body speed and power comes from a strong and quick core and primarily the rotation around your hips.

Developing faster hip rotation speed has been typically accomplished by simply engaging in the very same activity that you are looking to improve, with perhaps more effort than normal. With that however, comes a loss of control in the very technique you want to develop so, bad habits can quickly be learned.

Two muscle groups come to mind when I think of hip rotation: external hip rotators and internal hip rotators. I have yet to see any really good exercise one can engage in at the gym that specifically targets these two muscle groups. However, through working with the resistance band for the past 15+ years and paying close attention to inquiries like yours, I have been able to develop exercises that engages these two muscle groups directly. The good news is that we show one of them on our site for the external hip rotators here:

and here:

Hip rotation exercise

The not so good news is that at the time the MMA program was written, this exercise was not included, although you do have it available to you now. The other exercise is for the internal hip rotators and this can be done by simply referring to the exercise above and either place the band on the opposite leg and do the exercise, or, keep it on the same leg shown in the picture but face the opposite direction.

Developing quick and strong hip rotation is foundational for all the sports including tennis, baseball and golf where the arms are used extensively, so I would think the same should apply to your situation. Without speculating any further on what exactly you are looking for, I will leave my answer as is for now.

All the best.
Dr. Larry Van Such

Baseball Players: Is your core muscle strength up to speed?

One of the most overlooked areas in the body with regards to exercising are the muscles that make up your midsection, otherwise known as your core. 

Most people and athletes ignore them.  But if you really want to make a difference in your performance, then you will need to get to know these muscles a bit more personally. If you leave them out of your training, expect your performance to suffer.

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