Hitting: Elite Swing Sequence

At the most basic level, elite swing mechanics focus on the body’s loading and unloading of energy in an efficient, ground-up sequence. The ground-up swing sequence takes force generated by the feet pressing into the ground and, because of the tension and stretch created during the load phase, efficiently transfers the force up the body’s kinetic chain — legs, hips, torso, and shoulders.  As the body unloads, the force flows up the kinetic chain, with each link in the chain serving as a force multiplier, increasing the force (rotational velocity) as it passes through each segment until the force is transferred at maximum speed out through the hands and barrel at contact.  As a result, when the lower and upper body load and unload in the correct ground-up order, hitters get massive amounts of bat speed without massive effort.

        High Level Swing Sequence
* Maximizes "suddenness" & barrel whip
* Creates tighter, faster, more connected turns        
* Increases adjustability to offspeed & pitches
  away
* Generates early bat speed & larger hitting
  window from deep barrel turn 

Animation by Anthony Brady, MS, CSCS

LOAD PHASE

In every elite swing, the lower body loads first and unloads first, while the upper body loads and unloads last.  The “load phase” of the swing — a negative move to load the lower body followed by a positive move to load the upper body — is the squat before the jump, the stretch before the snap, the tension before the release.  Proper movement patterns during the load phase work to stabilize the lower body and create separation and stretch between the hips and shoulders, which position the body to launch (or unload) the swing in proper sequence.

Negative Move - Lower Body Load

  • load posterior chain (hamstring/glute) by sinking into heel & pressing into ground
  • compress & coil around the rear hip (advanced) 
  • back knee & hip stay inside the back foot

Positive Move - Upper Body Load

  • back knee is first to advance out
  • rear elbow pull back opposite the stride foot resist lower body advance and hip rotation 
  • hitter lands square & balanced with hands shoulder level framed between back shoulder and elbow; bat tip cocked behind head
LAUNCH & TURN  PHASE