Having strong wrists and forearms in baseball and softball can be a blessing in the batter’s box. Developing a stronger grip and wrists can help you put that final push behind the ball at contact. This can get the bat around quicker through your swing’s arc for more power and better batting outcomes.
There are several workouts you can add to your schedule to target these areas, according to Frank Velasquez, director of sports performance for Allegheny Health Network. One such exercise Velasquez recommends to players is what he calls “finger flicks.”
“You’re going to bring your four fingers and put them inside of your thumb, and the ‘flick’ part is just flicking them away from your hand,” Velasquez says. You can perform your finger flicks in four positions: arms out in front, arms out to your sides, arms straight overhead and arms straight down. Complete 25 flicks with each hand at each position for a well-rounded workout.
Plate holds are another quality training exercise for wrist, grip and forearm strength. To perform your plate holds, take a seat on any adjustable bench while holding a 25-pound iron plate. Rest your forearms on your thighs with your elbows close to your core, holding the weight out in front of you. Keep your feet out of the way and out from underneath the dangling weight. The goal is to hold the plate in position for roughly 45 seconds while maintaining a straight wrist. A good way to tell if you are working the right muscles is to take notice of your forearms during the drill. If they feel hard and engaged, they’re working.
The final exercise designed to work your forearms and wrists is the wrist roller. This piece of equipment features a weight plate at one end of a rope, with handles at the other. The objective is to roll the handlebar and wind the string up so that the weight reaches the top. Velasquez recommends resting your forearms on a barbell or an adjustable bench. This can help take the strain off your shoulders while you’re winding up the rope.
Once the weight is at the top, you should pause for a moment. Then, reverse your winding to gently lower the weight back down. “Don’t let the weights spin through the hand, but slowly let it go down so you’re working eccentrically on those flexors and extensors,” Velasquez says.
Improved grip, wrist and forearm strength can help add a quality endnote to your swing. You can use these tips for effective training this baseball and softball season.
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