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Discussion: Sledge Hammer

Posted Discussion
Jan. 16, 2012
BIGHURT
10 posts
Sledge Hammer
Any of you guys ever get a tractor tire and beat the crap out of it with a Sledge Hammer every other night, all winter long for training. I have been doing it for two months, and I hope helps out with the power. Let me know if you have tried it, and what were your results?
Jan. 16, 2012
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
I've always had a hard time exercising just for the exercise. I prefer a chainsaw and splitting mall workout. Keeps my upper body in shape. Hiking up and down hills burning brush helps my lower half, especially keeps my ankles in good shape. Occupies most of my non-softball weekends.

ShaneV
Jan. 17, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Hey BIGHURT,
One of the best things I did to get POWER
was to hit the Tire 3 to 4 times a week.

When I first started playing Senior Ball, a Team mate named Jeff Gilbert (who could really hit the long ball) told me to hang a tire up and hit it as hard as I could with my bat. Well it works. I later turned my 80lb punching bag (that was hung up in my garage) in to a BP work out bag. Yea Man it works big time. Keep swinging
Muscle memory Baby.
Jan. 17, 2012
BIGHURT
10 posts
Thanks canjack will do!!!
Jan. 17, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
another thing you can do is hit the big 16" softball off a tee or for bp.you have to keep your swing going to power thru it,a half inflated basketball will do the same trick.

i use a 24 oz bat to hit them,along with a 32 oz and then my gamer(27&28 oz).i do the mike macenko speed drill off a tee also with the same bats,using regular balls.
Jan. 18, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
I think the secret to power hitting is a strong core. That being said I try to eat a bucket of KFC twice a week and 3 beers daily. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.
Jan. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
A lot if it is innate. You either can or can't, though things can be done to enhance whatever natural ability you might have.

We could all train till the cows come home, won't ever be as fast as Usain Bolt. We all have a ceiling, the question is how close can we come to it through hard work.
Jan. 18, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
Now the real answer. I took an old bat as my base, then I had a broken Miken. I split the barrell in half and then duct taped the two halves to my old bat. This gave me about 40oz of swing weight, evenly balanced. Hit balls off the tee making absolutely sure my hands finshed above my shoulder. I place the tee at 3 different heights to simulate the ball hitting front, middle and back of the box, always attempting to finish with my hands above my shoulders. Then I do the chicken thing.

The tire and heavy bag are utilized for wrist and forearm strength. This if fine, but form is more important than for consistent success.
Jan. 18, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
Now the real answer. I took an old bat as my base, then I had a broken Miken. I split the barrell in half and then duct taped the two halves to my old bat. This gave me about 40oz of swing weight, evenly balanced. Hit balls off the tee making absolutely sure my hands finshed above my shoulder. I place the tee at 3 different heights to simulate the ball hitting front, middle and back of the box, always attempting to finish with my hands above my shoulders. Then I do the chicken thing.

The tire and heavy bag are utilized for wrist and forearm strength. This if fine, but form is more important than for consistent success.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
Repetition of the swing with a heavier bat and strength training are important. I like the idea of the tire or 16" ball and am going to try those.
I don't think there is anything more important than focus when at bat. Know where you are going when you go up there and don't change your mind when you swing. I believe in visualizing the path of the ball before you hit it. When you practice make every swing count, don't go up there to just get loose, but make it a perfect practice.
Although strength training is important, I think perfect practice and concentration are what sets hitters apart.
Jan. 18, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Interesting concept with using a sledge hammer to strike a big monster tire. I suppose it could condition the muscles used to generate your swing. But would it make you a higher average hitter? Would it add home run or gap power to your swing? Would it teach you to be more selective in what pitch to hit? Would it make you a smarter hitter? I've long felt the best hitters do more than just whack a ball as hard as they can. I'd go with what gary19 states, it's innate ability. It's akin to running and throwing. No exercise will cause you to run faster or give you a rocket type arm. No exercise will suddenly make you a legit power hitter. It may enhance what natural ability you already have. That's the key--ability you already have.
Jan. 18, 2012
E4/E6
Men's 60
854 posts
Mike, next time you see me, remind me to give you my old Worth 44oz wooden bat. But the way you hit the ball it still may be too light!
I'm on my way to see my broker, time to buy KFC stock.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
stick8, there are exercises that can help you run faster and increase throwing velocity. Sure ability plays a huge role, but I believe that practice and training is all about how can you be the best you can be.
Jan. 18, 2012
E4/E6
Men's 60
854 posts
On a serious note, I'm not in the same league as you heavy hitters, but still do my due dilligence by just swinging my 44oz Worth 2 dozen times a day. Focusing on keeping my hands above my hips.
Since I have been doing this I have noticed my forearms and wrists have regained much of the strength & flexibility I had prior to last year.
Jan. 18, 2012
FarmerTed
5 posts
Find yourself a Demarini chute trainer they work great.
Jan. 18, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
farmerted,that is a good option also to use,but those who do,be careful when you swing your bat right after using one,you could end up tossing it away........i have had my chute for over 10 years now and like it.....

cal 50,going up focused is a good idea,but don't go up there with a set area to hit to(like gonna go to right field or such only)that limits ya in my mind as the pitch you need to hit.what happens if you don't get the pitch you need...i say go up there to hit the ball hard where it is pitched.....yeah every now and again i take something off my swing to go oppo,but very rarely......
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
mad dog, I disagree you have to take something off of your swing, keep it consistent depending on where you go. It doesn't limit at all depending on the pitch, the batters box is wider than the plate. When a person changes their mind during an at bat they are more likely to mishit or make a mistake that at bat.
Jan. 18, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
cal that is what i'm saying,don't go to the plate with a preconceive thought of where you are gonna hit the ball,just go up and hit it.you don't have to take anything off your swing if you get the pitch you are looking for,that is correct.i find most of the time when you go up tom hit to one spot only and don't get the pitch to do so,the at bat does take a downward turn,like you said a mishit most likely.....

most of the time when i do take something off my swing,it is for the blooper into right field(i'm a righty),looking to score that 5th run of the inning.don't wanna mistake hit a hr for just that 1 run.....i do hit to right field with power tho,but never go to the plate looking to do just that,i go up there to hit the ball hard,and where it goes,well that depends on the pitch thrown to me.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
mad dog, I disagree you have to take something off of your swing, keep it consistent depending on where you go. It doesn't limit at all depending on the pitch, the batters box is wider than the plate. When a person changes their mind during an at bat they are more likely to mishit or make a mistake that at bat.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
oops I hit refresh and reposted
Jan. 18, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
LOL senior moment eh....LOL.....
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
mad dog, what I believe is go there knowing where you are going to hit it, regardless of the pitch, then visualize the path and don't change your mind. It is a difference of opinion on the approach to take. That is just my approach. I am sure yours works great for you.
Jan. 18, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3948 posts
ok let me see if we are on the same path here,so you go up saying your are gonna go oppo,but get an inside pitch,you still attempt to go oppo with it.to me that means your gonna be bouncing around in the box to much for any try at a good swing,but if ya do it all the time i guess it would work,do you walk the box as they call it.my only thing with that,is your giving away the direction you want to hit in before swinging and give the fielders a jump on the ball....
Jan. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
dog, I have to agree. As I can tell you know, the batters who have their minds made up before the at-bat are the easiest to pitch to. Doesn't mean you will always get them out, as at the end of the day we are still pitching a large ball at a slow speed, but that certainly does make it a lot easier both both the pitcher and the defense.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
I rarely if ever move in the box. Remember the batters box is wider than the plate. When I swing for power I never move or walk. When a hit or extra base hit is needed, look for the biggest hole before stepping in the box, then don't change your mind and hit it there.
Jan. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Just wondering, assuming you are a righty what if that biggest hole is down the 3B line and every pitch is on the outside edge of the mat?

Now I realize you might position yourself close to the plate so nothing can be too far away from you, but then you are open to every pitch being on the inside edge and you wind up tieing yourself up.

Just wondering.
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
2 of my favorite places to hit are down the third base and first base line. You have more room for error. If you try to be precise and go right down the light, but hit it foul, more than likely not going to be caught in the air. Especially with 2 chances to hit it there because of the 0 and 0 count. It doesn't matter if it is on the outside corner, still can hit it down the third base line. I believe visualizing and not changing your mind make less room for error than changing your mind when you go to the plate.
Jan. 18, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
I don't necessarily disagree cal50 but then I'm not personally knowledgable enough in this arena. I work out 5 days a week so I'd be interested in finding out what those exercises are that you elluded to. If you could reference them that would be great. Thanks in advance!
Jan. 18, 2012
cal50
Men's 50
286 posts
I sure don't do the speed or arm drills anymore.

But, time and tracking sprints are a way to increase foot speed.
Although some disagree, I believe that long toss will increase your arm strength. http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitchers_long_toss.htm
Jan. 18, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Hey BIGHURT,

Another thing on power hitting, learn to throw your hands. Bat speed and strenght are the deciding factors to hit with power. My furthest hit balls came from throwing my hands. Hitting the bag or tire stops your swing once contact is made. You end up taking a half to 2/3 swing. Muscle memory Baby, So You have to practice taking full swings, after the tire work out. Also work on your lats, Biceps, Triceps, Back arms and fore arms.
Believe this Guys, You can be Stronger than you are Now, You can be faster, than you are Now. We as Seniors MUST lift weights and Strech those muscles. Practice running(Muscle memory Baby)wind sprints you will get faster than you are now. USE IT OR LOOSE IT, BABY
Jan. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
cal, no doubt about long toss. My son played baseball into college, and many, many coaches were strong advocates of a proper long toss program.
Jan. 18, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
I agree with long toss. It's a bit of a gray area though. Some will say it'll lead to you being able to throw a ball further on the fly, not necessarily with more velocity. Others claim they can get more velocity on their throws thru long toss. Perhaps we're not all the same?
Jan. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, part of it from my/my son's experiences is that the toss needs to be more on a line than a fly ball. Obviously the further apart you and your partner get you will have to have some air under the ball, but the idea is to keep the throws as flat as possible while still getting the carry you need.
Jan. 18, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Gary19, if their like me they throw fly balls. lol I have a friend who's a former major leaguer player and current major league baseball scout and he pretty much echoes the same thing about long toss--keep it as low to the ground as possible. He also says coaches can teach you to hit and teach you to field. But they can't teach speed or a good arm. You either got it or you don't.
Jan. 18, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
Bruce Meade was an avid believer of the sledge hammer training routine, and he was one of the best of all time. Also about the running speed and throwing strength, I believe we were all given so much....but if you strengthen your running muscles and your throwing muscles you can increase what you were given to its greatest potential. All baseball scouts will tell you that if you do a long toss routine you can gain velocity. The problem with us old guys is that we don't want to push ourselves anymore.
Jan. 18, 2012
BIGHURT
10 posts
I probably should have been more specific, I am looking for more power in leauge with the ASA 98 mph bats and the balls that are socks in the heat of the summer. I am a big advocate of training for power, and then doing drills to rev up my bat speed. My thought on the sledge and the tire is to build up those muscles with the sledge, and then do some drills with a light bat to get the fast twitch muscles going.When I was twenty years old we could all just walk out there and play, not anymore baby train train train.
Jan. 18, 2012
garyheifner
367 posts
softball4b

The 4 hitter on our team always was powerful with the strongest hand shake I have ever seen. He hurt his back a couple of years ago and they put him on a concentrated CORE strengthening program. He is a more powerful hitter now than he was 5-6 years ago. That core training is something to look into.
Jan. 18, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Gary H. almost 3 years ago I went in for MRI on my bac the doctor wanted to know if I had been in a car accident. I had not been he started me on pain mess and muscle relaxers. I threw them out after a few days. At that point I was told surgery was the only option. We talked a bit and he said he wanted to send me to a rehab clinic for core strengthening. The program was based on Pilates. I completed the 6 week rehab and decided I was feeling so good I started on my own 3 times a week. After 6 months I got another MRI and was told I was no longer a candidate for surgery. I've gone religiously for 3 years and have seen for me great results, I've gotten leaner, my flexibility and balance have greatly improved and what used to take 2-3 days to recoup after a tournament basically a goods nights sleep. The funny part was about 15 months ago I snapped a ligament in my back behind the vertebrae it won't heel but the Pilates built enough core muscle that I was down for about 3 weeks and resumed my normal routines. I've been introduced to some really interesting training I've been in sessions with MMA fighters, professional dancers, professional hockey players and body builders. Another benefit I've gotten is I was starting to develop hip problems the kind where the pain radiates through the groin and that has completely disappeared. Good luck I agree 100% everything revolves around the core.
Jan. 18, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
One of the exercises I was introduced to was working with combat ropes. Major cardio workout along with low impact strengthening. Very tough workout debating whether to invest in these ropes for myself.
Jan. 19, 2012
Paco13
374 posts
Guys buy the Senior Bomb Squad DVD it has a lot of drills that reemphasizes the need to work out. It also has a lot of good tips. Personally what I got was to swing hard in case that you hit and be discipline at the plate. I used to swing at a lot of bad pitches now I stay back and wait for my pitch…I believe that my OBP increased at least a 100 point by just swinging at good pitches. The point that somebody made about finding a hole and concentrate in hitting it as soon as you get to the plate is also mentioned. Just before you get to the plate scan the field and find the spot that U want to hit and hit it. In general I recommend the DVD even for those great hitters…sometimes we forget things.

REMEMBER “ SI NADIE TE AMA, JESUS TE AMA”
Jan. 19, 2012
garyheifner
367 posts
Lecak

Thanks for the reply-good stuff. I have been working out daily without fail since Phoenix for the the TOC. As could be expected and for the 5th major ring tourney in a row, got hurt about 3 weeks prior. Crashed on some ice last week. My rehab guy said all the conditioning helped keep the injuries to a minimum. Hopefully will be ready in 21 days. I guess conditioning has benefits beyond softball.

Paco13

I think you are correct. This is my 50th year of playing mens softball of some kind. Being a coach and power lifter for decades, I could swing at about anything and drive it deep. Got older, power dropped and had to learn to hit all over again. Only in the last 8-10 years did I learn the IMPORTANCE of pitch selection and patience. Only get a few HRs now each season but batting averages have been higher than my younger days. I dream sometimes of my younger days and the HRs, but being a line drive singles hitter is good too as it helps the team win.

Jan. 19, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Paco-translation?? Yes, nobody for love, Jesus for love??
Jan. 19, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
I am not a big guy, by softball standards, but my power comes totally from technique, bat speed, wrists, hips and legs. I keep the lower extremities strong when I can and never lift upper body. I literally can't. But, the power is still there. To me it is not about sledge hammers.
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