|Properly connected body parts and proper sequince of work, Leads to Athleticism.|
A New Beginning to understanding the Major League Swing
In baseball or fastpitch hitting, like so many other sports, it is all about working the body in the proper kinetic chain. Once you understand the kinetic chain you will understand why so many theories don't hold water.
Kinetic Links for Movement
Proper Kinetic Link
The kinetic link sometimes referred to as the kinetic chain is the concept upon which speed or power is created. This concept applies to all hitting or throwing sports and it involves speed/force transfer from the large body segments to the smaller body segments. The chain links of the human body for work and movement is made up of 5 parts, Torso, two arms, and two legs.
To have the proper kinetic links for hitting there has to be the proper sequence of work not movement. Work is not the same as movement. The human body has the capabilities to do work, yet not produce any visual movements.
The proper kinetic link for the major league swing goes like this. The entire muscular system of the body is involved in working in a sequential order to produce movement. The work starts in the torso area, which will produce movement of the torso of 1 to 3 inches. Once the torso begins, then the kinetic link continues to the legs and arms. There are multiple muscles in the legs and arms that are directly connected to the torso. This creates a direct link from the torso to the legs and arms. These extremities are dictated how to and when to work based on the desire that you have to move your entire body from one place to another.
In the swing when you see a player moving to the side, toward the pitcher or stride, that movement is being done with the Torso working to go towards the pitcher. At the same time both legs are working, but as a direct relationship between them and the Torso. The rotational movement that you will see at foot strike, is also being done by the work of the Torso. Yes the legs are working, but they are not the links that causes the rotation. When you see the lag of the shoulders and arms during the rotation that is not being caused by the extremities. The bat is what causes the lag, because of the weight of the bat itself and the arms are in a state of being worked upon by the torso.
Once you see the correct view of the swing in the coming pages and view the movement of the Major League swing you will come to understand this a lot better.
Broken Kinetic Link
In baseball it seems that the kinetic link is always talked about and described as movement, which translates to direct work of that link. The kinetic links described by the predominate instructors are: The power is believed to come from the lower body.
So first, the legs work to produce the weight shift or rotation of the hips. As the work and movement of the hips turn, the shoulders are held back as well as the arms to create a torque position. During the final stage where rotation of the hips gets completed, the shoulders and arms work and move in a circular motion to swing. As the upper arms get into the position then the forearms and hands work and move to swing the bat. The sequencing of movement of the legs/feet, hips, shoulders, and arms in a rotational movement or even in linear movement are considered as the kinetic link for the ML swing.
The problem with the above description is that there is a part of the body that is left out. That part is the area of the body between the hips and the shoulders. This area is known as our Torso and is the missing link in most players.
When the torso is not actively working to produce movement itself, then it is in a dormant state. Since the torso is dormant, that leaves 60% of the body mass and weight in a lifeless state. The player is then left up to working the legs (20% mass) and maybe the hips(another 10%), by pushing, turning, rotating, and pulling. The legs will generate a force to move the Torso/body (that is lifeless), but that force is having to move 60% of dead weight around. It takes at least three times more work with the legs and hips to move a lifeless torso than it should take.
The force from the legs and hips does create movement, and can, or will produce a type of rotation of the torso. But, once the work of the legs has produce enough force to move the torso into a rotation, the force will have diminished by time the upper Torso is turned about 75% or ¾ of a complete turn. Because there is no active work being produced in the torso, there is no kinetic link for the force to travel upwards to the arms. So any force created from the lower body is lost instead of gaining force.
Once the force generated by the legs has dissipated, then the work of the arms(12% mass) has to take over in order to complete the swing. So the arms and shoulder have to work really hard and as fast as they can in order to produce bat speed. Basically you are swinging with the arms alone. There is not much force there with only 12% mass being worked directly connected to the bat.
You have a choice. Work 92% mass of the body to produce movement for the swing. Or work 32% mass to produce the swing and also carry around the other 60% of the mass. The missing 8% is the mass of the head (skull).
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