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A Natural swing begins with Natural Movement.  For the First time you will see Pure Natural Movement of the Elite.

                    Part One:  What really happens in the
                                           Major League Swing!!

 

 Rotational Hitting the Natural Way  

The Truth of the Major League Swing based on research, science, and human kinetic movement.

 

Whether you believe the swing is a Rotational type hitting or a Linear type hitting, you are going to see what the swing really is.  What you are about to see is how the human body produces Natural Movements in the hitters swing.  For the first time you will be introduced to the Torso as the first thing to move.  You will also come to realize that the torso dictates to the arms and legs what to do, instead the legs and arms pushing and pulling a lifeless torso around.  Watch the Torso intensely and forget the legs and arms as working parts and your eyes will be opened to what really happens in the Major League Swing.


Please take one phase at a time.  When you watch these videos pay close attention to the movement of the Torso. Most people have a hard time not watching the legs and arms.  The reason is, the smaller parts of the body seem to have more movement than the largest part, the Torso.  For that reason I have placed lines on these videos to give you a good perspective so you will be able to see the movement of the Torso a lot easier.

 

When watching the movements of the body and while your attention is on the torso, you can watch the legs and arms as they move.  But as you notice the legs and arms, pay close attention to what is moving first, and what is also moving at the same time the torso is moving.  (Example: When the torso moves forward the front foot also starts to move forward) you will see this happen latter. By time you finish this study, you will see that it is only the Torso that instigates the movements of the legs and arms.

 

The swing of the Major League hitters is one move, not a bunch of parts moving as a standalone mechanic, but as a whole body working together.  For purposes of explanation though, I will discuss the swing broken down into 5 Phases.  Each phase has a direct correlation to the movements of the Torso.  If you have skipped over the sections on 'Your Core' and 'Kinetic Link', I would suggest you read them before you continue.

 

Phase one:  Torso/Weight shift back.

Phase one: Torso/weight shift back, is to move the torso back against the back leg.  Remember the majority of the weight of the body is in the torso. In describing the torso and weight, it is a concept not many grasp hold of, because the torso is made up of mass, yet we feel the weight of the torso on the feet.  Shifting the torso back on top of the back leg would not be considered correct.  A correct shift of the torso back would put the weight against the back leg and foot, not on top.

Caution here: You must get all the weight shifted back against the back leg and foot. If all is not shift back, then that lends to less control of the body, and gravity now plays a part of the creation of movement.  This equals less mass/weight to accelerate, thus less force.  The Torso/weight shift back will allow the player to make an aggressive, accelerated move forward with the Torso.

There are so many things you need to see. So let's go.  Watch the lines compared to the body parts.

 

  • Frame 1–22, Watch Torso move back away from the red line. Not being caused by the front leg pushing. Torso is causing the movement.
  • Frame 1-22, Torso moves back, because it is the intentions of the player to move it back.  That intention causes the torso as well as the rest of the body to work the way it is naturally made to create movement.
  • Frame 1–22, Watch hands moving back, but the torso is also moving back at the same time. So there is no separation of the hands to body.
  • Frame 1–22. Hands only move down to the back shoulder. This is the position that all hitters get their hands into before they move forward.
  • Frame 22, Notice his torso does not go on top of the back leg, rather against. As long as you don't go on top where you could balance yourself over the foot you should be alright.
  • Look at front leg to see if he is pushing back? A pushing leg would show up as a leg straightening. Not so. Rather it is bending.
  • The turn of the front shoulder and hip is a result of how the torso works to move itself back. The turn is a natural movement, because it is drawing up the weight of the front leg into the torso.
  • Torso is moving itself back, because it houses over half of the bodies muscle mass.
  • Weight is felt in the back foot.  Feelings are always a result of something else going on. Feelings cannot be trusted, because something in the body has to create that feeling.

 

Remember Force = Mass x Acceleration.  Mass is the Torso. Torso moves first in Natural movement, not the legs moving the torso. Torso moves the Torso. Watch. Watch for yourself!!  The Torso moves back.  Everybody that is any good in the majors gets their torso/weight back against the back leg, not on top of the back leg.
 

 

 

 

In Albert Pujols first phase of rotational hitting begins with Phase One: Torso/weight shift. It is very difficult if not almost impossible to see.  Pujols's phase one happens internally in the torso, as the torso is drawing the weight off the front leg and into the torso. He can do this without a lot of movement, because of his torso strength.  But by paying close attention to the vertical red line you can see the torso does move back slightly. Frames 1-10

 

Studying this video you can see that he is gives an appearance of bending over a little.  His shoulders tend to move toward the plate and down, but at the same time his crotch is moving upward away from the horizontal red line. This is seen well in the next phase.  Even though you don't see a lot of movement externally, he is working extremely hard to get the weight off the front foot and into the torso.  The next clip of Pujols you will see a result of this work.

 

Phase Two:   Lift

 

Once the Torso/weight is back, now comes lifting the front leg.  Watch as the top of the torso slightly bends over toward the plate as it raising the leg off the ground.  Watch what the hands do, in relation to the back shoulder.  Hands are coming on down to shoulder height.  Back elbow has also dropped down slightly.

 

  • Hands to shoulder level.
  • Hands still have not moved back away from the rear shoulder.
  • Torso draws front leg up.
  • Front shoulder and hip turn in because this is just a natural way the torso works on the back leg in order to lift the weight of the front leg off the ground.  It is very natural if one works the Torso.
  • The turn inward of the front shoulder and hip is really a result of the work being done to lift. It is not a movement that he is necessarily trying to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even with Arod, his torso has drawn the weight out of the front leg and allows him to raise it up in a small leg kick. The torso does not have the ability to do a leg kick, but it does have the ability to draw/lift the weight of the leg out and into the Torso.  Once the torso has the weight of the leg, then you can lift it up in a leg kick very easily and very controlled. You should also see his front shoulder and hips turn in some. All because that is how the torso works.  It's a result of the work of the Torso not a mechanic to try to do for the start of the next phase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a diagram of a pulley system to help you understand how the torso can draw weight up out of the front leg.  Though it does not show how the torso works it will give you a visual picture.  The pulley is your torso; the square block is weight of the front leg. As weight is drawn up out of the front leg into the torso, the feeling of that weight goes down to the back foot.  The mass does not actually leave the front leg, yet there is a feeling of lifting weight off that front leg and coming into the Torso. Once the weight has been lifted, then they are able to bend the knee and lift the foot off the ground with great ease.  Then the actual feeling of that weight is felt on the back foot.  Even though they feel the weight lifting and going to rear foot, they are not concerned with the feeling of the weight on the feet.  Rather they are concerned about the work of the torso and movement of the torso.

 

See, I have heard Major League players say over and over.  They are looking to get a feeling.  They are all the time searching for a certain feeling, but really don't understand how to obtain that feeling day in and day out.  So that feeling leaves them and sends them looking for it without knowing where to find it.  They get frustrated just like you do, and then finally give up.  When they give up, they find it again, because it is something that is natural and not mechanical.

 

 

As Pujols draws the weight out of the front leg notice the horizontal red line and the distance of space that his crotch of his pants moves up.  Only an inch or two. This shows that he rises out of his crouched position a little in order for the torso to draw weight up. Not from the rear leg push upward. By frame 13 the weight has left the foot, yet the foot is still touching the ground. Also watch his hands and see that they don't move back, but rather down just a hair.

The green line represents the weight drawn into the torso area of the body and thus being felt on the back foot.  Note, the weight is felt on the back foot, but the true weight is stored in the Torso area, preparing for phase three. Frame 17 shows the front toe is off the ground. Where most people don't even recognize that he even takes a stride, you will see an actual stride.

 

Lift occurs in a natural way, because of the underlying goal of the movement these players want to do.  That goal is for their entire Torso/weight to go forward by acceleration.  You can't move all the weight forward unless all the weight gets back. Even if a player pushes with their front leg to move back or shift weight back it is not actually moving weight, rather it is just a push back and gravity is still in control. When the torso is not in control of all the weight, then gravity plays a big part in the movement.  Which leads to little to no force created by gravity.

 

If these first two phases, Torso/weight shift and Lift, are not created by working the torso then the rest of the swing will not matter.  Because the torso will not be in total control, the legs and arms will have to take over and create the movement of the swing.  If you start correctly with the torso working and moving then there is a greater possibility to finish the swing with the torso.

 

 

 

Phase Three: Accelerate Forward

 

Where most think stride, it's not.  Watch the Torso move forward.  See the torso moves away from the yellow lines.  Now watch the front leg.  Does the front leg leave the plane of the front side of the torso, (reach out past the plane of the torso)? No! In frame 29 the foot appears outside the green, but the knee is inside. As the torso moves and accelerates forward it also pushes or carries the foot and leg out to foot strike. By frame 41 the torso is in line with the leg and foot. The same distance the torso moves forward is the same distance the front foot moves. No actual stride of the front foot, only forward acceleration of the torso moves the front foot. Now that's a big difference than what it taught today.  Most gurus' teach reach out with the foot ahead of the body and keep the body back (stay back and stride).

 

 

The Secret lies with How to Accelerate

 

Now watch the back leg and knee (below).  Is he pushing with the back leg?  If so, then you would see the back leg straightening out.  Also you don't see any rotation going on the back leg.  From frame 29–41 the weight is in the process of being transferred to the front foot. But the weight is still not applied to the front foot yet.  The Torso goes forward, thus creates the stride.

Now watch the hands.  You will see that they don't move back like you hear so many say to do.  Hands are actually staying in the box as long as they physically can. They start to move out of the box, but forward, because the front arm is stretched out as far as it can across the chest due to muscular conditioning of the front shoulder.  No cocking the hands.  Hands stay and torso goes forward.

 

Since the largest mass is the Torso and it is going forward, then the weight is also going forward. The Torso starts the movement of forward and the back leg is being told how to work.  The work of the back leg is controlled by the Torso, and yes the leg is working, but not as you would think.  It works on a subconscious level which can never be reproduced in the conscious mind. This is all Natural movement that the body can and will do base on the proper thinking. Thinking about moving Torso, not about working and moving legs and arms, will produce Natural Movement thus giving you Athleticism.

 

Now that's a first for you to hear about, Proper Thinking. Thinking is what causes all human movements.  Whether it to be conscious or subconscious thoughts.  If one thinks, work the legs to perform movement, then that is what he/she will work. If one thinks, work the arms to perform the swing, then that is what he/she is going to work.  But the Proper Thinking about moving the Torso will lead to Natural Movements. Because the Torso is the Core for movement.  It is where all movement begins.  The Torso starts the movement and the legs and arms are told how to, dictated to, and coordinated to work with the Torso.  All based on a desire of any movement that you wish to make.  As humans we do this all the time, but when it comes to baseball hitting we throw it out and replace it with a man made idea of how to do it with legs and arms. 

 

Now for Arod in Phase Three:  Accelerate Forward.

 

  • Frame 6–13, Torso moves away from red line.
  • Frame 6, Green line shows front leg behind plane of the front side of the torso.
  • Frame 6–13, Hands don't move back.
  • Frame 6–13, Hands stays in box, torso moves forward.
  • Frame 13, Green line shows front leg still in plane of the torso.
  • Frame 13, landed on ball of foot, weight still in Torso.  Sorry you can't see it, but you can see the front heel is up and the back heel is down.
  • Torso is in the process of accelerating forward, which moves the weight from the rear foot to the front foot.

 

 

 

Now Albert Pujols does the same things as the other two guys, it's just harder to pick up the movement.  Follow the list and study for yourself.

 

  • Frame 18, Weight has been shifted back to back foot. Green line shows plane of front side of torso to the plane of the front leg.  They don't match here, but wait and see.
  • Frame 18-29, Torso is moving away from vertical red line the entire time.
  • Hands don't move back. Hands stay, torso moves forward away from hands.
  • Frame 18-24, Front foot off the ground and travels about 2 inches forward, so does the Torso.
  • Frame 24, The green line still shows the torso and leg are not in line yet, but they have traveled together as they were back in frame 18.
  • Frame 24–27, Front toe touches ground but no weight is being transferred, even though ball of foot is on the ground, the heel is still off the ground.
  • Frame 28 weight starts to being applied to the front ball of foot, and a little more in frame 29.
  • Frame 29, Green line shows torso's front side now in line with front leg.(remember the angle that you watch a video from will always determine what you see). Hard to see the top part of torso is in line at this camera angle.
  • Notice back leg and knee is not rotating or turning, only a slight movement inward.  Watch the torso in frame 27-29, because it is the torso that has turned slightly, which causes the back leg to turn.
  • Back heel starts to move in frame 29, but it is not moving up and back, as most believe in rotational hitting. It start moving forward slightly, because weight is now starting to leave it.

 

 

 

Well let’s watch these three players with all three Phases put together.

 

                           

 

 

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

                            

 

 

Now here are some other Hall of Fame players that you can see for yourself.

                                                                                                             

                          Ted Williams

Phase One & Two:  Torso/Weight Shift & Lift                  Phase Three: Accelerate Forward


  • Frames 1 –5, Moves back to red line, Hands move up(will see them latter), front leg drawn up by torso.
  • Frames 6–10, Torso accelerates forward away from red line, yellow arrows shows no pushing or turning of back leg or hip. Also the torso pushes the front foot forward and is now in line with the front side of the torso at foot strike.

 

 

 

 

 

                        Willie Mays

Even though Willie Mays looks like his front foot leaves the plane of the front side of the torso and green line, he does something a little different.  He continues to move forward with the torso after foot strike even more than the rest of these athletes.  You will see this as we complete the next section.

 

You should also see his hands are not moving back, the torso is moving ahead of the hands.  The only thing the hands are doing is moving up toward the shoulder where they should be.  Also his back leg is not rotating.

                                                      

 

 

                                                

Babe Ruth

Phase One:  The Babe starts with his Torso/weight already back. From frame 8–17, he about drawing the weight out of the front leg in preparation to Lift.  You can also see the torso leaving the yellow line if frames 8-17 and yet the front foot is still on the ground.  Frame 18 on the right and following to frame 23, notice the torso moving away from the yellow line even more.  Frames 18-23 you will notice the front leg has to catch up to the torso plane, yet it has not broken the plane of the front side of the torso. See the distance traveled between the yellow and green lines.  Also notice the hands start down but are raised up to shoulder height.  Also watch what happens to the back foot. His ball of foot comes off the ground and his heel is still touching.


Well so much for rotational hitting mechanics being taught today. Here is one of the most predominate home run hitters of all time.  Remember he played back when the fences were so much farther away and swung a much heavier bat plus hitting a spongy ball. Yet he created tremendous bat speed and force.

 

 

Oh yea here is Ted Williams from the front so you can see the hands moving up. Remember torso goes forward hands stay in place, other than being raised or lowered to the rear shoulder level. Sorry it's not easily seen.

 

 

 

Now since you have studied these clips and agree or disagree with the terminology or the exact start of the movements that where discussed, I would like you to step forward into a new understanding.

 

Continue...Natural Approach...Part Two...

The Truth of what happens in the swing.

 

 

I am taking any and all constructive comments regarding this site because I want it to be the best resource for teaching about hitting.

 

If you have anything to offer don't hesitate to send me an email: 

sean@naturalhitting.com

 

 

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