If you've played baseball with composite bats and are now joining a league that uses wooden bats — perhaps a summer collegiate league — one of the things that you'll notice is that these bats are heavier. This means that you'll need to start your swing a little sooner and maybe alter some of your mechanics, but strengthening your hands, wrists, and forearms will also help your wooden bat to feel lighter in your hands. While traditional weight training can also help to strengthen your upper arms, shoulders, and back, here are some ways to add strength from the elbows down.
If you're a baseball player, you're likely acquainted with biceps curls. A slight variation on this exercise — and the use of a lower weight — will help to build strength in your forearms. Sit on a weight bench with a dumbbell in your hand with your palm facing up. Allow your knuckles to drop toward the floor, and then engage your forearms pull your knuckles toward you. As a variation on this exercise, you can turn it around by using the same mechanics but starting with your palm facing down. This will build the outsides of your forearms, rather than the insides.
Virtually all stores that sell weight-training equipment sell sets of hand grips. This V-shaped device is composed of a pair of handles with a thick spring in the middle. You operate the grip by holding it between your thumb and your fingers and squeezing. If you buy a pair of the grips, you can use them at the same time with one in each hand. Although you'll also strengthen your wrists as you perform this exercise, it's an ideal one for building strength in your hands to make your new wooden bats feel lighter.
Rice In A Pail
Buy a large pail — generally, a five-gallon pail works well, but even a smaller pail will do — and then fill it with rice. If you don't have access to rice, you can use sand, although the rice works best. Then, roll up your sleeves and, while kneeling in front of the pail, push your hands and forearms down to the bottom of the rice. Open and close your hands, move your fingers around, rotate your wrists, and move your forearms back and forth. For each of these movements, the densely packed rice around your body provides a high degree of resistance — and resistance is the key to building muscle. Keep at this exercise and you'll soon find that your wooden bats feel light enough that you'll be swinging for the fences.
For more information, contact companies like Brew City Woodbats.