From the Ground Up

I read this quote yesterday from Japanese player Kosuke Fukudome, who will play for the Chicago Cubs this year. Despite what many American hitting gurus think it is not the hands! Strong powerful legs and core, this guy gets it:

“I was explaining to them that if you told a man to stand on his hands for a day, he couldn’t do it,” Fukudome said. “But if you told him to stand on his legs for a day, that would be no problem. The point is your legs have more power than your arms so when you’re batting, you’ve always got to be concerned with how to transfer the power of your legs to the bat in your hands.

“Since the hips are the midpoint between the two, the way you rotate them is crucial for delivering the strength from your legs. This isn’t the stuff of home runs, it’s about effectively harnessing the power from below to make contact with a strongly pitched ball and not be beaten by its strength.”


At 2/15/08, 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many hitting gurus will say this guys is out of his mind because hitting is all in the forearms.

Many strength and conditioning specialists will say the same.

There are forums on NSCA with opinions that training the legs is over rated for baseball.


At 2/15/08, 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps what you are referring to is the "conventional wisdom" of hitting coaches, and to a large extent strength & conditioning coaches.

Examine high speed film of hitters- especially those who generate great bat speed (and isn't that central to hitting for power?). What you will see is a demonstration of maximal centripetal force, created by powerfully rotating the core, and of course beginning this process with the feet and legs. What you will see is the kinetic chain creating what is called "bat-lag" - the bat simply following the rest of the body after it has rotated.

The role of the hands and forearms are also important, acting as a lever, and controlling the timing that is necessary between visual and kinesthetic systems. But to say the hands/forearms are what matters most to a baseball swing is silly at best.

Paul Davis
Omaha, NE


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