Baseball: Better Grip Strength Does Not Improve Bat Speed

Baseball: Better Grip Strength Does Not Improve Bat Speed

Brian Salisbury

This article complements a piece we published recently called, "A Tight Grip on the Bat Does Not Improve Hitting Effectiveness." In that article, we discussed research that proved there is no need to grip the bat tightly upon contact with the ball.

But do strong hands and forearms increase a batter's swing velocity and hitting power? Apparently not, according to a study of collegiate baseball players.

Six-Week Study
The study randomly separated 23 male college varsity baseball players into an experimental group and a control group. For six weeks, both groups practised and worked out similarly to hone their fielding and batting skills and improve physically.

However, the experimental group also did resistance exercises to strengthen their forearms and hands.

While both groups significantly increased their bat swing velocity, tests before and after the six-week study revealed no significant relationship between grip strength and bat speed.

You might want to add forearm and hand strengthening exercises to your baseball team's overall training regimen - especially if they are children who have difficulty gripping the bat. But once a baseline of strength is developed, devoting time and energy for grip exercises solely to improve bat swing velocity isn't the way to go.

Reference: Shawn S. Hughes, Brian C. Lyons, and Jerry J. Mayo, "Effect of Grip Strength and Grip Strengthening Exercises on Instantaneous Bat Velocity of Collegiate Baseball Players." The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Volume 18, Issue 2 (May 2004), Pages 298-301.

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