Rotational power is an extremely important training variable in any rotational power sport. Most power exercises are sagittal plane-based movements (forward and backward movements), such as box jumps, hurdle hops and any Olympic lifting variations. These exercises are great and are implemented frequently into training programs at MSI. Power and ground reaction forces need to be trained in other planes and directions. As evident in this study, ground reaction forces toward the catcher are high when throwing a baseball. This direction is frontal/transverse plane power. With baseball, softball and lacrosse being such rotational sports, rotational power is a quality that needs to be trained often.
Below I will discuss some rotational power exercises that can be performed after a proper dynamic warm-up and before a strength training session. It’s important to note that in order to train power, the movement of the weight or object needs to be fast in order to produce a high amount of force. If the movement is heavy and slow, high velocity power will not be developed. For the power training below, rest 2-5 minutes between sets, so as to not fatigue the body.
- Step Behind Med Ball Scoop Toss
How it is Performed: Use a weight that can be moved or thrown quickly. I normally recommend a 10-12 lb. ball for college/professional athletes, an 8 lb. ball for high school athletes, and a 4-6lb. ball for middle school athletes. Start with the ball down by the hip. Step behind the back leg, and rotate your hip throwing the ball as hard as you possibly can. Think about throwing your belly button to the wall in order to get hip rotation, which is where all your power comes from.
Reps and Sets: 3-4sets of 1-3 throws a side.
- Dynamic Rotational Landmine Press
How it is Performed: Hold the end of the barbell in one hand, with your feet wider than shoulder width, facing the side. Perform a half squat and quickly press the bar up and rotate through the hips and upper body. Control the bar down with two hands and reset to the starting position.
Reps and Sets: 3-4 sets of 1-3 a side
- Dynamic Band Rotational Rows
How it is Performed: Grasp the end of the band, shift your weight forward with most of your weight on your front foot with an outstretched arm. Rotate the back hip and row the band across your body like your starting a lawn mower.
Reps and Sets: 3-4 sets of 1-4 a side
- Lateral In-Place Jumps
How it is Performed: Load a hip by sitting back into the heel and jump laterally as far as you can with good ankle, knee and hip control. Stick the landing and quickly jump back to the other direction, throwing your arms across your body as you jump. This is great for developing power in the frontal plane (side to side power).
Reps and Sets: 2-4 sets of 4-6 a leg
Give these exercises a try before a training session to develop rotational power, which will, in turn, help you throw and shoot harder.