Fundamentals of Rotational Power

By Sparta Science

December 31, 2012

Needs and Demands

At Sparta, we use force plate testing to prescribe individualized exercises to improve our athletes’ movement efficiency.  Additionally, sport based movement skills are broken down into the most fundamental parts.  This combination of needs and demands should be the starting point for designing a good training program.

Basics of Rotation

When it comes to rotational athletes, breaking down fundamental movement principals is more effective than trying to devise specific exercises that mimic the demands of the sport.  When developing the basics of rotational power, we focus on three key components:

  • Load the backside
  • Brace the front-side
  • Torque through the torso (thoracic spine)

Of course, improving movement efficiency involves developing the mobility, sequencing, and postural control in order to maintain proper body position as these three components of rotation flow together seamlessly.  The result is improved velocity, bat speed, and a reduced risk for injuries like oblique strains (see Sparta Point).

Versapulley Woodchop

Andrew Berger, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants organization, helps us look at the Versapulley Woodchop - a great movement for reinforcing the the keys to rotational power.

Coaching Keys:

  • Stable base
  • Slight weight shift when loading the back leg
  • Slight weight shift when bracing the front leg
  • Maintain an upright torso to transfer forces through the core
At Sparta, we use the Woodchop for athletes with a Swing Pattern who need to improve their ability to brace their core and maintain an upright torso.  The eccentric load (inertia) provided by the Versapulley is the best way to dynamically load rotation.  It is not "sport specific" but it is "movement specific".
Match your specific movement signatureTM needs with the fundamental movement demands of your sport, and you have unlocked the  to improving performance.

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