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Breathing Technique For Hitting A Baseball: Why Hitters Shouldn’t Breath Like “Normal”

 

Before we get to the breathing technique for hitting a baseball (same for softball), consider this…

Breathing is one of the most commonly dysfunctional movement patterns today.  In other words, nowadays “normal” breathing IS dysfunctional!

Breathing Technique For Hitting A Baseball

Photo courtesy: MobilityWOD.com YouTube video

Why?  Here are a few reasons off the top of my head – you could probably think of others:

  • High levels of stress hormone cortisol throughout the day because of constant bombardment of mind numbing hamster-constantly-on-the-wheel technology (phones, video games, etc.),
  • Overuse training – doubling training efforts without doubling recovery efforts (dangerously over scheduled youth athletes), and
  • Injuries to certain areas of the body, playing a one-sided dominant sport (i.e. baseball and softball), and imbalanced training (without proper flushing of waste by the lymphatic system), can build a shorter breathing pattern, which can cause a constant drip-drip-drip of the fight or flight response throughout the day.

One of my hitter’s dad asked me what physical training I recommend outside of a busy baseball and football schedule, and I said either Yoga or Pilates.  I HIGHLY disagree with most hitting coaches putting ORGASMIC emphasis on explosive, Olympic, Cross-fit, or whatever else type of performance training out there.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for physical training geared for performance, but corrective maintenance training SHOULD precede performance – if we want healthy moving athletes.  If you put fresh 80,000 mile tires on a Lamborghini with a misaligned front end, then you’ll be lucky to get half the miles out of the tires!  Also, the tires won’t be your only problem.

Let’s connect what an effective breathing technique for hitting a baseball means to hitters…

World renowned strength and conditioning coach Brett Jones says this about “anatomical” versus “biomechanical” breathing in a post titled, “How Your Breathing Relates to Your Movement”:

“Anatomical breathing match refers to the natural matching of the inhalation and exhalation with extension and flexion of the spine/body. Extension facilitates inhalation and flexion facilitates exhalation. As the body gets compressed (flexion) exhalation dissipates the pressure and extension assists in opening the thoracic area to assist in inhalation. In addition, anatomical breathing can be used in stretching where the exhale is used to enhance the relaxation into a stretch.

Whereas, in the biomechanical breathing match we flip those actions. Inhaling to increase the intra-abdominal pressure during flexion and exhaling to improve muscular action and stability during extension. Biomechanical breathing match is key to being able to handle loads through the body during performance. During a dead-lift, kettle-bell swing or a kettle-bell military press the biomechanical breathing match allows us to amp up our strength and stability.”

The video above demonstrates this biomechanical breathing technique for hitting a baseball.  I’ve had quite a few of you ask about this, so here you go!  The description says the above YouTube video is about…

“Identifying and correcting low back extension loading issues through the correct sequence of breathing. If we can get our athletes to breath better across all movements and under load, performance will improve.”

Dr. Mark Cheng, one of my many favorite strength and conditioning coaches, says:

“When you truly own a movement pattern, strain isn’t part of the picture.”

There are a couple other resources I’d be estupido not to mention that plays right into improving breathing technique for hitting a baseball:

The above video is only 3-min and 41-secs, so there won’t be any breathing technique for hitting a baseball notes.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the REPLY section below this post…

Move better, perform better.  Enjoy!

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).



I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.



It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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3 replies
  1. Djura
    Djura says:

    I thought you were going to give it up given the title… but you didn’t! It’s not the blue about breathing… If we accept that no human has perfect posture than it’s about posturing your body with your breathing and THAN inhaling starting fast but slow than positioning yourself than exhaling… If you understood what I said in it’s full implementation and production than the illusion is no more. Hope all is well.

    Great article Joey!
    ~DM

    Reply
    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Thanks brother, it’s interesting how important the breath is, but most dismiss it because it’s something an average human does 23,040 times a day. Wouldn’t that fact make it most important? 😉

      Reply
      • Djura
        Djura says:

        I like that fact. Thanks. Its like the magic trick where the magician does the trick right in front of you and because its right in front of you, its like…no way he or she is tricking me right in front of me…it must be somewhere else…in the background, that beautiful girl there…that bang over there…when in fact its right in front of you and because its so close to us we never think to concentrate there…

        Like its not my breathing i do that all the time….its in the physics, the swing plane, the bat speed, using the ground, linear mechanics, rotational mechanics, a blend or hybrid mechanics, the knob of the bat, being short…etc…

        Well, if we think we breath correctly than don’t look into walking…we might be shocked what we find out.

        The swing is in fact within us…It might even be good to get all the nonsense out of our heads and close our eyes and try to have it revealed to us….or think about what you said in the article…and perhaps what I’ve said you years now….part of it is in what smokers do…and to itch ones thoughts…its compression, decompression…at the end, we need to organize our posture to produce synchronization and/or harmony….and as you already know, the importance of breath can not be overstated…

        Question is there a difference of breathing in and out….compared to breathing out and in….what if we did one than used some muscles that did the other….and seriously what DO smokers do??????

        Later and hope all is well. Nice article Joey….Its exceptional work and I’m wondering where are all the comments! Seriously, where are the comments. People wake up!!!!!

        Reply