Does Ryan Braun Hit Backwards?
In the fourth installment of the Coaches DON’T Tell You This: Common Mistakes Hitters Make video series, featuring Ryan Braun, we’re analyzing why “Sitting Back” is so destructive to friction-free mechanics. The WHY boils down to a strange word…
According to IdeaFit.com,
“Proprioception is the body’s ability to transmit a sense of position, analyze that information and react (consciously or unconsciously) to the stimulation with the proper movement (Houglum 2001).”
The brain does whatever it needs to balance physical movement. Let’s discuss the following compensations caused by “Sitting Back”:
- Eyes and head shift forward during Final Turn,
- Lunging, and
- Front shoulder flies open.
Eyes and Head to Shift Forward During Final Turn
Ryan Braun’s friction-free swing is like snapping a towel. Throw the towel end towards the intended target, then quickly snap it back. We’re getting eye-head movement out of the way early, then shifting our spine up and back towards the catcher – snapping the barrel into the impact zone. Ryan Braun does this!
Sitting back makes the hitter do the opposite…
- Keep the hitter back till the last possible second, then
- The hitter has to shift their weight forward to counter-balance because of proprioception, and
- As a result, shifts the head and eyes forward.
What’s lunging? When Ryan Braun lands his front foot, his knee floats above his ankle. Lunging is when the front knee floats passed the ankle, over the toes or never gets straight. Here’s how sitting back causes lunging:
- Hitter shifts weight to back leg,
- Reaches out softly with the stride foot, like a cat (and oftentimes too early)
- Waits till ball is on the way, then
- Because the body isn’t balanced, the brain shifts the hitter’s weight forward with no hope of getting back,
- So the hitter continues forward until he or she hits (or misses) something.
Front Shoulder Flies Open
Unlike Ryan Braun, most ‘Sit Back’ hitters:
- Have hand dominant swings. Since the shoulders are closest to the hands, they have to start earlier to get the hands working.
- Don’t set up the natural rotation counter-rotation relationship of the pelvis and shoulders* before the front foot hits the ground. This causes the shoulders to compensate and open prematurely.
- Open their hips and shoulders at the same time. If this happens, a hitter will max out at 60-70% of their ability to transfer energy efficiently from body –> to barrel –> to ball. This put smaller hitters at a disadvantage by dramatically decreasing power output.
- Have a difficult time keeping the front shoulder in with off speed and breaking balls. It’s easy for pitchers to disrupt a Sit Back hitter’s timing. Their brain is focused on too many things at once: timing, proprioception, and pitch speed/location (because of late head-eye movement).
I hope you enjoyed the 4-Part Coaches DON’T Tell You This (4 Mistakes Hitters Make) video series. Learn how to add effortless repeatable power to your drives using scientifically proven human movement rules that can BOOST batted ball distance by 60-feet in the next 60-days by CLICKING “Get Access Now!”…
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.