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You Too Can Build a Heavy Bag in a Weekend with $10

Dr. Stanley’s homemade heavy bag.

Where was this post when I was younger!

Soon you’ll get to see how Dr. Stanley Beekman took his son from virtually zero follow through in a game swing…

To crystal clear follow through using a heavy bag.  A homemade heavy bag, you’ll learn how to put together over a weekend, for only $10.

One simple NOTE: in the last hitting drill under “A Drill That Will Help the Hips”, make sure your hitters are showing their numbers to the pitcher, and keep the hips in neutral, or parallel to the plate before powering into the heavy bag.

Take it away Dr. Stanley…

In this post, I will discuss:

  • Swing benefits of using a heavy bag,
  • How to make one for $10 (step-by-step), and
  • How we used the heavy bag to better my son’s swing in 2 weeks…
  • A drill that will help the hips

 Swing Benefits of Using a Heavy Bag

BEFORE

In the following video watch the bat slow down when the bat contacts the ball. This results in a lack of follow through:

When asked about it, he said, he didn’t follow through because the ball stopped the bat.  One of the reasons for this is a lack of eccentric strength in the wrists and forearms.

AFTER

Right after this, he started hitting the heavy bag. (Starting with 5 sets of 10 repetitions and over time progressing to 10 sets of 10 repetitions).  He felt the change in two weeks. He said, “Dad, it felt like a hot knife through butter”. We continued through the off season…

 

How to Make a Heavy Bag for $10 (STEP-BY-STEP)

Materials:

  • 3- Used tires of the same diameter (Free from any tire store)
  • 12-1″ -2″ screws
  • 12- nuts to fit the machine screws
  • 24-washers
  • 3-1/4″ eye bolts ($3.54)
  • 1-Large eye bolt with 2 washers and nut or a Large Screw eye bolt
  • Parachute cord ($3.98)

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Drill bits

Instructions:

1. Find a location under a joist or beam.

2. If you are attaching the heavy bag to a beam,  drill a hole through it and use the large eye bolt, 2 washers and a nut to attach the eye bolt to the beam.

HeavyBag3

If you are attaching the heavy bag to a joist, screw the Screw Eye Bolt to the joist.

3. Place a stool/bench on the floor where you want to put the Heavy bag. The height should be equal to your son’s knee.

4. Place on tire on top of the stool, and the second tire on top of the first.

5. Drill 4 holes at 90 degrees through the sidewall of the top tire and through the bottom tire at the area where the side walls touch.

6. Affix the tires using 4 screws, 8 washers and 4 nuts.

HeavyBag2

7. Stack the third tire on top of the other two.

8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the two top tires

9. Drill 3 holes through the sidewall of the top tire at 120 degrees to each other.

10. Push the small eye bolts through these holes and affix with the washers and nuts.

HeavyBag4

11. Tie a knot attaching the parachute cord to one small eye bolt.

12. Run the parachute cord through the large eye bolt and then to another small eye bolt.

13. Tie a knot.

HeavyBag5

14. Repeat steps 11-13 on the adjacent small eye bolt

.HeavyBag6

15. Repeat steps 11-13 on the eye bolts that only have one strand going to it.

HeavyBag7

16. Remove the stool/bench

HeavyBag8

17. Hit the bag with a bat

 

How We Used the Heavy Bag to Better my Son’s Swing in 2-Weeks

Here’s what we did to achieve the AFTER swing from above :

 

A Drill That Will Help the Hips

In addition to hitting the bag to develop eccentric wrist and arm strength, we can train technique. In the video below, the hips are trained to rotate fully.

 

There are more drills that can be performed, but they can be duplicated with a tee. The advantage to using a heavy bag, is that the feedback is more accurate, as it is not dependent on how exact the ball is hit.

Dr. Stanley Beekman

I graduated from Podiatric medical college in 1976 and then finished a surgical residency and a biomechanics fellowship. I have recently retired as a practicing podiatrist treating sports medicine since 1978. I also was an Associate Professor at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine where I taught Sports Medicine. I have run marathons, competed successfully in Olympic lifting, power lifting and karate in the master's age groups. Along the way, I became a licensed massotherapistand graduated as a mechanotherapist (similar to chiropractic). They eliminated licensure for mechanotherapy, but it opened my eyes to other therapies. I have taken 500 hours of applied kinesiology and combined that with fascial therapies. As a result I treated the body as a Biotensegrity structure and reset sensors and change processing to make immediate postural and functional changes via acupressure and other manual means. I have also coached little league for the last four years.
Dr. Stanley Beekman
4 replies
  1. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    This is how a work(out) space should look. Weights on bars for deadlifting or cleans, a wood rack for dumbells, cinderblocks on the floor. I’ve been wanting to add a heavy bag.

    Reply
    • Dr. Stanley Beekman
      Dr. Stanley Beekman says:

      Thanks Jeff,
      Your son(s) will enjoy it. My son and his teammates do not get tired hitting the bag. Pick a space that is off to the side, but gives room for him to have free access to hit it. Pick the smallest tires you can find.
      There are 2 bars in the picture that are great for kids. One is a 15 lb York bar. It is made of aluminium and great for starting kids with. With the two 10 pound plates they can start at 35 pounds.
      The other bar is a 40 pound bar. It is smaller in diameter which is great for heavy dead lifts for the smaller hands.
      The cinder blocks are used for raising the legs up when doing reverse push-ups (the home made kid size squat rack with the bar on it is on the other side of the room). The higher the legs, the more challenging.

      Reply
  2. Skip
    Skip says:

    In the “before” video bat drag (getting the hands too far ahead of the bat) and wrist roll before contact can be seen. Both of these actions will put stress on the wrists, in your son’s case, probably putting so much stress that it hurts to the point that he stopped his swing. There should be no wrist roll (or wrist snapping) before contact, wrist roll and snapping cause the bat get off course (wrists should be in a firm, palm up, palm down position at contact). Furthermore, the arm, hands, wrists simply aren’t strong enough to produce sufficient bat speed to hit the ball hard. A good swing involves using hip and torso rotation to create the force necessary to hit the ball hard. Hitting the bag/tires will help a player learn to swing through the ball (not stop the bat at contact), a good thing. Any strength development that occurs as a result hitting a bag/tire will help keep the hands from rolling and in a firm, palm up, palm down position-this position will create a little more torque force in the hands that can be applied to the bat. For many years I have had players hit used deflated basketballs (or used soccer balls) off a batting tee for the same benefit as hitting the tires (my goal was to have players swing through the ball, you can’t hit the ball any distance unless you swing through the ball). [Hitting soccer balls or old basketballs is a lot less hard on the bat than hitting tires]. To improve foreman strength and wrist strength I used a rollie (rolling up a small weight (weight attached with a rope to a short wooden rod).

    Skip

    Reply
    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Thanks for sharing that Skip. I totally agree. It’s great when you can have a young hitter do one drill, and that drill fixes a ton of different stuff! One thing to be careful of with hitting inflated/deflated volleyball and basketballs is the “rebound-effect” of the bat after contact. I’ve been emailed horror stories of kids hitting basketballs (probably inflated) and the bat bouncing back after contact and hitting the hitter in the face. I’m sure deflated would be better, but nonetheless, be careful.

      Reply

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