For hitters looking to generate more mobility and stability through the t-spine (thoracic), this is an excellent exercise to feel two key elements to the swing: 1) rotation and 2) direction.
The PVC pipe allows for a constraint to which the body must work through. If the shoulders begin to pull across the body, there will be an inability to control the PVC pipe and keep it vertical.
Focus on the shoulder position
If you notice, the rear shoulder will be slightly lower than the front shoulder as the rotation begins to come forward. If the shoulders were to remain "flat" you will see a pull from the front side (lead shoulder/arm) which pulls us off plane. Remember, in a high level swing the shoulder plane in connection with the lead elbow position is the same plane that the bat will work through as we continue rotation.
To execute the movement progression:
- Take the PVC pipe and put it directly in front of your body.
- Make sure you are in an athletic set up similar to your stance.
- Keep your lead elbow bent slightly to begin the drill.
- Keeping your rear elbow close to your hip/rib cage, allow the rear elbow to connect with the rear hip during the bodies rotation. continue this rotation and connection until the hand reaches the outstretched lead arm.
- While the body is still rotating, keep extending the rear arm/hand directly out in front of you thinking "thumb down " until you can rotate no further. This allows for the body to feel the hands remain connected.
- Make sure you breathe at the peak of tension allowing your body to work through the movement unrestricted.