The Best Swingers Warm Up Right

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Taking a few cuts with a weighted donut on the end of your baseball or softball bat certainly makes you feel stronger, but does it make you swing faster and/or better? That’s what the researchers behind a study published in the February 2011 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research wanted to know. They had 22 Division 1 collegiate baseball players warm up with one of 10 (10!) different weighted devices on separate days, then take game swings off a tee. The result? No statistically significant differences in bat velocity among the different options, seemingly indicating that you can choose whichever weighted device works best for you.
However, the researchers noted that a majority of prior research shows that excessively heavy bats (including those with donut rings) actually produce slower bat velocity and, worse, alter swing mechanics. For that reason, the researchers recommend that your warm-up bat not exceed 12 percent of your standard bat’s weight and that you avoid donut rings in favor of other devices. Man, just think how many dingers Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will smash when he hears about this.