Recently, I spoke with Chas Pippitt from Baseball Rebellion on an episode of Swing Angry Live. During that episode we talked about effective training techniques related to developing hitters through quality movement training. You may be familiar with the Rebel Rack and the Rebel Rack Movement Certification program that Chas and Baseball Rebellion have put out in recent years. As a certified Rebel Rack Movement instructor, I am going to share how properly training rotational skill inside the baseball and softball swing has positively impacted my hitters and can help your hitters as well.
In every baseball and/or softball swing, hitters will rotate. In its simplest terms, hitters load - stride - fire their hips/torso - and bring the bat through the zone in a moving arc around the body. This skill is inside every single swing. The fact of the matter is some athletes rotate or perform the skill better than others. It is a skill that can be trained and improved at all development levels from youth to professional baseball and softball. The Rebel Rack Movement Progression allows baseball and softball hitters to master the hitting movements before they go back to hitting. Why didn't I think of this before? Why do hitters only practice or perform the hitting movement when they are hitting? How much better could hitters perform if they practiced rotational skill between hitting sessions.
Check out Bryce Harper below - you will see the same swing movement qualities that the rebel rack progression promotes.
Working on the swing movements in front of a mirror - before hitting - has been instrumental to unlocking faster and more skilled athletes in my hitting program. We have seen increased bat speed, exit velocity, and overall contact quality in every single hitter. Improving rotational skill has allowed my smallest hitters to outperform their more physical peers and my older bigger hitters to enhance their offensive production with more power and slugging potential.
Example 1 - 12U Hitter - First Home Run
Obviously the hitter in the video had the physical size advantage compared to his peers; however, he had never hit a home run prior to training and developing his swing movements with the Rebel Rack Movement Progression. He had the ability to hit the ball hard (68 mph) at his evaluation, but he had poor swing direction, poor posture, and did not efficiently rotate through forward bend and side bend. Training with the rack allowed him to enhance the speed and quickness of his rotational skill while also improving balance and stability through the turn.
Example 2: 2028 Youth Hitter Under 100lbs hits 6 Home Runs
The HitTrax report from June shows the hitter had a max exit velocity of 58mph and a maximum distance of 139ft. The video clip below is from a couple of weeks ago - 70mph 227ft. He just recently hit a new personal best of 76mph as a 6th grader.
Example 3: 2026 Softball
June to December. In her HitTrax report she had most of her hard hits as ground balls and could not drive the ball in the air at all. Her farthest hit was a weak pop up at 108ft.
Today she is hitting balls 67mph and 165ft. Her game day performance has increased dramatically due to changes in her swing movements. She can now turn more efficiently and drive the ball over the short stop's head. All through rack movement work.
Example 4: 2027 Youth Player
This player has seen impressive changes in his rotational strength and hitting ability. He has transitioned from a -10 bat to a -5 bat now. If you look at his size - he's not a very large youth athlete - but he swings angry and does damage!
Here is his assessment report from HitTrax. 57mph / 113ft with a -10. He is now swinging a -5 faster than his -8 bat and hitting balls over 200ft.
Example 5: 2027 Softball
October 25 on the left was her evaluation. November 30 is on the right. The increases in contact quality and exit velocity are exponential. She's had 3 lessons of rebel rack movement work and she still has a ton of room to grow...see her video below.
October 25th assessment
Example 6: 2024 Baseball
On November 15, we had a hitter come in for an evaluation. As a high school sophomore he is a small framed athlete and his bat speed was below average topping out at 58 mph and averaging 54 mph.
On November 29th, he came in for his first lesson. We did rebel rack movements for 40 minutes and re-tested his evaluation. The same bat - same kid - same testing environment. His bat speed results are below:
He did not magically grow or gain strength in the time between sessions. That's the unique quality of developing efficient rotational skill - it has an immediate impact on the hitter's ability to swing the bat faster and more efficiently.
Hitting the ball hard is a good thing - it's what every athlete wants to do and it's what the best athletes do the most consistently. From small prepubescent athletes to professional athletes, learning to properly rotate is a skill that immediately transfers to on field performance and productivity.
The Rebel Rack Movement Progression is a foundation for our hitting program and will continue to help hitters Swing Angry and Do Damage! If you want to transform your hitting - come see us!
For details about the program check out www.baseballrebellion.com for the latest resources - including the Learn The Turn E-Book.
Here's a quick video highlight of some of our hitters this year