Spring is finally here and baseball is in the air. Both my boys (ages 11 and 8) are playing baseball and, like of lot kids their age, batting can be challenging especially as they face live pitching. Traditionally, baseball players in the on deck circle have a small weight on the end of their bats to help them “warm up”. This round weight is often called a “donut”. However, I recently read an article that calls in to question this age old tradition. Researchers in the Human Performance Laboratory at California State University, in Fullerton, California studied the effects of bat swing velocity on a group of 19 college aged recreational baseball players. After analyzing the data, they concluded that using a weighted bat for 5 warm up swings just prior to using a normal weighted bat actually slowed down their velocity. This makes you wonder if the on deck player should be warming up with just a normal bat and should pass on the donuts!
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2009 23(5)/1566-1569