Joey Myers - Hitting Performance Lab

How To Maximize Body "Fascia" and Finger Pressure To Hit For More Power

Joey is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). And also partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

Joey is a certified Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA), Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and Vinyasa yoga instructor…AND, also certified in the Functional Muscle Screen (FMS).

Founder of The Hitting Performance Lab, Joey works with many youth, high school, collegiate and professional hitters.  Based in Fresno, CA, Joey's advice is sought from players across the US.

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Example of racing back elbow (update: finger pressure has fixed this problem!  :)

Example of hunched vs upright back position

Summary and Action Plan below


Joey played baseball and studied criminology college and after a 6 month internship in law enforcement realized he hated it (happens a lot!)

So he started looking at fitness (corrective fitness) and loved it and was fascinated on how it could be applied to his true love, baseball.

One joint rule: when your neck is in line with your spine your body is at its strongest. Conversely, if your head is tilted sideways, back or down toward the chest, the body movements lose huge amounts of force.

You want to keep the shoulders and ears away from each other when we hit.

A lot of what Joey was taught as a kid was backwards based on the way the body works.

The Catapult Loading System is looking at human movement principles based on real science. Joey focuses on “springy fascia” which is a cotton candy like material which gives it’s muscles its shape and hold the body together. These “compression and tension” forces are acting on the body at all times, and you can maximize your baseball performance and strength during the swing.

Joey doesn’t like coaches focusing on hips, it can be dangerous to the lower back.

The secret is in pre-loading the torso, turning inward which stretches/loads the fascia in the shoulder/back area.

This is also known as “showing the numbers” to the pitcher. How much? You want to turn in far enough to load the body fascia and still not lose vision in their back eye.

Goldilocks rule: There’s too much, too little, and just right.

Shoulder tilt, front shoulder should be lower than back shoulder, so sort of a downward angle.

Joey runs experiments and measures results. “Hiding the hands” improved bat speed 1 MPH, “Showing the numbers” added 4-5 MPH of bat speed and “downward shoulder” angle added 3-4 MPH.

Hands shouldn’t go straight back to catcher, rather it should go back to be above back heel.

Arching or hunching back (like Hunter Pence) locks in your abdominals which protects the body during dynamic movements - like the swing.

The big value in hunched posture is with safety. Attack angle (how the bat approaches contact) did improve but bat speed didn’t change.

The body has an internal “governor” where the brain is trying to protect any weak areas so the body will not allow itself to go 100% if it feels like it is not feeling like a safe position.

Racing back elbow can be cured/improved by using finger pressure. Finger pressure is squeezing with the handle with the bottom three fingers of the top hand...no need to squeeze with index, thumb or bottom hand.

The squeeze begins around the same time the foot lands...too early is as bad as not doing it at all. This fixes about 60-80% of racing the back elbow.

Racing back elbow is when that elbow slots next to their hip, but then goes too far toward their belly button.

Weightlifters can squeeze out their last couple of reps when then REALLY squeeze the bar with their hand, which connects their grip to the core.


Try the finger pressure! Take short rounds, sets of five reps. Squeeze the bottom three fingers in the top hand from stride through impact. Bottom hand pretend like you’re holding a butterfly, you don’t want to crush it but don’t want to let it go.

Second round, rotate between using the finger pressure as taught above, and in the other swings squeeze the top two fingers of top hand. Some players respond that they feel more control but less power, so you can see the difference, and more importantly THEY can feel the difference.

Always check in to make sure they’re squeezing.

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