Hip/Shoulder Rotation and Separation

I’ve seen a lot of posts about this topic, so I would like to start this thread to discuss it and to make one combined post about it.

Any tips, suggestions, drills, timing, etc. would be great things to talk about

Since this is something that I also struggle with, I will be interested to what people have to say.

From what I have seen and read about. Hips open before the shoulders and they begin to open slightly before foot landing.

I could write more but I got to go.


there are some really good clips on this site. For the Power pitchers you can see when their front foot lands their lower half is pointed toward the catcher and their shoulders are closed to the 3rd base side for righties. I have been trying to do this, but cant. my lower half is more to the dugout and not the catcher. I would like to know how the pros do this and if there are drills for this.

I think it is more about keeping your shoulders closed than it is about opening your hips.

If the intent and infrastructure is there - Then your hips should open like you want.

Have been thinking about this as well. Trying to think of ways to get my son to execute this better. He gets the concept but I dont see much when he is pitching. I would think this would have as much to do with flexability as strength. A lot of time dedicated on the boards here to strength, and rightfully so, but, flexability is a very important component to pitching. Underated part of speed and power as well. In my experience with my son it really isent addressed much by coaches in youth ball even into high school. I was thinking of trying to use a Vertimax to train seperation…although Im not sure quite how yet. Seems that particular tool could have some application for the seperation issue.

If you want to get better separation then isolate and focus on it.

Use the phrase that the hips open before the shoulders. Practice it, rehearse in front of you and mirror.


I posted these thoughts on another thread in the youth section.

Separation is one of those things a kid has to develop or he’s going to expire in the game quicker than he should have.

Is the arm position at initial hip rotation/foot plant a key to separation?

I see most 14U & younger kids getting the upper half going way too early & they are in high cock position well before they get to hip rotation/foot plant. Basically the arm/ball are sitting there waiting for the lower half.

I have to think its likely for the shoulder/arm to engage into internal rotation the second the hips wanna go if the arm has been waiting too long.

Flip side… if the timing is better & the arm is still externally rotating at hip rotation/foot plant then the separation is created automatically.

Is the position of the arm & timing of hand break the key to developing separation or at least dramatically increasing your odds of achieving it?

I think good arm action helps promote a safe position to increase the effective of your rotation. You can have the best rotation in the world, but if you have bad arm action, the benefits from good rotation can be lost.

I’ve been working hard lately at improving my hip-shoulder rotation. I have found a couple things to be helpful in my improvement.

Stretching–You’re body will only move in ways that your muscles, joints, and ligaments will allow. I spend 15-20 minutes each day stretching my hip flexors, quads, hamstrings…One of my favorite isolation stretches is lying on my back flat on the ground and then alternating putting each knee across my body to the ground. I’m not exactly sure what the stretch is called.

Front Shoulder Awareness–Every pitch, concentrate hard on keeping your lead shoulder pointed at your target. I imagine my front shoulder leading me down a steep hill and it seems to help.

…as mentioned in a previous reply, nice, fluid arm action will help precipitate proper shoulders. Remember, turn over your plant foot, then rotate the hips, then finally the shoulders.

Practice it a thousand times at home -> Turn over back foot, rotate hips, turn shoulders and flex forward. Even if you do it slowly, your body will remember the motions. You’ll be more apt to incorporate it in your game-speed delivery if your muscles remember the proper sequence.[/b]

check out my recent posts in my pitching log. I’ve made some serious strides with hip/shoulder separation. It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for years, and only just realized how to do properly. Gave me a good boost in velocity.