Hip/Shoulder Rotation

i understand hip rotation but im confused how to get big shoulder to hip seperation. Is there anything I could do in the delivery to get a bigger difference. Its hard for me to keeps my shoulder back and move the hip. I say pretty closed but my hip to shoulder is not that good i think.

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Baseball/Pitching/RethinkingPitching/Examples/HipsRotatingBeforeShoulders.html

IMO, is a function of proper sequencing. You should time your hand break so that you reach max scap load at footplant. Paul Nyman refers to this as the ‘W’ position.

Notice the symetry not only with the arms, but between the arms and legs as well(ie: time hand break with stride towards the plate).

As you rotate your hips just before footplant, due to the timing of the handbreak, your arm will not be ready to throw at this point in the delivery. When your hips rotate your arm/shoulders will be left behind because of the arm not being in the position to throw. This helps create the rotation of the arm through the high cocked position.

This will give you what we see here…

IMO, it’s not possible for most people(especially youth pitchers) to consciously rotate hips before shoulders and create the separation that you see in high-level pitchers. I have experimented myself with this concept. If you cock your arm to your ear in a ready-to-throw position(like a catcher) and hold it and stride to throw, when you rotate your hips, your shoudlers and arm will come along as well with no separation. Just look at the video clips below of Prior and Gooden. See how they time their hand break and it coincides with their stride. This timing helps create the proper sequencing to achieve the separation between upper and lower body.

Proper sequencing is important - from the standpoint of both the proper order of events as well as the proper timing of those events. There are mechanical flaws that can destroy the timing required to delay shoulder rotation until maximum separation has been achieved.

Furthermore, your flexibility also determines how much separation you get. Some guys get a lot more separation than others.

The “W” postion isnt that one way that leads to injury. And how can i get my hip to rotate more then my hip?

Roger, how do you suggest a pitchers works on his timing?

I’ve mentioned it before, but so many pitchers come on here and ask for advice on their mechanics, etc. and all we’re seeing is 2 or 3 videos with which to judge them. Now while we can get a basic idea for the overall effectiveness of their mechanics, the real key to pitching is the repeating of solid mechanics.

Other than simply just throwing/pitching, what other ways can a pitcher work on his timing and consistency?

RIStar, I’d say rather than really worrying about your hip/shouder separation you should just focus on keeping the front side locked on the target at late as possible and having a late shoulder turn. Delaying the shoulder turn will give the hips enough time to open up (in theory).

whats the best way to delay shoulder rotation?

palo20,

You ask good questions. I agree that it’s tough to actually think about and try to do some of these things while pitching. That’s where drills come in. Drills allow you to duplicate part of the delivery in such a way that you can focus on certain aspects. Then, by doing those drills, you can get the feeling of doing certain things a certain way. So, for the purpose of separation and delayed shoulder rotation, doing House’s mirror drill and knee drill should help. Of course, as with any drill, the trick is to take what you pracice in the drill and integrate it into your live throwing. Alternating drills and live throwing helps with this integration.

With regards to separation and delayed shoulder rotation, House teaches delaying shoulder rotation as long as strength and flexibility allow. Others teach that there should be no excessive delays in the delivery as that hinders the stretch-shortening cycle of various parts of the body. I tend to think pitchers should delay shoulder rotation long enough to allow the hips to open up into a position of maximum separation (as allowed by one’s flexibility) but no longer.

Now, how does one teach these things? Well, by using drills and, as you already suggested, by using certain verbal or mental cues. I like the one you suggested of trying to keep the front side closed as opening up the front side early is probably the most common thing that destroys the timing to delay shoulder rotation.

Before achieving repeatability, one needs to get their mechanics in good working order. You obviously don’t want to repeat bad mechanics. :roll: So, having a knowledgeable pitching coach is a big plus. Beyond that, position drills can help you get use to the feeling of being in certain positions while movement drills help you practice the movements that make up your delivery in a manner that lets you focus on certain aspects and which make it easier for a coach to verify.

Now I know those who believe in specificity will argue against drills because they don’t include the entire delivery. I’ll agree that the best way to practice pitching is to pitch. But I also think that is not practical. I still feel there is value in drills.

[quote=“Roger”]Now I know those who believe in specificity will argue against drills because they don’t include the entire delivery. I’ll agree that the best way to practice pitching is to pitch. But I also think that is not practical. I still feel there is value in drills.[/quote]I’m one of those who “believes” in specificity but I’m not a believer that drills are useless. My “belief” is that drills that more closely resemble the pitching motion in its totality are more effective.

For example, to work on the timing issue of the hips rotating into landing but not the shoulders, I suggest this:

  • stand with the weight on the back foot, sideways to the target
  • the front foot is out at a relative short stride (here’s one unspecific part) with the heel up and turned away from the target.
  • the hips and shoulders are closed at this point and the foot has not turned toward home at all
  • the throwing arm is at shoulder height, with the forearm bent at a comfortable angle mimicking the pitcher’s natural tendency. Typically, the arm is at this point just before landing.

The timing issue is here. We’re asking the brain to manage 2 different actions, those being to rotate the hips toward the target WHILE externally rotating the upper arm, bringing the forearm and ball up and back through the high cocked position, which happens at landing. The other concurrent action, or non-action, is with the shoulders. They can’t open until landing.

Now, to continue this “drill”:

  • From this static position, described above, rotate that foot to landing WHILE firing the belly button, lift the ball up and complete the best pitch you can.

This is where I “believe” that pinching the shoulder blades helps. It can help with keeping those shoulders from turning due to the action of the lower body wanting to bring them with hips.

It’s these concurrent actions that seems to be the problem with the kids I’ve worked with. The “specific” part of this is that you actually throw the ball and you don’t stop the drill early. This way, the intent of reverse progressions is maintained.

The struggle I have with this “drill” is the lack of stride momentum which plays such a huge role in a complete pitch. Roger, I think it was you who suggested to me that a “rocker” type of motion might add a bit more specificity to this. I haven’t tried it but it sounds reasonable.

Yeah it was me but I give credit to House. In a few of his drills, he has the pitcher rock (actually more of a level glide) back and forth to build up some momentum.

Well, there are 2 different “flavors” of the W position(Smoltz, Clemens, Ryan). The horizontal W and the interted W(Prior, Billy Wagner, Jeremy Bonderman, Anthony Reyes). Chris O’Leary is the one who theorizes that the Inverted W puts you more stress on your shoulder possibly leading to more injuries. At this point, it’s just theory. Clemens and Nolan Ryan both had long, relatively injury-free careers. Almost all pitchers who throw hard(90-95+ MPH) get to some form of the W position.

Yes.

If I were you, I would ignore this advice. It has nothing to do with hip/shoulder separation.

Also, John Smoltz (pictured) has had a series of shoulder problems as a result of making the W.

The W isn’t necessary to velocity and only causes problems.

As I have said before, just let scap loading happen. It will if you are throwing hard enough.

Sorry, but you (and Nyman) are confusing cause and effect.

The point of max scap load occurs at the moment of foot plant because that is when the shoulders start to turn.

Scap loading is the EFFECT of throwing hard, not the CAUSE.

It looks like roger Scaps Loads on purpose. Does he or Does he not try to?

Sorry, but you (and Nyman) are confusing cause and effect.

The point of max scap load occurs at the moment of foot plant because that is when the shoulders start to turn.

Scap loading is the EFFECT of throwing hard, not the CAUSE.[/quote]

CONFUSEDcious speaks again! you just dont get it and you probably never will!!!

Sorry, but you (and Nyman) are confusing cause and effect.

The point of max scap load occurs at the moment of foot plant because that is when the shoulders start to turn.

Scap loading is the EFFECT of throwing hard, not the CAUSE.[/quote]

CONFUSEDcious speaks again! you just dont get it and you probably never will!!![/quote]

Yet another thoughtful, thought-provoking, information-laden post.

You ought to read the terms of service against personal attacks.

He certainly passes through a position that could be described as scap loading, but I have found no evidence that he, or any high-level pitcher, does it deliberately (and I have asked some).

Scap loading, like PAS forearm lay-back, is a natural consequence of rapidly rotating the shoulders. Advocating scap loading as some great secret to better pitching is as absurb as advocating PAS forearm lay-back.

They are both the EFFECT of throwing hard, not the CAUSE.

Also, the critical difference is that Clemens always keeps his elbows below the level of his shoulders.

Well, there are 2 different “flavors” of the W position(Smoltz, Clemens, Ryan). The horizontal W and the inverted W(Prior, Billy Wagner, Jeremy Bonderman, Anthony Reyes). Chris O’Leary is the one who theorizes that the Inverted W puts you more stress on your shoulder possibly leading to more injuries. At this point, it’s just theory. Clemens and Nolan Ryan both had long, relatively injury-free careers. Almost all pitchers who throw hard(90-95+ MPH) get to some form of the W position.[/quote]

I am glad that you at least appreciate the two different flavors.

However, I think there is a critical difference. IMNSHO, the Horizontal W is safe while the Inverted W is not. Of course, I would also argue that the Horizontal W is a natural occurence while the Inverted W generally is taught (which is why I have such a problem with it).

Also, Smoltz is more of an Inverted W guy, which is why he has had shoulder problems.

I agree.

However, I do think that it can be learned to a degree (but it is one thing that explains why some guys make it but most don’t).

One thing to try is to point your glove (or just your GS upper arm) at the target or to the 3B side of the target if you are a RHP (to the 1B side if you are a LHP).

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]One thing to try is to point your glove (or just your GS upper arm) at the target or to the 3B side of the target if you are a RHP (to the 1B side if you are a LHP).[/quote]When does he do that? Also, who in the majors does this, once the question of when is answered?

This advice is suspect. In all of the MLB pitchers I’ve studied, none point the glove at the target for more than a moment and even that is actually only one point in the movement along a path that just happens to point there at one moment.