Hip to shoulder separation

Does anyone have any good tips/drills to help improve hip to shoulder seperation?

Maximizing hip and shoulder separation is all about timing - timing of shoulder rotation. Specifically, late shoulder rotation buys time for the hips to fully open before the shoulders start to open. While you can consciously try to delay shoulder rotation, I think the emphasis should really be on avoiding things that cause early shoulder rotation. These include posture and glove issues. Postural shifts - especially head and spine tilt to the glove side - can pull the shoulders open early. Glove issues such as not getting to a good “equal & opposite” position or dropping, pulling or flying open with the glove can also pull the shoulder open early. So, work on these issues and your “hip and shoulder separation” should take care of itself.


Well part of my problem is I feel when I keep my shoulders back, my hips also tend to not open as well therefore I fail to get good separation due to I struggle to open my hips when I keep my shoulders back if that makes sense

Roger, Do you think a later hand break is helpful for keeping shoulders closed longer?

The degree of hip and shoulder separation a pitcher achieves - assuming no issues that would reduce it - is dictated by the pitcher’s flexibility. A pitcher with some girth (e.g. C.C. Sebathia) isn’t going to separate to the same degree as other pitchers. And there’s nothing wrong with this (obviously, C.C. Sebathia has been a good pitcher at the highest level of the game) as long as he achieves the max his flexibility does allow.

I don’t know if this addresses your concern. If you think your issue is something else, I’d probably have to see video to help you out.

I think a later hand break could help delay shoulder rotation but not necessarily as I believe messing up posture or glove would override the late hand break and still cause early shoulder rotation. Plus, posture and glove issues can lead to other issues as well so it’s really important to fix those issues. And doing so should alleviate the need to delay hand break.

Also, I always try to avoid messing with the throwing arm. It’s too difficult to know the most natural/comfortable arm path and different arm paths have different timing making it difficult to properly instruct.

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A video would help for sure. Focus on the legs early in the chain. The last bit of push and extension of the back leg off the rubber really gets the arm loaded into its elastic stretch before all of your front chest and shoulder muscles engage to accelerate the ball forward to the target.

I agree with Roger. Hip and shoulder separation is a product of mobility and movement.

Article I read from Phil Rosengren. Explains it well. “The hardest throwers in the big leagues use their lower half to create momentum and power while delaying shoulder rotation. In the process, they create incredible elastic energy and torque. When these pitchers use their hips the right way, you also tend to see their feet synced up.
So when the front foot opens into landing, you also see the back foot pop or roll off the rubber… hips open, shoulders stay closed, back-foot turns. Better Tempo Improves Hip to Shoulder Separation”

“The main lesson here is to stay away from drills and training techniques that focus on positions rather than the explosive movements needed for a powerful pitching delivery.”

“Instead of training pitchers to be slow and stiff, focus on getting pitchers to move well. And if you’re going to use pitching drills, make sure you train the hips (mobility exercises) and make your lower half more explosive… make sure they’re dynamic movements.”



“Does anyone have any good tips/drills to help improve hip to shoulder separation?”

What do you mean improve it? make it longer? more contorted?

Why would you want to increase it if it is not used to throw your arm/ball forwards?

You all realize that Hip/Shoulder separation is lengthened and shortened to get the Humerus outwardly rotated to full length don’t you ? it’s not actually used to accelerate the arm or ball.

With the late arriving Humerus of the traditional pitching approach, after Hip/shoulder separation occurs the hips and shoulders line back up when the linear acceleration phase starts.

If your Humerus arrives in time to almost full range of motion in outwards rotation, then Hip/shoulder separation can be partially used to project the ball. if you want proof of this where full range of shortening motion of the separated hips and shoulders actually are used, ask your thrower to assume the wrong foot forwards position and ask them to freeze the leg position and the counter rotate and powerfully throw to experience actual use of Hip/shoulder closing to drive the ball.

It’s best to align your pelvis and shoulder lines with the field driveline from drop in start thru rotation and recovery by pendulum swinging your arms also in line by continually outwardly rotating your ball side Humerus and forearm so it sinks up with the arrival of your glove side foot plant.