Opening hips before plant!?

Anybody knows whether thats good or bad?
Obviously it cant be terrible but…

Chapman slams open before plant.

Romo waits till plant.

Chapman waits till plant.

Chapman slams open before plant.

I don’t think it’s possible to stride without rotating the hips, so seeing hip rotation before foot strike is normal.

I see him squared up at plant. He’s definitely rotating forward prior to plant (normal), and he’s right where he should be at plant.

The big thing that helps him is his shoulder position just as he’s about to have foot strike. He’s almost beyond 90 degrees of shoulder rotation in relation to his hip position. Anything over 60 degrees is good. Approaching 90 is ideal. Over 90 is amazing. He’s really loading up the torque!

Agreed…but if you look at these videos from chapman and cain you will notice that ac hips are way further open than cains at full plant.

@30

@16

So in a vacuum…would it be optimal to plant like as closed as possible or like to plant as open as possible? (Hipwise ofc)

tnx

I apologize if I don’t understand your question properly. What I think you are after is the moment that hip turn should begin. That is wildly different from pitcher to pitcher. I see in the Cain video that his belt buckle is facing the target when he’s on the ball of front foot, just at the proper moment. When AC is on the ball of his front foot, the two look identical. They get there a different way, but that is the key commonality. They take different buses to get to the same stadium.

Commonalities at foot touch:
-the upper body is balanced over the lower half with the glove somewhere over or near the front foot
-the throwing hand is back
-the head is stationary, balanced, and facing the target
-the shoulders are in line with the target and the stride

As energy begins to transfer up the strike leg when they get to the ball of the strike foot:
-the throwing hand comes up
-the glove hand and head remain relatively stationary from this point through to full hip rotation

As energy begins to pass the hips and up the spine:
-the shoulders should be at max torque (60-90 degrees in relation to the hips)

From this point, the shoulders come around quickly as the energy load rockets into the shoulder and arm. At release, both elbows are ahead of the torso, the glove is still in the same position as it was at foot strike, and the release is forward of everything.

It’s normal for the hips to start opening into foot plant and then to finish opening after foot plant. For most pitchers, the hips have to start opening prior to foot plant to allow the front leg and foot to open into foot plant. How much they open is dictated by the pitcher’s flexibility.

The part of hip rotation that occurs before foot plant is usually slower than that which occurs after foot plant so the more you can delay hip rotation until after foot plant, the better for energy transfer up the chain.

[quote=“Roger” How much they open is dictated by the pitcher’s flexibility.[/quote]

I think there is much more to it than flexibility, mobility is the better term IMO. The tempo of the center mass, momentum, mobility, etc…

[quote]
The part of hip rotation that occurs before foot plant is usually slower than that which occurs after foot plant so the more you can delay hip rotation until after foot plant, the better for energy transfer up the chain.[/quote]

Are you saying to try and delay hip rotation until after the front foot is contact with the ground? [/quote]

There are so many factors and variables in this equation. I think momentum and acceleration of the center mass plays a big role in the picture. I would never tell anyone to wait until after foot plant to begin rotating the hips.

The goal for the delivery is to link the arm action to the hip rotation at its highest speeds. Once the front foot braces, the hips actually begin to slow down, not accelerate. You want to ärrest the hips to effecitively transfer the energy up the chain.

The lower body is the foundation for the upper body to rotate. If you’re trying to actively rotate the hips after foot plant, you wont have a stable foundation.

The second part of the equation is separation. Get the hips opening before the shoulders, plain and simple. The faster the hips rotate, the faster the shoulders rotate. If you wait or try to delay hip rotation until after contacting the ground, you’re not going to get much separation.

Many times, IMO, I see guys with longer arm actions that open the hips later (Verlander) and guys that don’t necessarily accelerate the center mass effectively.

Keys to effective hip rotation:

  1. Mobility/stability in the hips
  2. Control of the center mass
  3. Momentum and tempo
  4. Loading/unloading of the hips (goes back to controlling the center mass)

I think there is much more to it than flexibility, mobility is the better term IMO. The tempo of the center mass, momentum, mobility, etc…

[quote]
The part of hip rotation that occurs before foot plant is usually slower than that which occurs after foot plant so the more you can delay hip rotation until after foot plant, the better for energy transfer up the chain.[/quote]

Are you saying to try and delay hip rotation until after the front foot is contact with the ground? [/quote]

No. Just trying to make the point that later rotation is generally better. We’ve all seen pitchers who immediately open the front leg and step down the hill instead of keeping the front leg closed while leading with the front hip and riding the back leg down the hill. Later rotation is usually more explosive. IMHO, of course.

In general, I don’t instruct hip rotation. I believe any attempt to directly manipulate hip rotation just makes you robotic and slows you down. So, to answer your question, I would not try to deliberately delay hip rotation. Instead, I would suggest making sure to avoid doing those things that might cause the hips to “leak” open early.

Agreed on the complexity of the matter.

As I stated in my previous reply, I don’t directly instruct hip rotation so I would never tell anyone to do anything with their hip rotation. I might, however, adjust a pitcher’s tempo in order to effect a timing change such as making the hip rotation occur later relative to other parts of the delivery.

So, yes, I agree with you that there is an element of timing involved in this matter. Remembering that there are always 2 ways of looking at things, the hips opening early could be looked at as something else being late and speeding up that something else could result in everything being relatively well-timed. But you have to be careful here. Opening the hips early to buy more time to achieve maximum separation may sound like a good tactic but it will likely have some negative consequences such as a shorter stride. Everything needs to be in balance - well-timed relative to each other while creating and transferring as much energy as possible.

To my eyes, I see the hips speed up after the front leg braces before it slows and stops. It happens in just a moment but that is what I think I see. I don’t have a motion analysis lab in which to take measurements to confirm this, however.

I agree that the hips coming to a stop transfers energy up the chain.

I’d agree with that. And I’d go further and say you’ll likely mess up your timing.

Only if you achieve maximum separation to optimize the stretch-shortening cycle. But I’m sure you know that.

All I’m saying is don’t let the hips go early. But, of course, you’ve got to take care of business (e.g. posture, glove, etc.) to allow the shoulders to delay as long as possible or at least as long as is necessary for the hips to fully rotate.

[quote]Many times, IMO, I see guys with longer arm actions that open the hips later (Verlander) and guys that don’t necessarily accelerate the center mass effectively.

Keys to effective hip rotation:

  1. Mobility/stability in the hips
  2. Control of the center mass
  3. Momentum and tempo
  4. Loading/unloading of the hips (goes back to controlling the center mass)[/quote]

Great dialogue and thoughts

Roger,

Great point on the stretch shortening cycle. Absolutely, the reason separation is key.

Personally, the area that separates players is the ability to control the center mass. Guys that do that reach their potential, guys that don’t, never will reach max potential.

Ok…so nobody really really really agrees and nobody really really really disagrees right?
After having watched a rather large number of videos on youtube…mainly laflippins-)…i think its rather safe to say there are no absolutes when it comes to pitching.
Aces who dont stride, aces who fall, aces who rotate early and aces who rotate late, aces who…well you get the point!-)

Im at the point now where i am not going to change anything on my pitcher but work with the stuff he does well rather than work on the stuff he doesnt do well.

In the end we will be working on getting better and better…and hey, all pitchers are different right?

Im not saying im right bout this…i might even change my mind within the next 24h.
Im just saying: if theres no definite answer to anything with regards to pitching…why even bother right?
For every aspect of pitching i will probably be able to find an ace on youtube who will prove you wrong right?

Any thoughts on that?
tnx

You are correct - there are no absolutes. There are exceptions to everything. This is what makes at least a part of coaching pitchers an art.

Mechanical “inadequacies” (for lack of a better word) don’t automatically translate into problems that need to be fixed. Working to improve what’s already working relatively well is fine as long as there are no deficiencies that would interfere.

Great discussion and excellent input from all sides. Also, awesome videos by laflippin, Chapman is unbelievable.

Not too much to add but will offer my take…

I’d first just say that yes, I agree every pitcher is different, and there are a lot of different ways to get it done. That said, there are definitely key components to the pitching delivery for maximizing velocity (which I’m assuming was the gist of the original question, but I could be wrong) , and achieving hip to shoulder separation at or just prior to front foot plant is one of them (and while Chapman is exceptional with his separation, Cain still shows hips opening into front foot plant, belt buckle somewhere between home and 3rd).

As to the discussion about when hip rotation starts, I think Roger and ThinkTank both made good points. You definitely don’t want to open too early coming out of your leg lift, so in that sense, yes you do want to rotate late. But I agree with Think, I’d never instruct a pitcher to wait until front foot plant to rotate the hips.

When looking at a lot of youth pitchers as compared to elite, big league pitchers, this timing is one of the things that stands out time and time again. With elite hard throwers you tend to see (I hesitate to say “always see” because inevitably some exception will turn up) hips opening into front foot plant while shoulders remain closed (hip/shoulder sep, torque, etc).

I see guys who open way too early (loss of rotational power), and I see young pitchers who just stride sideways and don’t initiate rotation til front foot plant (more common in my experience). both result in less powerful rotation. With guys who open hips too late you tend to see the back foot stuck on the pitching rubber at front foot plant, whereas the high velo guys usually have exploded into front foot plant, back foot has turned and in many cases pulled off the rubber.

One thing I’d add regarding something Roger first mentioned about hip rotation after FFP being faster… the majority of hip rotation should happen just prior to front foot plant, but then if you brace up well with the front leg, this forces the front hip back while the back hip is rotating forward/around, so could speed rotation further (though I can’t say definitively since I haven’t seen it measured).

Clearly a lot of moving parts and lot of different factors to consider, as others mentioned. But for me, basic principles are:

-Early momentum (get moving towards home plate as you come out your leg lift)
-Keep the hips loaded (closed) in the early stride phase
-Powerful back leg drive
-Rotate late into front foot plant (shoulders closed, separation/torque)
-Stable front side

Again, great discussion, sorry for the long winded post.

[quote]But for me, basic principles are:

-Early momentum (get moving towards home plate as you come out your leg lift)
-Keep the hips loaded (closed) in the early stride phase
-Powerful back leg drive
-Rotate late into front foot plant (shoulders closed, separation/torque)
-Stable front side

Again, great discussion, sorry for the long winded post.[/quote]

Geat summary. I think of the leg drive portion more in terms of back hip thrust. I think it translates more energy up the spine while torquing the shoulders for max separation. All-in-all good stuff.

The Momentum Pitching response is that the time to start your hip rotation is as your sideways movement is reaching it’s maximum velocity -after your final rear leg thrust.

The time to start any segment is as the previous one reaches top speed.

But as I think it has been well covered in this thread already, there’s a big part to be played by individuality.