Specifications on Hip/Torso Separation

I am trying to figure out what exactly is separated in the hip/torso separation. The hips refers to the hip bone. Does the other part refer to both of the shoulders, only the back shoulder, or the back side arm?

Think of it this way:

Draw an imaginary line through your pelvis, from right side to left. Hold that thought.

Now, draw a line through your shoulders, from right to left side.

Next, think of what the angle between those two lines would be if you were in the set position and you could look down at yourself from directly overhead.

The angle between those lines would be zero at the start of this thought-experiment. As you started to stride forward, with your hips and shoulders still “closed”, the angle would remain zero. However, somewhere in your stride, your hips will begin to “open” toward home plate. That typically should happen before your shoulders open, so you will be creating hip-shoulder separation at that point.

Go back to the overhead view of those lines through your pelvis and shoulders… as your hips open, with shoulders still closed, the angle betwee the lines will change. From an overhead view the difference between the lines starts to look like an “X”.

Very soon after your stride foot plants, the angle between your pelvis-line and your shoulders-line should be at its maximum, then your shoulders will rotate open as you launch the ball to home plate.

Sometimes hip-shoulder separation is referred to as the “X-factor”, because it is useful to think of it in this way, i.e., an overhead view of the rotational position difference between your hips and your shoulders.

Creating hip-shoulder separation during your stride stores potential energy in your core muscle groups…that potential energy is released as kinetic energy during launch of the baseball. Thus, within anatomical limits, the more hip-shoulder separation the better.

Tom House’s research measurements suggest that 40 - 60 degrees is the range for most big league pitchers. However, note that there is a lot of latitude within that range–pitchers’ individual mechanics may be optimal for them, even though they differ greatly from one another.

Thanks LAflippin. That really helps me completely understand the separation.

laflippin gave a great text book explanation.

Short answer is that what is separated is the front hip and back shoulder. Think of trying to keep the shoulders closed long enough to put as much distance between the front hip and the back shoulder as possible.

BenFA,

The core rotational muscles that are lengthened by their antagonist muscles are what is separated. They take the acromial line (line that runs across the tips of the shoulders) away from the acetabular line (the line that runs across from hip joint to hip joint) that realign back to parallel with each other just before the acceleration phase starts.

This mechanical action is actually unnecessary to perform the Humeral/forearm transition phase that it is produced during and leads to over early rotation that is a gateway mechanic to forearm flyout and all the injuries associated with the ball side shoulder and elbow. This mechanical action adds no velocity to a pitch in that it is performed then relaxed back long before the acceleration phase starts with the traditional pitching motion.

Since the believers in Hip/shoulder separation use Tim Lincecum as their poster child for this mechanical belief, lets use him as our model, although you can get this information off of any high speed video of any traditional leg lift crotch slits driver that has been stopped at the key points of each phase finish and the next’s start.

If you will notice here with lincecum he has almost no hip rotation during the start of the acceleration phase at frame 130 and all previously attained hip/shoulder separation were contracted and lost during the previous Humeral/forearm transition phase during frames 88 to 130. You will also notice that the traditional pitching motion has little hip shoulder rotation during the acceleration contractions and the shoulders actually get ahead of the hips half way through the acceleration phase. Eye opening isn’t it?

First of all, yardbird is better known as the Marshall true believer named dirtberry on most other forums.

Secondly, Marshall and his understanding of the kinetic chain is not supported by modern-day researchers and kinesiologists. The idea that the hips do not contribute to release velocity because they rotated before positive x-plane acceleration of the baseball is not an accepted fact in the current understanding of exercise science or kinesiology.

Pick up any modern textbook explaining the kinetic chain and sequencing of events and it will explain the concept of proximal to distal, largest to smallest body parts contributing in a chain-like fashion where the distal end does not need to be accelerating while the proximal end is contributing segmental velocity. In fact, if the distal end is accelerating towards the target while the proximal end is contributing velocity, this is an immature and poor movement pattern that will result in lower distal end projectile speed and/or performance (in this case, fastball velocity).

Marshall et al. have contributed no peer-reviewed research that refutes the current-day understanding of kinetic actions and should be viewed as such: An untested theory with no merit behind it.

Marshall likes to hold up elite javelin throwers as his gold standard for how to throw an implement. If you watch any slow motion / high-speed video of elite javelin throwers on YouTube, you will see the exact same hip/torso separation as elite baseball throwers.

In fact, you will see this in all throwing events: Discus, Javelin, Shot Put, Baseball, Cricket, etc.

ASMI’s studies show that Marshall’s pitchers generate slightly less (but similar) rotational speeds around the trunk and pelvis (in some areas, not all) but that the % of time that they generate this maximum velocity is over a much longer period than elite baseball throwers. What we know is that pitchers who throw 80-89 MPH spend less time generating this maximum rotational speed than pitchers who throw 70-79 MPH. This data can be found here:

This is consistent with Marshall’s teachings; he wants a smooth acceleration and no separation between the hips and upper trunk. His athletes appear to be able to do this (though they generally cannot do other things he says they should do). Sadly for him, his theories on this generating better arm speed are empirically false based on ASMI’s data, which matches up with our current understanding of the kinetic chain - that proper sequencing of rotational velocities from segment to segment matters the most when generating distal end velocities.

Please keep in mind I’m not going to directly rebut any of dirtberry’s arguments because he has repeatedly shown himself to be unable to perform independent validation of his ideas, so if the OP or anyone else has questions that derive from his statements, you’ll have to restate them for me.

Kyle,

Wow, You have outdone any of your previous abashments here. What a sleuth.
What does Dr.marshall have to do with anything I have just proposed in that video analysis, you might do better sticking to the subject rather than starting another Dr.marshall thread that you have complained about in past posts here. It’s a little different when you have impunity to besmirch without rebuttal, what a surprise to see me here A
Why is it you react with such poison, would it be because he has straightened you out so many times at his web site through personal e-mails published publicly? You needn’t be afraid, he won’t show up here, it’s only me and the thread was about separation not how you feel about Dr.Marshall

Are you sure that the Kinetic chain has been re-defined to mean “proximal to distal, largest to smallest body parts contributing in a chain-like fashion”, some times the body part is larger at the leading side of a particular joint, I was sure the Kinetic chain meant force culminates from Joint to joint muscular actions? What has changed since professor. Marshall taught you most of what you know about Kinesiology?

Now be nice and go back and try again without being mad and talk about what you actually see in the video. Like when does the acceleration phase start? Do you believe like most that it starts at frame 88 ?

I do sort of agree that the hips opening does not directly add velocity to the throw. It is my experience that the lower body plays more of an indirect role in generating velocity, that is, allowing the upper body to get in the most mechanically efficient position to rotate.

to relate this to something similar from my training
Lets say we’re hitting a tire with a sledgehammer. We’re starting out sideways to the target, taking a step and trying to generate as much downhill/rotational force as possible. Granted, the mechanics are not exactly the same as throwing, but when we look at this example - with significantly increased load, it seems obvious that the lower half is playing a supportive role in the movement. That is, the POWER is not being generated from the lower half. Forward momentum is being generated, but other than that the lower half is simply putting the upper half in an optimal position to rotate and swing the sledgehammer - or throw the baseball( shoulders fully closed, scaps pinched, thoracic spine arched, etc) with maximum leverage. This doesn’t mean the lower half and the hips aren’t important! It just means that they are not directly supplying/generating much of the power in the throw

you don’t get to this position unless the lower half is doing its role to support the upper half -

where yardbird/dirtberry is wrong is thinking that just because those hips opening up is not directly generating power in the throw (or a significant amount, at least) that this part of the delivery can be altogether eliminated, as in Marshall mechanics. The quick opening of the hips puts the torso and upper half on stretch, allowing the thrower to be in a position that they would not otherwise be able to get into, and one that is most mechanically efficient and allows for rotation.

Nice post Lanky,

[quote]
“where yardbird is wrong is thinking that just because those hips opening up is not directly generating power in the throw (or a significant amount, at least) that this part of the delivery can be altogether eliminated, as in Marshall mechanics.”[/quote]

I don’t think it should be eliminated, I just said it was wasted
Actually the difference is with the traditional long striders with their late Humeral/Forearm Transition this is the case, the hips and shoulders catch back up to each other during H/FT where it is lost long before the acceleration phase starts. Marshall pitchers get their H/FT early so the slight separation is used during the acceleration phase and the rotations.

Yes, full length core contractions are linear now through angulation because this quick opening is lost by arm timing, it is performed to early during the H/FT phase instead of during the acceleration phase.

Posturally very powerful but rotationally inefficient other than the arm if you also perform a lower arm vector.

Watch the video closely, notice all rotations and body momentum have stopped long before the acceleration phase starts at 130, it’s core angulations and arm speed with Lincecum because he is so over the top axipetally. This should provoke re-thinking in those that believe the arm is just going along for the ride!

Lanky do you have any Chapman video to cross check what he is actually doing, it would be even better than the Lincecum video in that he performs forearm fly (centripetaly) out unlike Lincecum who performs (axipetaly) high arm vector.

[quote=“yardbird”]… it is lost long before the acceleration phase starts.[/quote]No, not “lost”. It has completed it’s effective role in the sequential events. One part in preparation/enhancement of the next.

[quote=“yardbird”]Marshall pitchers get their H/FT early so the slight separation is used during the acceleration phase and the rotations.[/quote]Let’s not use Marshall pitchers as models when speaking of velocity.

[quote=“yardbird”]… it is performed to early during the H/FT phase instead of during the acceleration phase.[/quote]Again, preparatory and completing a step in the sequence. Speaking of the “acceleration phase” is in the context of how you, or Marshall, would have it defined. You can break things down into “phases” all you want and define them however you want but the truth remains that the “totality” of the mechanics you so often deride have proven, without doubt, to allow for high velocities. Speaking of the “acceleration phase” with your definition, is irrelevant here. Again, it’s a “totality” of parts, smoothly and efficiently sequenced that has resulted in the high velos it has over the history of the game.

[quote=“lankylefty”]…allowing the thrower to be in a position that they would not otherwise be able to get into”[/quote]I don’t think “being in a position to throw” is sufficient. If you were to simply start in that position, the results would be poor. There’s more to it than just getting into that advantageous position.

Really, gents. The “proof is in the pudding”. Regardless of where some nebulous “acceleration phase” might be or the alleged existence of “inefficiencies”, the mechanics we’re speaking about here have historically allowed for high velocities and those who don’t employ these techniques effectively haven’t gotten there. So, regarding high velocities, traditional sequencing mechanics = many, many, not using them = zero?

[quote=“yardbird”]

Watch the video closely, notice all rotations and body momentum have stopped long before the acceleration phase starts at 130, it’s core angulations and arm speed with Lincecum because he is so over the top axipetally. This should provoke re-thinking in those that believe the arm is just going along for the ride!

Lanky do you have any Chapman video to cross check what he is actually doing, it would be even better than the Lincecum video in that he performs forearm fly (centripetaly) out unlike Lincecum who performs (axipetaly) high arm vector.[/quote]

I’m personally not a believer that the arm is “along for the ride.” I think the arm plays a very active role in the delivery, but that does not mean that traditional hip rotation is a “Wasted movement.”

I don’t see the lower half directly providing much of the power in the delivery, but to say that the quick hip rotation is not placing the torso on stretch resulting in a more forceful contraction (stretch-reflex) seems wrong to me. It may seem like all of the energy has dissipated in slow motion video, but at full speed I think the stretch-reflex is very much a factor in why hip shoulder separation seems so critical for velocity.

LL:

Your ideas have some backing in research.

http://w4.ub.uni-konstanz.de/cpa/article/view/687/607

You might find this article interesting regarding hip/shoulder rotational velocities.

The research here also backs up what ASMI’s studies show - that maximum rotational velocities occur sooner in a % of time model for the hip and shoulder in hard throwing pitchers. In other words, pitchers who throw harder achieve their maximum rotational velocities around the hip and shoulders at an earlier point in the delivery.

Dm59,

[quote]
“No, not “lost”. It has completed it’s effective role in the sequential events. One part in preparation/enhancement of the next”[/quote]
It has completed is role in postural assignment, the enhancement part is what is in question and exposed by high speed video.

We were not speaking of velocity! He was speaking of the hips opening up. Marshall is the bone you and Kyle seem to want to pick with out any direct experience (?) with it, I was explaining that the full Crowstep delivery that Lanky suggested did not attain this hip property actually did. Besides the velocity potential of using both legs during the acceleration phase (the Crowstep motion) as compared to the velocity potential of the one leg traditional crotch drive where this potential is lost through humeral timing is much greater now that you have mentioned it.

Again I have not mentioned Dr.Marshall, this is your take and that would be did.

Yes , this is what I want and have done, in that this is how Kinesiological diagnosis is carried out in better detail that is usually glossed over in real time and un-seen by it’s ballistic nature.

This is a given and I have never derided this velocity potential, I can be blamed for deriding it’s injurious affect. This “totality” is in question here.

What would be your term for this timeline when the ball actually starts gaining positive math or forwards movement? I think “acceleration phase” pretty much is self explanatory and you probably understood what I said with out explaining it. This is also a classic Kinesiological call out when describing thrown objects no matter what they are, I hope you have no further problems with the term, for you I will use your term if you insist.

On the contrary, as I have laid out in my explanation it shows that no ball acceleration has started before this phase kicks in meaning there is actually no momentum gained by the traditional one legged groin drive and very little rotational hip and shoulder drive that were my original contentions. All the previous phases were taken up in getting the arm in position to actually throw it.

Not really!! High velocities are produced by high percentages of fast twitch muscle fibers compared to slow twitch ones that are produced by the arm and Torso angulations with Lincecum although Lincecum is far from traditional at the top half. In the distant past (history of the game) many of the mechanical performers actually used their rotation during the acceleration phase and some used their leg momentum also, this is when they were allowed to get their Humerus into position earlier by supinating their pendulum swings. This is now coming back more and more every year.

This would be a different mechanic where you would not have reached full length to then contract from this full length or attain any theoretical SSC. Apples and oranges giving you “the results that would be poor”

Like?

The proof is in the video!

Nebulous? Please tell me why this term employs Vagueness.

This is the claim, deal.

Again this is not in dispute! The claim was what contributed!

This is disputable!

Don Larson and Kevein Gregg would disagree. Larsons velocity took an immediate gain when he eliminated the traditional useless leg lift but then I was not talking about velocity.

Lanky,

I agree that it not wasted in attaining postural length but the rotational effect adds no acceleration.

It’s to ballistic to see any arm timings, only high speed slow mo at the right angle(side view or overhead)can give you pertinent information.

This is not what I said and I agree with you.

A complete stop with many frames in between before acceleration starts shows the rotational energy has ended.

The theoretical neural signal of SSC has long passed when H/S separation has shortened and it is long before the acceleration phase has started. Like I said it is an eye opener when you watch what the arm is doing in conjunction with what the legs, hips, torso and shoulders are doing when you have time to see it, this is why anecdotal in situ live observance leads people to wrong conclusions.

The vast, vast majority of what yardbird/dirtberry/Marshall claim can be effectively rebutted with:

laflippin- great explanation. these people have no idea about pitching mechanics saying the lower half has no nothing to do with velocity. How isnt the arm just along for the ride, the only thing the arm is really doing is getting up and having good timing before you front leg touches the ground and even that has to do with your body. Your trunk is throwing your arm.

I would love to here your explanation about how your arm is just along for the ride because from what i know i dont think it is but i could be wrong.

And from what your stating you dont think Dick Mills knows what hes talking about.?

Kyle,

I am the only one here! Your bitter speak says volumes. Why don’t you calm down now it’s been 2 days since I showed up and I would hope you could chime in with some useful information thought out by your own intellect instead of referencing others contentions that are not even being discussed.
If you feel the need to discuss Dr.Marshall as I said go for it in the right context in it’s own thread, like I said I have read what you and others have said uncontested in the past and you have gotten away with it up till now. You are so negatively fixated on Dr.Marshall that you can’t even be objective anymore like you used to be, when he was not even in the subject of the thread, I hope this changes in the future but I’m not holding my breath anymore.

The thread was discussing hip/shoulder separation not a vast, vast majority and cartoons rebut nothing especially when every mechanic performed has nuanced differences like Lincecum for when actual force is projected. Show us all this rebuttal citation on my analysis of Lincecums mechanical force application please! Or post your own video of someone else if you like and we can discuss what it is producing and I won’t go searching for a phantom rebuttal by someone else, I think you are capable now.
You can’t tell me there is any meaningful study or evaluation that has even discussed pre-acceleration phase movements and their ramifications on actual ball acceleration during its drive and how the contractions of each in their particular timeline that have it right, none of these so called expert testimonies have ever mentioned or produced a proper acceleration graph and plotted it against the mechanical timeline because if they did all their previous work would have now been exposed as meritless by their own hand as I have just shown you here with Lincecum and although I did not produce a proper acceleration graph for all I did say it started at frame 130 as actually seen. I have seen many Lincecum evaluations in the past and none of them discuss Humeral/forearm timing opposed to the acceleration phase timing, none, not even you have yet taken a stab at it here. Rebut if you wish, what’s holding you back?

Nothin like a good old fashioned LTP debate thread.

LaFlippen welcome back!!, Yard??? Welcome to you too.

Kevin Gregg…I was wondering when people were going to bring up his delivery, he certainly made it on a minimalist presentation (I brought him up on other, “Marshall follower places” :wink: and his delivery was repudiated as not Marshallesque…by those Marshallies in the know) :lol: .

I think Lanky hit on a key factor that neatly fits his perspective (Active D-1 pitcher) the delivery is a “process” and way point’s within the process are additive as either velo inducer or movement inducer at the bottom line or if done inefficiently are the opposite. It’s why I pick on Dick Mills every time he rears his head and starts emphasizing THE MIGHTY MO!!! All the Mo and no fundementals equals no go with all the mo…

And Kyle you are a better rhetorhical debater than ridicule.

re: "The core rotational muscles that are lengthened by their antagonist muscles are what is separated. They take the acromial line (line that runs across the tips of the shoulders) away from the acetabular line (the line that runs across from hip joint to hip joint) that realign back to parallel with each other just before the acceleration phase starts. "

The underlined part of this yardbird/dirtberry/kinexus quote is something that he gets completely incorrect, in my view.

In fact, potential energy that is briefly stored in the core rotational muscles during the process of creating hip/shoulder separation is converted to kinetic energy (acceleration) during the realignment of acromial and acetabular lines back to a parallel state.

This realignment does not occur before the acceleration phase unless the pitcher has very poor mechanics…i.e., he accelerates the ball with little more contribution than his shoulder/arm muscles. (Imagine standing still, facing HP, and pitching the ball while holding your both your shoulders and hips “open”…all acceleration would come from shoulder/arm musculature and none of the acceleration would come from hip-shoulder separation…oh, and you wouldn’t be able to get much on that throw).

Jdfromfla.,
You’re here also, what a pleasure I’ve got some reading back to do as I enjoy everything you write and debate, your thought provoking posts always contain valid arguments.

I’m only aware of Kevin Gregg because of his service with the Angels where when he played with them had a minimal exertion but more forwards facing lesser leg lifted Crow-step motion than he displays now with his higher yet still low leg lift. I had never mentioned him in the past because he did not perform the more important top half tenets other than pronating some of his pitches but he does prove velocity is not projected by the legs in it’s final phase because even his leg momentum was cancelled by his inability to time his Humeral transition with his leg drive. Neither did Don Larson but if you were to put that leg drive with Juan Marichal’s top half you would have this momentum add to the acceleration timeline.

Laflippin,
When are you going to take some of those outstanding video’s from the side (90degree) angle? This would greatly help all of us in understanding the force application timeline , , , parabolic path and force conservation better. You know we are not going to get it from the professional orgs and it is going to take amateurs like us to dig it out.

I do respect your view and seeing you for the first time write a cordial response is perplexing but welcomed.

In regards to mechanical contraction timelines and how they relate to forwards math I would be interested in hearing when you believe this math is calculated as a positive in the acceleration graph for the baseball in Lincecums particular unconventional mechanics. Where does the forwards calculation start in your opinion, is it at frame 88 like every body else has it figured? Or do you see it somewhere else?

This is exactly right! This mechanic allows for Humeral/forearm transition to attain full outwards rotation of the humerus in order that it can then be used to contract forwards acceleration.

Agreed, this realignment when performed to allow the Humerus to get into position is long before the acceleration phase as seen in the video and could be considered a poor mechanic when discussing the Kinetic chain if you wish to add the legs and hip/shoulder separation or rotation into the chain but then I would not say that to Lincecum face and then step in to bat against him!

The problem is this is not what is happening, the realignment happens way before the acceleration phase starts as seen.

Only if the Humeral outwards rotation was set at this time also!!

Everybody must realize that the ball cannot be projected until Humeral forearm outwards rotation has attained full length or close to it.