Using hips


#1

i have been told that i don’t rotated my hips fast. how do you speed them up?


#2

any ideas?


#3

I’m not sure speed of rotation is an issue for the hips (like it is for the shoulders). Timing of the rotation of the hips is probably more important. I suppose that if you delay the rotation of the hips then they will be forced to rotate faster when they do rotate.


#4

Roger can you explain this further, also what are some good ways of getting the timing down, just have someone watch you?


#5

Yes, speed of hip rotation is extremely important. It relates directly to ball speed. Increase one, and the other does too. The best way to do this is to pull the glove directly into the chest, as opposed to holding the glove over the front knee, as suggested by Tom House. Think of a figure skater; they pull their arms closer to the trunk to increase speed of rotation. Holding the glove over the front knee decreases trunk speed, and therefore, ball speed. These were findings by ASMI. They told me this when I went there for a biomechanical evaluation recently(I would recommend it to everyone as well) and what they told me has increased my consistency, control, and velocity almost overnight.


#6

[quote=“rmbrady91”]The best way to do this is to pull the glove directly into the chest. Think of a figure skater; they pull their arms closer to the trunk to increase speed of rotation. Holding the glove over the front knee decreases trunk speed, and therefore, ball speed.[/quote]Dubious statements, at best. If you watch video of MLB pitchers frame by frame, you’ll see that the front side arm reaches a fully scap loaded position prior to shoulder rotation. From that point on, there is very little, if any contribution by the glove side arm.

It’s more accurate, but not completely, to say that the front side shoulder actually becomes a stationary axis for the other one to rotate around. So, bring the chest to the glove or glove to the chest, I think it’s six of one or half a dozen of the other in terms of benefit. Now, if we talk about productive cues, my personal OPINION is that bringing the chest to the glove isn’t bad.

What House noted in his first book (I believe it was his first, correct me here Roger if I’m wrong), is that hard throwing pitchers have the glove ahead of the hip at release. This hints at the chest to glove cue being more accurate.

As I’ve done in the past on this board, I’ll say that all the talk about chest to glove or glove to chest is moot. We’re “barking up the wrong tree”. This is one component of what should be a unified whole. Let’s put it all in the context of overall timing, hip/shoulder separation AT THE RIGHT TIME, good arm action facilitating a smooth transition for a whipping motion AT THE RIGHT TIME, good back leg contribution to hip rotation AT THE RIGHT TIME, good shoulder rotation AT THE RIGHT TIME, good trunk forward felxion AT THE RIGHT TIME, etc., etc.


#7

Pulling the glove back to the chest wasn’t my opinion, it is what ASMI told me to do. They have countless pro, college, and youth/high school pitchers in their database, and their conclusion is that pulling the glove to the chest is the best way to increase hip rotation(not because you pull the glove in powerfully, but because the glove must be tucked when you’re rotating). Leaving it over the front foot tends to decrease trunk rotation speed apparently. I used to hold it over my front foot(I used the mechanics Tom House suggested), but now I’m throwing harder and more consistently by pulling the glove to my chest.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say the glove has to be tucked when you start to rotate, and they think pulling it to the chest is the best way to do it.


#8

If pulling the glove can help hip rotation, then you’ve got things seriously out of sequence. Maybe you meant to say pulling the glove can help with shoulder rotation?

But, think about the delayed shoulder rotation piece of the mechanics. If the shoulders don’t rotate immediately after the hips rotate, then does it really matter how fast the hips rotate? Not directly. Maybe indirectly the speed of hip rotation affects the degree of separation between hips and shoulders but it does not directly affect shoulder rotation.

Regardless, pulling the glove leads to timing problems. Specifically, you need to make sure you don’t pull too soon. Doing so will reduce the delay in your shoulder rotation, it will cause the shoulders to open too soon, it will pull the release point back, it will lead to a more inconstent release point, and it will cause you to throw more with the arm and less with the body thereby increasing your chances for injury. But what does a pitcher who pulls his glove do when he tries to throw harder? He pulls harder - and probably sooner - because hes trying to get more into his throw.


#9

[quote=“Roger”]If pulling the glove can help hip rotation, then you’ve got things seriously out of sequence. Maybe you meant to say pulling the glove can help with shoulder rotation?

But, think about the delayed shoulder rotation piece of the mechanics. If the shoulders don’t rotate immediately after the hips rotate, then does it really matter how fast the hips rotate? Not directly. Maybe indirectly the speed of hip rotation affects the degree of separation between hips and shoulders but it does not directly affect shoulder rotation.

Regardless, pulling the glove leads to timing problems. Specifically, you need to make sure you don’t pull too soon. Doing so will reduce the delay in your shoulder rotation, it will cause the shoulders to open too soon, it will pull the release point back, it will lead to a more inconstent release point, and it will cause you to throw more with the arm and less with the body thereby increasing your chances for injury. But what does a pitcher who pulls his glove do when he tries to throw harder? He pulls harder - and probably sooner - because hes trying to get more into his throw.[/quote]

Pulling the glove in isn’t used to generate power, its used to tuck the glove in so your body can rotate faster, translating into more ball speed. Like I said earlier, think of a figure skater, they always tuck their arms into the side when they want to rotate faster. I asked specifically about holding the glove over the front foot at ASMI, and they told me all it does is slow down the rotation of the trunk, so you lose velocity. I don’t know how or why this works, it just does. They have found it out through countless biomechanical evaluations of college and pro pitchers, and what the injury free successful pitchers do. One pitcher who has been extremely successful since visiting ASMI is Scott Kazmir.


#10

I don’t like the figure skater analogy because spinning skater spins many times while a pitcher’s torso makes only one 90-degree turn. I just can’t see centrifugal force being a big factor.

Keeping the glove out over the front foot may slow down the rotation of the trunk but by how much? Is it significant? Or is it just some small but measurable amount? Even if it is significant, I feel that the problems associated with pulling the glove outweigh any loss in speed of rotation. Consistency in hitting one’s spots, the ability to change speeds, and good movement all outweigh velocity in my book. Just my opinion.


#11

[quote=“Roger”]I don’t like the figure skater analogy because spinning skater spins many times while a pitcher’s torso makes only one 90-degree turn. I just can’t see centrifugal force being a big factor.

Keeping the glove out over the front foot may slow down the rotation of the trunk but by how much? Is it significant? Or is it just some small but measurable amount? Even if it is significant, I feel that the problems associated with pulling the glove outweigh any loss in speed of rotation. Consistency in hitting one’s spots, the ability to change speeds, and good movement all outweigh velocity in my book. Just my opinion.[/quote]

It’s funny you say that, because they actually told me centrifugal force is a large factor. Im not sure how significant holding the glove over the front foot, but it does slow down trunk rotation at least by some degree. Also, since following their mechanical advice(they advise the arm action should be very similar to the horizontal W talked about many times on these forums), I have been much more consistent with my control, and the movement and consistency of my off speed(curve/change) has been drastically improved. It seems the extra velocity of the glove pull/tuck is just an added bonus.


#12

is there any drills to work on shoulder and hip separation?


#13

Supposedly one of the things Tom House’s towel drill helps to check is hip/shoulder seperation. Here it is, Roger wrote this by the way, not me:

Setup:
From a pitching rubber or any mark on the ground, batter goes through his pitching motion and marks where the toe of his stride foot plants. From that point, pitcher takes 5 heal-to-toe steps forward. Partner holds a target (usually a glove) above the position of the 5th step at a height equal to the batter’s eye level at his release.

Drill:
Pitcher holds a hand towel between 1st and 2nd fingers such that about 12" of towel extends out. From the pitching rubber or mark on the ground, pitcher goes through his pitching motion and tries to hit the target glove with the towel.

Comments:
This drill is good for practicing maintaining good posture and balance, getting the hips going, getting a good stride length, getting good separation of hips and shoulders, and delaying shoulder rotation. It will also provide good feedback as any miscues will cause the towel to miss its target. Note that if a pitcher just can’t a target at the stride-plus-five distance, then they should shorten the distance - it is better to perform this drill as perfectly as possible than it is to hit the target.


#14

I’ve posted various drills in the past - most of them being from Tom House and the NPA. House and the NPA have identified a set of drills that specifically support the mechanics that they teach. Do the other pitching “gurus” also recommend spcific drills to support the mechanics they teach? (I suppose Dick Mills only endorses pitching off a mound due to his “specificity of training” ideas. Correct?)


#15

I’m not sure, but I really like the towel drill. I’ve been using it ever since I read The Art and Science of Pitching, and I think it’s great to check for overall quality timing and consistency of mechanics without putting stress on the arm.


#16

[quote=“Roger”]Do the other pitching “gurus” also recommend spcific drills to support the mechanics they teach? (I suppose Dick Mills only endorses pitching off a mound due to his “specificity of training” ideas. Correct?)[/quote]Almost correct re: Mills but not quite. He would use drills in basically 2 situations. The first would be for a rank beginner. As the desired component movement pattern is learned, he recommends you stop those isolated drills. The second, and more fruitful use of drills in his teachings, would be in the context of “reverse progressions”. This would mean that, if you wanted to work on arm action, you would only do it if you continued on to throw the ball with the rest of the game situation mechanics. In other words, keep it in context to the end of the throw. For example, he would not recommend the one knee drill with the intent of isolating the arm. He would rather you stay standing and finish the pitch. He believes that, to make optimum use of training time, you should make things as specific as you can because there is more effective transfer to the game situation if you do so.

I’ve used a reverse progression approach with success and highly recommend it.


#17

when exactly should the hips start to rotate?


#18

At least after 75% of the stride length. The foot should start to rotate towards to plate. The later you rotate the hips, the better(takes more stress off of arm, more power).