Using the hips

Looking for the optimal way to involve the hips. Does the front leg (pull) or the back leg (push) do most of the work? I believe the hips open and you want to keep your upper body close to create torque/separation to increase arm speed.

Thanks in advance,


There’s an exercise called the “Hershiser drill” which concentrates on exactly that—getting the hips into the action. You can find it in Tom House’s fine book “The Art and Science of Pitching”. 8)

to use your hips you have to control your stride with your GS stride foot while keeping ALL your weight on the back leg. Sort of like you are sittin on it for a ride. The leading of your stride foot will create momentum which will make it look like you are pushing off your back leg but you really not. All your doing is maintaning balance and weight on the back leg while your GS stride leg is leading forward.

Now you keep your GS foot pointing toward 3B during your controlled stride and turn it forward so its facing, Slightly CLOSED, toward home plate. While you are doing all this you need to keep your weight on your back leg (weight on the balls of the foot) and hold the back foot parallel to the rubber until you land. When you are about to or just landing your back foot heel will lift a bit because you have the weight on the ball of the foot.

When you land your back foot will still be parallel to the rubber and heel up (b/c weight is on ball of foot). Now to get the power from your legs and hips you have to initiate the movement with your hips cause when you turn with you hips first your back foot will be like a spring adding more drive from the lower half into your delivery. DO NOT start the movement with your foot this will open you up too early and you will lose a lot of power, start with hips then pivot hard off back foot that will act like a spring driving your hips into the delivery.

Hope this helps. Keep in mind this is just what the lower half does…you have to have too upper body mechanics/timing to go with that. but that is another topic.

Good Luck


You turn it forward when you are just about to land…

I thought the Hershiser drill was to teach you to lead with the front hip as opposed to using your hips to create torque?

Started doing this by the numbers with my son. Looking robotic but like any new skill have to go slow first. Will video him doing this tomorrow or Wednesday and post the clips.


yea drills in a nutshell are to break down specific moments in the delivery but at the end of a practice you should put them all together in a fluid motion. A pitcher shouldn’t be thinking in his head every specific thing he has to do mechanically while he is pitching…thats what drills and practice are for.

The force leading with the hip thing would cause rushing especially if they don’t have good leg strength. What makes it look like they are purposely “drifting” is when they go from the highest point in the knee lift they bend their back leg a little so they can lower their stride foot so its inches off the ground. When standing on a slope if you lift your stride knee then bring it down while bending your back leg slightly you will “drift” naturally. A pitcher doesn’t purposely stop in his delivery at the highest point of the knee lift to drift then bring down his stride leg.

Lift knee, bring it down while bending back leg slightly (just enough bend to put the stride foot inches off the ground) then do your controlled stride leading with the stride foot. like i said when you do this on a slope you will naturally drift toward home plate.

To use your hips you have to turn (point) your stride foot to home plate…but not completely pointed to home just SLIGHTLY bent toward right handed batters box (if you are a right hander) When you turn this foot to open the your back hip will want to fire but you can’t let that happen, keeping the weight on the back foot while it’s parallel to the rubber keeps the hips closed before you land.

When you land you let that back hip fire and then pivot hard off the back foot.

When you get your hips/lower half into the delivery your arm just goes for the ride. I haven’t had a sore arm ever since i learned how to use my legs and hips. I also added a lot of velocity instantly.

Note to tonyjh34: You got that right! That was exactly what happened with me; when I learned to get my whole body into the action, I wound up throwing harder and faster, with less effort. You see, there’s nothing new about certain aspects of mechanics; pitchers of more than half a century ago were doing these things. :slight_smile: