Creating Lower Half Stability to Create Upper Half Mobility

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)

Last week I posted a “before and after” shot of a proprioceptive drill that I use with our athletes to train anchoring the lower half in order to create a more stable platform at the hip and to actually allow the athlete to “feel” what we are attempting to train during a common throwing drill that we use with most of our throwers. It received such a great response that I decided to explain it in slightly more detail. You can view the post here:

Many times with reverse throws, athletes will substitute hip mobility for a lack of t- spine mobility. This is demonstrated by a lead leg that “caves in” (video on on left) taking all tension out of the core and giving the athlete a false sense of t-pine rotation. By pulling athletes “into” their compromised movement strategy (video on right) we allow them to feel the faulty pattern and resist- creating more stability in the lower half to better rotate from and maintain better tension in the core at the same time.

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Basically, what is happening is that by forcing internal rotation at the hip, the athlete is creating excess “slack” in the core in order to facilitate adequate rotation in the thoracic spine. This also produces a “mock” rotation at the t-spine and thus not training what the drill is intended to accomplish, which is trunk counter-rotation and trunk stacking in order to ultimately activate the posterior shoulder musculature as well as feel efficient hip/shoulder separation.

By placing the band around the knee and pulling the athlete further into internal rotation, we help provide an external force which helps facilitate/activate the local hip stabilizers especially the external rotators such as the piriformis. In other words, the athlete is forced into their faulty movement pattern and thus forcing them to activate the external rotators in order to create better stability.

By doing this, we help create better stability in the lower half and give the athlete a more stable base to throw from.  All you need are some bands…

See ya in the gym…

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