I’m sitting here in my office analyzing pitching video and thinking to myself “are folks understanding what I’m talking about when I tell them they’re not using their lower half pitching mechanics efficiently?” It prompted me to write this quick tutorial as to how lower half rotation unfolds, helping to initiate the power that ultimately gets transferred through the core and into the arm. As we go through this, we will also review what type exercise might be helpful.
- Strong Posterior
- Mobility in Adductors
- Core Stiffness
Here we go…
1. Strong Posterior
The front hip’s job is to stay closed until the back hip starts to rotate, back to front. However, for the taller and more elastic pitchers, sometimes opening the front hip sooner will help make use of their ability to create more hip and shoulder separation (click here).
This requires among other things, a strong back leg to support the back side and prevent the front side from becoming dominant too early.
2. Mobility in Adductors
Once rotation begins, the back knee, hip and ankle extend and lead to the initiation of pelvic rotation and forward tilt, upper torso rotation will follow into foot strike.
Having adequate mobility in the adductors will ensure that we get that good triple extension while still maintaining force into the ground with the back leg.
(Quadruped Add. Mobility)
3. Core Stiffness
The stance leg gluteus maximus fires to maintain extension and provide pelvis and trunk stabilization during trunk rotation and eventually ball release.
Creating great core stiffness while the glute is firing will help hold down hip and shoulder separation to make sure that we aren’t loosing valuable tension and torque from the upper half.
(Static Lunge with Band Rotation)
Hopefully this provides a little insight into the importance of a stable strong lower half and core. Without it were basically shooting a cannon from a canoe and your lower half pitching mechanics can go out the door!
Interested in reading about lower half pitching mechanics, glute load vs. quad dominant click here.
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)
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