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Re: Role of the hips in the swing?

Posted by: Major Dan (markj89@charter.net) on Tue Jun 5 05:31:04 2001

Hi All
> What is the role of the hips in the baseball/softball swing? Does hip rotation drive shoulder rotation? Or, does the hip serve more as a stable platform for the torso to rotate from?
> Hip rotation, or the “popping” of the hips, has long been herald as a key to generating power and bat speed. But if we closely examine the lower-body mechanics being taught by some of today’s most knowledgeable coaches, we find the answer to the above questions in doubt. Just how much does the hip rotation contribute to shoulder rotation?
> As an example, let us consider the “Sequential 3 step” approach. --- In “step 1,” the batter assumes his normal launch position. – In “step 2,” the batter ‘squashes the bug,’ fully opening the hips while keeping the shoulders closed. – In “step 3,” the batter rotates the torso and swings.
> It is important to note that the author shows a complete pause between each step. This means that after “step 2,” the lower body has assumed the contact position. ---The lead-leg is fully extended, the back-leg forms the “L” position and the hips are stationary and opened, the upper-body is still in the launch position (I think this would qualify for “maximum separation”). --- From this position, would not the hips serve mainly as a stable platform for the shoulders to rotate from? Would not the contraction of the torso muscles rather than the lower-body generate rotation?
> But what if the contraction of the torso muscles occurs with less than maximum separation. Say 80% separation of lower to upper body. Then, how much does the hip rotation contribute to shoulder rotation? --- Your thoughts.
> I made this post in light of a post by Melvin on Wed Apr 25, 2001 Click Here --- Read it again and see what you think.
> Jack Mankin

Jack -
If a hitter opened their hips, then came to a full stop, then rotates the shoulders using only torso muscles, that batter is going through the correct sequence but in a disconnected, extremely inefficient way. This is fine for teaching/demo purposes, but is not a proper swing. I don't know of anyone who really does this when actually hitting.
I consider transfer mechanics the use of the torso to channel the energy of the lower body (legs/hips) into shoulder rotation. Without proper transfer mechanics, the lower body work is lost - slipped transmission is your excellent analogy.
Don't you think that the large powerful muscles (quads, gluts, etc) would do a better job of creating raw energy/power than the torso muscles?
IMO, the torso's main job is to make sure the transmission doesn't slip, not act as the engine.
I'm not sure where you are going with your post. By the way, who is the author you refer to above?


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