CSB : Live Or Die By Your Hips
The primary source of power in hitting is your hips. Coaches have many different philosophies when it comes to where the power in hitting is generated from. At Core Savvy Baseball we teach the rotational hitting style which means the hips are the most essential part of producing bat speed. For years, I have heard coaches across the nation talk about the importance of a hitters backside. Not once in all those years did I hear a top hitting coach talk about the importance of a hitters hips.
Let's get into what exactly the hips do in the rotational swing. First and foremost, the hips are vital to pull a hitters backside around.
Their are three kinetic links that make up a hitters backside :
1. Back Shoulder
2. Back Hip
3. Back Knee
These three links that make up a hitters backside must be pulled around and through rotationally by the three links on the frontside of a hitter (front shoulder, front hip, front knee).
I have heard top hitting instructors say everything from "hit the ball with your back shoulder" to "hit the ball with your back knee" in order to help players understand that they must get their backside around. The part that most coaches commonly leave out is the hips. The reason for this is because most amateur coaches do not fully understand how to teach a hitter to utilize his hips. Most amateurs today have swings that are back shoulder and back knee oriented, meaning they have completely left out the most important part of the the swing (the hips).
So how do we use our hips to generate power? The most important part of getting your hips going is what we call having good "counter-rotation" (hip-cock). You have been watching MLB players use this technique for years and probably did not even know it. Take a look below at All-Star Bryce Harper. Notice how well he counter-rotates all three links (front shoulder, front hip, front knee) but most importantly look at his front hip. This is the hip-cock necessary to produce the monstrous bat speed Harper possess.
"I never saw a good hitter who didn't have good hip-cock" - Ted Williams
Below is another great example of proper hip-cock by Robinson Cano. Look at how well Cano counter-rotates his hips to create torque. Once Cano's front foot hits the ground his hips will explode up and through the baseball, pulling his bat along for the ride. Cano actually counter-rotates all three links to generate power, which is the best way to do it.
Look at Cano's front shoulder and front knee. Notice how they are both counter-rotating back with his hips. This is exactly what good counter-rotation looks like. If you do not counter-rotate your hips it does not matter how well you counter-rotate the other two links because you will end up with bat drag.
If any of our readers have been fishing, you would know that you need to have a rhythmic counter rotation to properly cast out. When we throw a baseball, we first counter rotate (to build up energy) then we release that energy towards our target. The same rule applies to how we use our hips as hitters. We must cock our hips back before we begin our turn forward. If you do not get any hip-cock it will be almost impossible to get your hips going when it is time to begin your rotational turn. Without proper hip-cock, hitters will almost exclusively be disconnected and have an arms-first swing which diminishes bat speed (linear swing). Like I mentioned before, if you do not hip-cock you will have a ton of bat drag because of the missing link in the middle of the chain.
Take a look below at what a swing looks like with zero hip-cock (missing middle link). Notice how much bat drag the hitter has. Although the hitter loads his hands and weight shifts back fine, there is still no counter-rotation from his hips to generate torque. All the hitter has left to generate bat speed are his arms.
Poor bat speed is probably the biggest issue at the amateur level. The reason for this is because most kids are never taught to hip-cock properly in order to create bat speed.
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