Shoulder Hip Separation EXPLAINED For Baseball Pitchers


Hey Dan Blewett here and I want to talk about a really important concept in pitching and throwing and it’s called shoulder-hip separation So this is one of those concepts that’s often misunderstood and it doesn’t have to be super complex. So let’s explain real quick. I’m just gonna do it here on flat ground, but imagine this is a pitching rubber right here. And I’m striding down the mound and obviously for young amateur baseball players a lot of time they get a pitch on a flat mound so Here’s what we’re looking for when we land So when we get in our landing position and already hit– heel hit the ground–and we’ve just touched down with our front cleat That’s where we’re gauging a couple different things. This landing position is really really important and the thing that I kind of talk about Referring to shoulder hip separation. Is your chest direction. So I have an old-school Orioles shirt on right here and where my chest logo is facing–where that Oriole bird is facing–is gonna tell me where How well I’m separating compared to my lower half So let me explain…so number one, this position here: my hip bones right now. They’re sideways. We’re gonna land with our hip bones slightly forward. We’re gonna be maybe a thirty degree angle–something like that. Alright, so at this position here, my hips are slightly forward, my trunk, my upper body is rotating in the opposite direction from my lower half and that’s what we call this separation So this half is going this way. This half is going this way. So when you watch any high level thrower– –It doesn’t have to be a major leaguer– You’re gonna see this…my hips are going thirty degrees because then this is here My upper body is facing back slightly. So if I had a clock and this is 12 And this is one and this is two and this is three. So like third base first base is three o’clock My chest is gonna be facing slowly backwards to round four o’clock. So again, my hips are probably at 1 or 2. My chest is more towards four. So again, if you find that freeze-frame just when they’re cleat is hitting the ground, The upper body of any high-level major league pitcher …whatever–college, minor league, major league–their chest is facing slightly back while their hips are angled slightly forward. That’s the shoulder hip separation that we’re looking for. Everyone has a slightly different degree of it But everyone who throws really, really hard–they have this slightly angled back center chest. So again, I’m not at three o’clock right here. I’m not here. I’m slightly farther back. I’m gonna give you one quick tip because that’s what you’re looking for when you’re you’re analyzing a Pitcher’s landing position that we count this right when the cleat hits whether they’re flat foot or toe or heel I think heel is our preference but, when the first bit of our foot hits that’s when we’re judging With this landing position whether your front arms here here and how well we’re separating The one tip I’m going to give you is your glove arm If your glove arm goes purely out and around typically the upper half is gonna go with it and we’re gonna open up too soon You’re not gonna get as much as you want. When the glove hand goes straight down– which is pretty rare– It’s not a super athletic movement to do it like that when it goes straight down Same thing we don’t have a whole lot of margin for error. So I think the glove the glove action is really important Basically as our hands break, they’re gonna follow the leg kick They’re gonna go down in a similar rhythm And then they’re gonna come up at about a 45 degree angle. And when this glove stays on this side of my body It’s almost impossible for me then to rotate my trunk open too soon while my glove arm stays on the side of my body So having this 45 degree glove arm swing is really important because it’s going to keep this here if this goes like this now My chest can open up as soon as it wants So anytime I work with young pitchers who are landing like this–which is very common–their glove arm is the culprit This is already paving the way for my chest to fly open So as I go down if this stays here, I can’t physically get my chest to open up too soon So and then with my chest thing back my hips tend to stay closed longer. So again, Look backwards through the delivery when you see the hands go down and stay at 45 degrees when we stride, we’re typically gonna see a lot better shoulder-hip separation when we land. Alright? So those are the basics don’t make it too complex, but that’s what you’re looking for with shoulder-hip separation.

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