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Attn: Baseball & Softball Coaches or Parents…

I’m sure you’ve heard the following:

  • “Power is ALL in the hips”,
  • “Load and explode the hips”, and
  • “The hips lead the way”

Well, I’m here to say I’ve fallen for the same misleading claims that the hips hold the secret to repeatable power.  After digging into the science of human movement, reading books like:

I found out how wrong I was listening to the “old guard”.  In this video, I’ll reveal:

  • The shocking study showing that it’s NOT all in the hips,
  • Where does power come from?  And,
  • The Do’s & Don’ts

See what we did with a group of hitters recently teaching this very thing, that got HPL some press time:

 

The Shocking Study Showing that It’s NOT All in the Hipsbuster-posey-experiment-zepp-comparison

This particular test looked at how spinal engine mechanics, timing of torque, and how natural springy material in our body can produce consistently higher bat speeds, without getting stronger.

Check out the 3-shocking experiment findings below:

  • Finding #1 (Zepp app screenshot above): My average bat speed over the experiment increased by 6-mph (every 1-mph of bat speed = 8 more feet of batted ball distance),
  • Finding #2: My top out bat speed increased by 6-mph (from 82 to 88-mph), AND
  • Finding #3 (Zepp app screenshot above): My hand speed increased by 2-mph!

 

Then, Where Does Power Come From?

The results from the bat speed study can be proven by the following video blog posts I did at the Hitting Performance Lab:

Here are two hitters that “show their numbers” to the pitcher very well:

Andrew McCutchen showing his numbers

Andrew McCutchen (5’10”, 190-pounds, 2013 NL MVP)

AND,

Mike Trout showing numbers to the pitcher

Mike Trout (6’2″, 230-pounds, 2014 AL MVP)

 

The Do’s & Don’ts

I’ve found with my local and online hitters that the cue “Show your numbers to the pitcher” works very well.  Here are some commonly asked questions to its application with both baseball and softball hitters…

When to show the numbers?

Here are the options:

  1. A hitter can either show them from the start, like Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants and Josh Donaldson of the Oakland A’s.
  2. They can show them as soon as they pick up the front foot like Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey (photo above), and Mike Trout, OR
  3. Show them as soon as they fall forward into the stride like Dustin Pedroia.

My recommendation is either option 1 or 2.

Lose Vision with the eyes?Alex Gordon landing front leg open

When the hitter shows their numbers, make sure they don’t lose eyesight with the back eye.  If they do, then their showing too much of their numbers.  For other explosive rotational athletes, like a Shot Putter, losing sight of the target isn’t as big a deal.  But a batter is hitting an unknown pitch, so vision with both eyes is critical.

Landing Closed & Front Shoulder Flies Open?

This is because the hitter is landing with a closed front leg and toe.  CLICK HERE for a similar Alex Gordon (of the Kansas City Royals) Experiment I did using the Zepp Baseball app.  Landing with an open front leg and foot allowed me to maintain higher levels of bat speed and increase top out bat speed by 2-mph.

Basically, land closed with the shoulders (“block” them from opening), and land open with the front leg and foot, and by George, you’ve got it!

 

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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8 replies
  1. Charles
    Charles says:

    11 y/o that doesn’t use lower half but has power and pop. How do I use this with him? Also how do I get him to tap into his lower half strength

    Reply
    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Charles, all human movement derives from the spinal engine. Lower half movement is important, but not as critical as the spinal engine. For lower half mechanics, you can click on “Topics” in the navigation bar and then click on “Un-Weighting”. Lots of free articles there. You can also look into the Reaction Time Mastery course under the “Courses” tab, which I go into all the details of lower half mechanics, among other things.

      Reply
  2. Don Ervin
    Don Ervin says:

    Hey Joey,
    I really enjoy the information you bring out on this site, your interest, time and effort is invaluable to the learning process of those in our baseball community,
    During your Zep Swing, study comments you say to show the numbers by counter turning/rotating the shoulders, I use the term{STROKE} instead of {SWING} due to the fact that the actual swing comes after contact is or is not made during one;s follow through, you also mention what Ted Williams says in his book, if you will turn to the page in his book that shows the color photo of his body movements you will see arrows showing counter hip rotation during the load phase, this counter hip rotation is what should lead the way and activate the counter shoulder rotation, spinal engine mechanics of the upper body/torso.
    Great Base Ball-N
    Don Ervin

    Reply
    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      Thanks Don for the kind words brother. And I appreciate your insight on my site and Facebook. Are you referring to the inward turn of the hips (pelvis) towards the catcher during the load phase? If so, current research into springy fascia suggests that this move really isn’t necessary. I find that my young hitters that have this inward turn, tend to land closed with their stride foot, which is not effective. IF the hitter can inward turn the hips, AND land open with the lead foot, then I don’t have a problem with it. Williams obviously did this…Harper today is another. HOWEVER, springy fascia is loaded by the springy X pattern, so landing open while showing the numbers is the way to repeatable power. I don’t teach the inward turn of the pelvis anymore after reading Thomas Myers’s book Anatomy Trains. I think it’s unnecessary, and can do more harm than good in a youth swing. But those are my thoughts.

      Reply

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