Learn How to Hip Hinge and Increase your Power

Written By: Lacey Waldrop

What is a Hip Hinge?

If you want to hit for power, mastering the “hip hinge” is a crucial part of getting your body primed to hit.  At Softball Rebellion, we have found that many athletes don’t know what a hip hinge is, especially younger players, so we are here to help. Hip hinging requires flexion and extension at the hips while maintaining a neutral spine. For further explanation, check out the video below.

Points of Emphasis:

  • To adequately hip hinge, think of pushing your hips backward. This will load your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Avoid overexaggerating a bend of the knees. Bending your knee loads your quads.
  • Overloading the quad can at times lead to a hitter standing up as they begin to stride rather than staying loaded into the back hip.

How does Hinging at the Hips Produce Power?

Weight Room:

Before we begin analyzing how creating a hip hinge increases power in your swing, let's look at how hinging creates power in a few other athletic movements. According to Ken Grall of Johnson Fitness and Wellness, "the hip hinge offers many benefits:

  1. It opens up Hamstring flexibility and offers mobility through the hip joint
  2. Builds symmetry and reduces injury
  3. Shortens the learning curve when introducing more complex movements/exercises."

Grall is speaking of exercises like squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings, along with many more complex movements.

Hitting:

Similarly, when hitting, hinging at the hips opens up mobility through the hip joint, allowing you to load your back hip properly to produce more power. If you stand up out of your hinge early in your swing, you run the risk of pushing forward with your chest and hands, often producing pop-ups and mis-hits. Below, Softball Rebellion hitting instructor, Garret Gordon, explains how to apply the hip hinge to your swing.

Points of Emphasis:

  • As you start to stride, hinge at the hips. If you hinge properly, you should feel your weight loaded into your back hip.
  • While you load, your upper body should pull back, creating separation between your shoulders and hips.
  • Separation creates tension, which translates into power once the hitter begins to swing.
  • If you're having trouble loading into your back hip, check out this drill.

Creating a Proper Hip Hinge

Now that you understand the hip hinge, it's time to practice at home. Creating body awareness starts with creating proper movements. Make sure you're hinging properly with the dowel rod drill.

The Dowel Rod Drill

Points of Emphasis:

  • The dowel rod should remain in contact with your tailbone and your upper back throughout the drill.
  • If you start to bend with your back instead of hinging your hips, you will feel the dowel rod drift away from your body.

Efficient Movements Create Power

Great hitters create exceptional body movements. Understanding how to create separation between your upper and lower body, while hip hinging as you stride is directly related to your ability to drive the ball. If you want to be great, take control of your body and start to understand how you can move more efficiently and powerfully in your swing.

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