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