How the Diamondbacks Work Their Hips

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Whether you're at the plate, swiping second or making a ridiculous play on a ball, everything in baseball involves some rotation. According to Nate Shaw, Arizona Diamondbacks strength and conditioning coach, the hips are solely responsible for the level of movement you can achieve.

"If there are limitations to an individual's hip flexibility and strength, he won't be able to rotate as far or generate as much force as necessary," Shaw says.

At the plate, your hips help you pivot; on the field, they help you start and stop. Bottom line: healthy hips can improve your performance. "If you have flexibility, strength and range of motion in your hips," Shaw explains, "you can generate more force over a longer period of time."

Shaw prescribed the Prone Internal and External Rotation and Standing Angel exercises to help the Diamondbacks reach the National League Championship in 2007. They perform the exercises year-round, three days a week.

Prone Internal and External Rotation
· Lie face down on table or ground
· Bend left knee 90 degrees
· Partner places hands on ankle and knee, then slowly rotates your knee out to side, then back in toward body
· Complete specified reps; perform on opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 3/10
Shaw's Secrets: Stay relaxed throughout exercise // Point heel of leg that is bent to sky // Keep body relatively still to isolate the muscles and hips

Standing Angel
· Balancing on right leg, raise left leg to side
· Bring leg back to start position
· Complete specified reps; perform on opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 3/10
Shaw's Secrets: Keep moving leg as straight as possible throughout exercise // Keep body relatively still to isolate the muscles and hips // Your leg should arc up, completing a half angel


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock