One of the most important things baseball players can do to stay healthy, strong and powerful throughout the season is to pay attention to their hips. In baseball, the hips are involved in everything from sprinting and jumping to throwing and hitting. Watch the video below to see how important the hips are to a powerful swing:
[youtube video=”_bgIyNTdINw” /]
To get strength gains from the weight room to transfer to on-field performance, athletes and coaches must focus on keeping the hip muscles firing properly. How? Start by keeping good posture in relation to the pelvis. A number of muscles and connective tissues hold the pelvis, spine and femur together, and if any of them get tight, other muscles have to compensate. And when other muscles have to keep compensating, they get tight and weak. This phenomenon often happens in the hips of baseball players, leading to tight hip flexors and an anteriorly tilted pelvis. An anteriorly tilted pelvis is often responsible for groin, quad and hamstring injuries, as well as a decrease in swinging, running and throwing power.
Correct a Complex Problem With a Simple Object
You can keep your hip muscles firing correctly with an object as simple as a lacrosse ball, foam roller or baseball. By massaging the hip flexor muscles (including the psoas major/minor, illiacus, rectus femoris, sartorius, TFL, pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and the gracilis) on a daily basis, you’ll give yourself a better chance of playing at your highest potential every day. When rolling out your muscles, spend extra time on tender or tight areas. The following video will get you started:
[youtube video=”BwCSJrNJ8Ew” /]
Hip Flexor Activation
After you finish rolling out your hip flexor muscles, perform the following activation series to strengthen both your hip flexor and hip extensor muscles. In the video below, you’ll see me coaching an athlete through the entire series, which includes:
- Straight Leg
- Hip Thrust
- Russian Hamstring
- Prone Hip Lift
[youtube video=”642CjvjBdr4″ /]
Remember, in baseball, it all comes from the hips. Want to spend more time on your hips? Check out these stretches and exercises.