Hip flexor strength is crucial for diamond dwellers. Infielders continually apply pressure to their hips when going for ground balls. Pitchers are constantly raising their hips, then transferring pressure when they release the ball. And batters are always driving through their hips when swinging at pitches.
To prevent injuries caused by such constant stress, University of Georgia baseball strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Heffner has his Bulldogs perform X-Band Walks. He says, "It's a tremendous exercise for activating… [the] external rotators of your hip," which help keep the hips level.
Heffner suggests adding the walks to your lower body routine at least once a week to prevent an imbalance and reduce the risk of injury.
• Stand on resistance band with feet around six inches apart
• Hold handles of band with hands, and make an "X" by crossing band in front of legs
• Stand up straight with shoulder blades down
• Take lateral steps
Coaching Points: Keep feet no more than hip-width apart // Take six-inch steps, one at a time // To keep hip flexors lengthened, avoid leaning forward // Don't wing out elbows, because it weakens posture
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