If you read the countless articles on this site you will learn about a new term that has been brought into the pitching world. This term was first planted into the pitching delivery right here at TopVelocity.net. Maybe you found this website because you wanted to learn the hype behind this term or maybe you have no idea of what you just stumbled on. Either way, this article will cover and scientifically prove a revolutionary secret to high velocity pitching.
The term that I am referring to is called Triple Extension (3X). 3X is defined as the extension of the ankle, knee and hip flexor. It comes from the Olympic Lifting world. In Olympic Lifting it is a key component to building power. This is also true for power pitchers but it is even more than just a power component for pitchers, it will enhance hip to shoulder separation which has been proven to be the component that holds 80% of a pitchers velocity potential.
3X and Hip to Shoulder Separation
When I discovered 3X during my career, which helped increase my velocity by 10 mph, I only thought it was doing this because it was enhancing my stride power but I never knew that it was also increasing my separation. Hip to shoulder separation was first discovered as a key component to pitching velocity by the National Pitching Association (NPA) in 2005 when they published their Velocity Study. In 2005, when I learned of hip to shoulder separation, I immediately tried it myself and experienced the benefits of it. I then wanted desperately to learn how to enhance it but this information was not documented with this new discovery. I then set out to discover the missing link.
During this same time in my career I was also experimenting with 3X. It like hip to shoulder separation was increasing my velocity but it seemed like it was having a bigger impact than separation. I was playing pro ball at the time and because 3X was having a bigger impact on my pitching velocity, I continued to push it over working on hip to shoulder separation. Not until my career was over, when I started to study what I was doing, did I notice the link between 3X, hip to shoulder separation and pitching velocity. This is when I developed 3X Pitching.
Just recently, I have discovered more science to prove the power of 3X Pitching. This study, performed by the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, which included the likes of Dr. Glen Fleisig of ASMI, documents the link between 3X, hip to shoulder separation and pitching velocity.
Sciences Proves the Link Between 3X, Separation and Pitching Velocity
The case study is called, the Passive ranges of motion of the hips and their relationship with pitching biomechanics and ball velocity in professional baseball pitchers. It defines the correlations of the angles of the lower limbs to key components in high velocity pitchers. Let's first look at the background of the study which gives its purpose as listed here:
Pelvis and trunk motions during baseball pitching are associated with ball velocity. Thus, limits in hip flexibility may adversely affect pitching biomechanics and the ability to generate ball velocity.
This means that this institution understood the links between the pelvis and trunk motions to high and low velocity pitching. They performed this study to prove if limited hip flexibility was the culprit. Here is what they discovered:
Total arc of adduction (ADD) + abduction (ABD) of the dominant hip (Drive Leg hip) (r = .44) were correlated with trunk separation. Total arc of ADD + ABD of the nondominant hip (Lead hip) (r = -.52) and total arc of rotation of the dominant hip (r = -.44) were correlated with pelvic orientation.
To understand if this institute found their answers, let's first look at the conclusion of the study as listed here:
Passive range of motion is smaller in the nondominant hip than the dominant hip among professional pitchers. The measured disparity between the hips is significantly correlated with various pitching biomechanical parameters of the trunk and pelvis. Future research is required to investigate a causal relationship between less hip passive range of motion and both ball velocity and pitching biomechanics.
Read the entire study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20807860
It seems as though that the study did not give them their answers of the relationship between less hip passive range of motion and ball velocity but what this study did do was define some revolutionary information of how the lower extremity effects pelvis and trunk motions and orientations during the pitching delivery.
It is safe to conclude that the two sentences from the results listed above is the proof that 3X has a direct correlation to hip to shoulder separation. To understand this correlation let's first define the 3X approach of how 3X enhances hip to shoulder separation.
For 3X to enhance hip to shoulder separation a pitcher must first lower his Force Vector (Ankle and Knee) of the drive leg into a linear position before the opening of the front hip and before front foot strike. Once the Force Vector is linear and before the front foot lands the pitcher must then start hip rotation by opening the front foot and knee as the drive leg ankle and hip flexor kick into full triple extension. In return this will fire hips or pelvis to rotate completely open as the front leg stabilizes just at or just after front foot strike. This action will cause the hips to pull away from the shoulders which in return is enhancing hip to shoulder separation.
Now that we have both the results of the case study and the 3X approach defining the effects of pelvis (hip) orientation and trunk (shoulder) separation let's dissect the two sentences above from the results of the case study and see how they correlate with the 3X approach.
The study proves that the range of abduction in the drive leg correlates with trunk separation. For a pitcher to increase drive leg abduction he must stride out as he extends the drive leg. To do this the pitcher must use the 3X approach of aligning the Force Vector as he moves into 3X. The last sentence of the results of the case study above states that abduction of the stride leg and the internal rotation of the drive leg were correlated with pelvic orientation. This means the pitcher must use the 3X approach as he opens and abducts the stride leg while fully extending or triple extending the drive leg which will internally rotate during the process.
In conclusion, we have a study and an approach to pitching that proves how high velocity pitchers use their lower extremity to enhance the movements and speeds of the upper kinetic chain. As the conventional wisdom of the game begins to educate itself on the 3X approach to increase pitching velocity we should see more and more pitchers move into the high velocity category. We should also see less arm injuries as young pitchers, with "Good Arms," learn to distribute more work into the lower extremity which will help reduce the stress on the throwing arm.
To learn more than just the 3X approach but also how to train and implement these power pitching mechanics into your delivery, checkout the 3X Extreme Pitching Velocity program.