In episode 5 of the @TopVelocity #PitchingTips Show we discuss the best way to time your leg drive later and closer to front foot strike with good internal rotation. We talk about how the torsion drills are one of the best ways to practice timing your leg drive closer to front foot strike and how holding torsion helps you get good internal rotation. David Aardsma debuted the torsion drills in the MLB this year and it led to very amusing comments from the announcers. As the announcers stated, the torsion drills are probably something you haven’t seen before and they are also very hard to do. If you don’t have the hip mobility and leg power you are going to find the torsion drills hard to perform.
How Torsion Improves Leg Drive Timing
Once you have developed the leg power and hip mobility there is no better way to time the drive into front foot strike. However, it is one of the most difficult drills we perform and our athletes at TopVelocity usually don’t begin practicing them until the reach a pretty elite level. For example, David Aardsma is a 9 year major league veteran and when he first came in even he wasn’t at a high enough athletic level to perform the drill. Once he developed the hip mobility and leg power to perform the movement he says that the torsion drills were a huge factor to helping redevelop his velocity. Athletes who want to start incorporating the drills into their training routines need either have a 1.3x their bodyweight power clean or a 30+ inch vertical jump. Once athletes reach this level of athleticism is when they typically start benefitting from the torsion drills. On top of that, they also need 20-40 degrees of hip internal rotation. If an athlete is good at holding torsion then this will naturally give him good internal rotation.
Before an athlete starts using the torsion drills he also needs to understand how to get hip to shoulder separation at front foot strike and how to transfer that separation into forward trunk tilt. If the athlete just tries to jump into the torsion drills without an understanding of this he will probably just waste his time. The hip to shoulder separation at front foot strike is one of the keys to creating velocity. If you have no separation, but master the torsion drill it is of little or no use to the athlete. Both hip to shoulder separation and the torsion drills compliment each other and when used together are very effective for creating velocity.
In conclusion, torsion drills are one of the most effective ways to learn how to time your leg drive closer to front foot strike and helps the athlete get more internal rotation. However, before you can begin benefitting from the torsion drills you need to develop either 1.3x your bodyweight power clean or a 30 inch vertical jump. Also, you need the hip mobility to get the good internal rotation. We recommend getting 20-40 degrees of hip internal rotation to be able to perform the drill correctly. If the athlete has no understanding how to get hip to shoulder separation at front foot strike and how to transfer that separation into forward trunk tilt then he needs to learn that before attempting the torsion drills. Once the athlete has the proper level of leg power, mobility and hip to shoulder separation the athlete can begin reaping the velocity rewards of the torsion drills.