Do you have poor hip to shoulder separation? Do you pull your glove side down and across your body hard? Do you drag your arm around into pitch release? Do you have shoulder and elbow pain that gets worse the longer you pitch? Good chance you have a major mechanical flaw that reduces pitching velocity and leads to serious arm injury called, Early Trunk Rotation.
Most low velocity pitchers are early trunk rotators. Preventing early trunk rotation will not only help increase pitching velocity but will reduce the risk of pitching related injury. The problem is preventing early trunk rotation is a lot easier said than done. If a pitcher is going to make this correction it is not going to come in a simple drill or an angle change in the pitching delivery, it is going to come from a complete understand of how a high velocity pitcher efficiently develops power in the lower half and then transfers it up the body.
In the video above and the article below, you will learn what is the exact definition of early trunk rotation. You will learn the steps to prevent early trunk rotation and finally drills from the 3X Pitching Velocity Program that will help you eliminate it from your pitching delivery.
What is Early Trunk Rotation?
The moment the front foot lands the high velocity pitcher has yet to start trunk rotation. He is actually counter rotating the trunk against the hips to build more core torque and give the body time to transfer the energy from the lower body to the upper body. If the pitcher starts trunk rotation by pulling the glove side or opening the shoulders before or going into front foot strike then this is the definition of Early Trunk Rotation.
Pitchers that have been known to be Early Trunk Rotators at the Major League Level are Stephen Strasburg and Jason Motte who have both had UCL reconstructive surgery. Studies link Early Trunk Rotation to elbow injury.
Steps to Prevent Early Trunk Rotation
The first and most critical step to preventing early trunk rotation is first learning a better lower half approach to pitching like the revolutionary approach called 3X Pitching. Once you have developed this more dynamic lower half approach then you must break the old timing of the lower half against it. This means your next step is using drills to train more counter rotation of the shoulders as apposed to the old early trunk rotation.
It will be impossible to break this major flaw in your pitching delivery of early trunk rotation if you do not first master the initial step of developing a better lower half. This means you must learn to generate more force production through your drive and landing legs to help drive early and faster hip rotation into front foot strike. Speeding up the hips is always a better approach to preventing early trunk rotation than trying to delay the trunk rotation.
Before jumping into drills to make these mechanical adjustments you need to make sure that you have the athletic ability to implement a more dynamic lower half. This will require good vertical, linear and lateral jumping ability. Good total body strength to transfer this energy. To learn more about the measuring the lower half checkout the 3X Evaluation System. To learn more about the ideal measurements of a better lower half pitcher, checkout the 3X Goals.
Drills to Eliminate Early Trunk Rotation
Drills that help train counter rotation in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program are the Sled Drills, On Knee Drills in the Med Ball and Target Throws and most of the throws in the Level 2 and 3 programs.
Learn more about the 3X Pitching Velocity Program here.