In this final part we are going to go into the details of the correct sequential patterns to enhance rotational power, efficiency, and safety.
Rotational movements require proper sequencing of the body through various parts. This does not happen naturally for all athletes, and must be taught.
Athletes need the proper kinetic linking and sequencing to allow athletes to reach their maximum potential. Athletes need to learn how to
Load from the ground up
Lead movement with hips
Sequence energy through joints/muscles
Movement should look like a whip
Be able to separate hips from upper body and shoulders
Take a look at these pictures again and look at the athletes hips compared to their shoulders
Their hips lead their upper body and shoulders. They get their power from their hips, and they use the mobility and stability to transfer that power to their implement.
This, in a nut shell, is rotational sequencing.
The athlete loads up using thier hips and posterior muscle sling, and then unloads from the ground up, snapping their hips to transfer this force through their anterior muscle slings and onto the upper body and shoulders.
As we touched on in part 1 (TPI Rotational Sequence), this proper sequencing is what separates amateurs from the elite. Learning how to load and unload using the correct sequential pattern is key to creating more rotational power and speed.
Tony Mikla, during a webinar, dicussed how he trains two Olympic discuss throwers of very similar strength, speed, power, stability, and mobility standards. Except one of the throwers out performs the other by significant amounts.
How is this possible? They possess the similar physical abilities, but their performances are very different.
Dr. Mikla noted the difference was in the sequencing of these two athletes. Athlete A out performs Athlete B because she better utilizes the power she generates from her hips.
She doesn't have energy leaks and has proper sequencing from the ground up through her hips, onto her thorax, and finally to her arms.
Athlete B doesn't sequence correctly. She might have her torso lead first and then the hips and shoulders come next, simultaneously.
This funk it sequencing doesn't allow her to fully utilize the transfer of forces through her kinetic chain.
Essentially sequencing is technique, and proper technique separates athletes in all sports. We teach proper technique in all other exercises, but often times do not for rotational exercises.
We need to teach rotational movements and use progressions just like we do with all other exercises.
Getting After It
I like to use med ball variations when training rotational power as they allow for great velocity. Use the rotational stability exercises mentioned in part 2 for gaining strength and stability. This step cannot be skipped! If you do, you are setting your athletes up for injury. Progress correctly!
Use dynamic med ball work for enhancing rotational power and sequencing. No need to use an overally heavy med ball, 6-12lbs will typically do for most rotational movements. Remember, besides the shot put, sports do not use heavy implements, it's about creating higher speeds and forces into our movements.
Lateral MB Punch
I find this as the easiest progression to teach to correct sequential pattern. With the med ball close the body it reduces any kind of lever arm, and makes the whole movement easier to perform and learn.
Load the ball in the back armpit, while also loading up the rear leg and posterior muscle sling. Press through the ground with the rear leg and lead the movement from the hips, through the torso, and finally through to the shoulders through to the ball.
Lateral Scoop Throws
Now we take the ball and place it away from the body. This creates more torque, but also allows a good picture of the sequence of the kinetic chain. Load up the back leg and transition from the ground up, through the ball.
Parallel Scoop Throws
Parallel throws really separate the hips from the shoulders. It's a little tougher to get the hips to rotate thoroughly, but requires great amounts of mobility in the T-Spine, hips, and ankle. It also requires great strength and stability through the hips and trunk to get adequate rotation and power.
Split Stance Lateral/Parallel Scoop Throws
The split stance take the hips slighty out of the movement, but it forces the athlete to create rotational force through a unilateral position. The hips must be stable, and the athlete must keep a solid base for rotation to revolve around.
Lateral OH Slams
OH slams place the load in a different position and challenges the athlete in a top-down pattern. This puts a ton of stress on that anterior muscle sling, and will really lengthen the lateral components of the body.
Lateral Med Ball Slams
Another great OH movement to challenge top-down and the long lateral lines of the body.
Lateral Shuffle MB Punch
Now that we've established a solid base of rotational movements from a static position, we now move towards dynamic movements.
In sports, often times rotational movements require the athlete to continue to transfer force from the momentum and movement already built up. So here we start with a single shuffle pattern into a dynamic lateral punch. Kind of like the glide technique in the shot-put.
Use the momentum and speed built up to transfer that force into the rotational movement. The same sequencing and patterns still apply even though the speed of the movement is greater.
Crossover MB Punch
I've helped coach a couple of kids for sport showcase type events like pro-agility
(5-10-5), 60 yard dash, and L-Drill (3-cone). These drills require crossover steps, and this drill simulates gaining power and movement from a crossover position.
Moving Crossover MB Punch
Next we like to move into our moving crossover and punch movement. Just think about how many times athletes are required to cross their feet over in their sport. Baseball, soccer, football, basketball, and volleyball all require athletes to crossover into a sprint or some other movement. Here we get to work on that quality.
MB Drop Step Punch
This is something fun and challenging for your athletes to do. It really challenges spatial awareness, coordination, and 180 degree rotational qualities. This has tremendous carryover to throwing events, basketball, and any sport that requires these types of turns (DB in football, Centerfielder turning on a deep fly ball, etc)
Well there you have it. That's the series on developing rotational sequencing and power. Learning the correct pattern of rotational sequence might be separating you and your athletes from further success, oh and like I said before, developing rotational power = hot women asking you out for dates, it's science!
So take and use what you can and as always Go Get 'Em!
Like, Dislike, Agree, Disagree, WORLD CHANGING, or a big turd; whatever you feel, leave a comment below and let me know!