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Train To Gain: Shoot From the Hip

Train your seat of power for awesome strength.

I’m often asked why I place so much emphasis on full squats and regular deadlifts. Unless the only thing you’re interested in is looking good on the beach, you should know that almost every form of athletic endeavor requires exceptional strength in the hip girdle. Where do you think Mark McGwire gets the strength to turn on an inside fastball in an instant and consistently drive the ball 500 feet?

It’s also where Mike Tyson, a relatively small heavyweight fighter, gets the leverage to knock out much larger boxers. His hip girdle gives him the torque to turn his trunk as he delivers hooks to his opponent’s head and body.

Watch NFL running backs as they start, stop, twist and cut back while powering the ball through the huge linemen and linebackers. Check out speed skaters as they lean into curves to generate tremendous power through their legs via the hip girdle. Tiger Woods drives a golf ball farther off the tee than nearly every golfer he competes against. Sure, he has great mechanics, but watch his trunk turn as he hits the ball. He has a powerful twist thanks to his hip girdle.

In almost every sport the hip girdle plays an extremely important role. That’s why bodybuilders should take a moderately wide stance when they squat’and then squat through the legs, not over them. Make sure you feel the stretch in your hips that only occurs when you go below parallel. When you deadlift, set the bar on the floor for a dead stop between reps. Keep the bar close into your body, arch your back slightly and rotate your shoulders back at the top, lockout position. Finally, feel it in your hip girdle.

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