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OTHER ITA SITES:
Add Power to Your Sport Using Your Hips
Did you know that 90 per cent of all body movements and efforts originate, not from arm or shoulder muscles, but from the hips down?
This is the secret of ancient masters who were able to perform athletic feats even in old age. People noted that veteran players who have mastered their sport performed gracefully and with apparent ease, though mostly average in body size. This is especially observed among martial arts experts in the East who bested opponents often bigger and taller than they were.
It will help even non-athletic people in their daily chores to know that so much physical effort and muscle strain could be avoided if they only realize that true physical power starts from the hips down. Activities like pushing, pulling, lifting, walking, and running can all be made easier if we use our hips correctly—and even avoid body aches that often accompany wrong body maneuvers.
Swinging a baseball bat or golf club, pitching a ball, spiking a volley ball, shooting a basketball, delivering a hook or throwing a jab in boxing, doing a dead lift—all these depend on the use of the hip.
Without the correct use of the hip, the move becomes powerless and quite frequently awkward. Besides, it may end up straining your back or tearing a muscle.
A body motion, especially one made to exert excessive effort, should be timed to cause a smooth body flow and coordination. That’s why we often count 1 to 3 before we give a heavy task all we have. This timing need not always be consciously numbered; it often goes on automatically in us when we set out to do a skill.
Now here’s the secret: the timing and the smooth body flow should always coincide with a good sway of the hip. The force applied must always be supplemented with a hip sway. Without this, the timing and smooth flow will all be outward show, lack any real power, and even worse, may cause injury.
But with a good mix of timing, flow, and enough hip movement, the performance becomes dynamite! Hence, masters often say you should put yourself into the punch, or go with the force.
But make sure the hip sway is just enough to send a bolt of power, and not throw you off balance. A power “surge” (or a full sway of the hips) can also help at times, but be sure that it does not compromise your stance and balance.
Try throwing a ball with a stiff body posture, with only an arm moving to throw the ball. Then, try throwing it again with your arm swinging as your hip sways (in the same direction) and your legs giving way to your hip sways. You’d see the obvious difference. Power is mostly in the hip.
The next time you grab, lift, or do anything, remember that the hip bridges the body to the legs. Without the hip, neither body nor legs are hooked up to real power.
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