Generating power from the lower body is the goal for fastpitch softball pitchers! Learn how to properly load the big muscles in your legs to produce the most amount of leg drive possible for your pitch.
If you compare the top fastpitch softball pitchers, at first look, they all have a different looking windup. The variation comes from pitchers learning to "own" their motion and trying to get the most out of their specific build.
Looking closer, all fastpitch softball pitchers do one very fundamental motion exactly the same. They push their hips back before they begin the leg drive.
The image above shows two of the most common incorrect ways fastpitch softball pitchers load.
Bending at the waist forces weak lower back muscles to get the torso tall in the power position with zero power production and quick fatigue. If a pitcher leans forward the entire pitch, they are trying to use the wrong muscle group. The lower back muscles are difficult to train and condition. Pitchers using this motion are not getting power from legs and using mostly upper body.
Shifting entire body back will create "falling into your pitch" situation that makes legs faster than arms and a sequence of bad habits to follow. Pitchers in this position typically have a hard time closing legs together at the end of the pitch. Falling can generate some speed, but there is a limit to how much gravity can help.
Push hips back and head should lower with little movement towards catcher. This loads your big leg muscles and allows you to fire through to generate the most power possible. Using your big muscles also means you can make those muscles stronger. There is no limit to how strong you can make your muscles making this position the ideal way to load to maximize leg drive.
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