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Core or torso usage

Mar 23, 2011
Noblseville, IN
What muscles fire first. Glute pushing or obliques pulling? same time?
Muscles don't push. I'm not really trying to get into sequence stuff, I'm just explaining how the rotation happens since I don't think it has ever been explained in this manner. A lot of people know the criticality of coil, staying back (to not lose coil), launching rearward, etc because this leads to good execution, but at a fundamental level, I don't think many people understood how it worked.

The key to the high level swing is the interaction between rear hip coil and the firing of the glutes. Without the coil, the glutes will just thrust the hips (no rotation) therefore the rotational element, which is required to get the bat into the zone, will need to come from other sources like spinal (shoulders), core torque (hips), front leg pushback (push-block), etc.

Hopefully this knowledge will shift people's thinking and lead to some changes in how the swing is taught.
Jan 6, 2009
Pacific NW
I have the book, too! Its OK. Some good stuff. I am not that fond of his style of writing. He says you don't rotate hips during the load, you just show your numbers/ hide hands. "I,m sorry coaches, if you think that a hitter loads by inwardly turning the hips towards the catcher.... this isn't optimized loading and your hitters are leaving consistent power on the table." But when you see him swing (which is not that pretty) his hips do rotate during load. I am not advocating for for a big hip turn back but I do think they more some naturally.
He wants the hips to remain parallel to the plate so you can load.stretch against them. If everything is moving backwards, hips and shoulders turning inward, then the stretch will have to much slop.

He also has some weird experiments and some stuff on finger/ grip pressure I don't understand or buy into. Spinal engine is torso engine. Just another name.

I am going to reread soon. I usually find the good stuff second time thru.
He explains the finger pressure as connecting the top hand/back arm to the body/core. He also talks about how the bottom fingers are your power fingers if you want to hit something like in martial arts. He claims it corrects bat drag.


May 3, 2014
Are we (as a discussion board) in agreement that the top half and bottom half meet at the hip joint?
Apr 20, 2018
ok. I am a stretch, pull= obliques / push - glute/ throw - flat left wrist and launch barrei guy. pretty much in that order. Some could do it differently but getting to contact synchronized is the goal.
Jan 28, 2017
Shawn, I believe many are confused when they teach "hips".

What I refer to as the torso-engine, others refer to as the 'hips'. They see me demonstrate what I do and nod their head in agreement ... they think that's what they refer to as the 'hips'. I see them work with their hitters on the notion of 'hips' and they are purely interested in the hips moving forward horizontally. When they see my students torso become twisted as they twitch, they think that is the 'hips' ... but it is the 'torso'.

To answer your question ... yes, I believe getting the torso correct is much more important than what many consider to be the 'hips'.

That said, the 'hips' are part of the 'torso' ... so when you get the 'torso' correct, you tend to get the 'hips' correct ... which is why many will see me demonstrate the 'torso-engine' and translate that to their version of 'hips'.
What do you consider torso? Back knee to back shoulder?
Jun 17, 2009
Portland, OR

I'm reading the Catapult system and watching his video. He teaches that it's not all about the hips. He teaches spinal engine and stretching the shoulders.

What are the movements in the torso engine you teach?

I'll get back to the spinal engine and Myers views.
Shawn, watch the video segment below of TM working with a student. The advantage of this demonstration is that the student has a decent sense of body awareness to mimic what he is instructed to do and follows up with a description of a feel.

Notice the student's first demo. Not very good. Sort of a backside based rotation. Horrible. Notice TM's instruction. Compare the student's first demo to his second demo ... huge improvement! Go back and forth between the student's two demos. The differences in the two demos are huge. Pay attention to detail ... including front oblique usage, etc. Also pay attentions to the student's description of the 'feel'.

The lower rear back scrunch/arch/stretch is one of four check points I look for in terms of proper torso usage.


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