CREATE A BIG STRETCH FOR MORE POWER
Separation involves creating a difference in angle and timing between body parts, causing a stretch in your muscles as you move through your fast bowling action. One of the most important points of separation to help you bowl fast is between your bowling-side hip and your bowling shoulder, known as "Hip/Shoulder Separation".
WHY IS SEPARATION IMPORTANT?
During your fast bowling action, your muscles act like elastic bands - the further and faster you can stretch them, the more "ping" you get and the faster you can bowl. Many of the world's fastest bowlers create large and fast separations between their hips and their shoulders, which helps them to bowl at consistently high speeds.
Shoaib Akhtar bowled consistently fast by creating huge hip/shoulder separation (original) - Photo © Bilal Mirza
Many activities that involve rotation - such as fast bowling in cricket, pitching or hitting a baseball, throwing a javelin, and hitting a golf ball - use Hip/Shoulder separation to produce power. Research shows that being able to do it safely and effectively can help you to be more powerful, and bowl faster.
Justin Verlander (MLB pitcher) separates his hips and shoulders (@ 14 seconds) to throw at almost 160km/h
HOW TO SEPARATE YOUR HIPS & SHOULDERS
For most bowlers, Hip/Shoulder Separation happens as you move from Back Foot Contact to Front Foot Contact. Often, the quality of your B.F.C. will impact your ability to create effective separation - if your hips do not rotate forward ahead of your upper body, it may be more difficult to create safe and efficient separation.
To create Hip/Shoulder Separation, you want to be close to the following position at Front Foot Contact:
Your back foot and hip have rotated to face forwards
Your shoulders and chest are facing midway or side on
Your bowling arm is stretched backwards away from your back hip
The position you land in at Back Foot Contact may impact the amount and the way in which you create Hip/Shoulder Separation. Side-On bowlers may have potential to bowl faster than Front-On or Midway bowlers because they can create greater Hip/Shoulder Separation more safely.
A effective Back Foot Contact is especially important for Side-On Bowlers as it allows their hips to quickly rotate forwards ahead of their shoulders, creating a bigger stretch.
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