In major league baseball – indeed, in all sports performance training – the period of knee-dominant preparation must precede the period of hip-dominant preparation. When knee-dominant training is properly executed in general preparation, hip-dominant performance may come to the fore in specific preparation, with a continued transfer to knee performance.
This cycle must be repeated on an annual basis, regardless of the qualification of the athlete, in an ever more challenging performance environment. The overall outcome is the most movement-efficient and injury-resistant baseball player possible to develop for a competitive period, and a career.
There are two reasons why the knee precedes the hip in training. The first is from the laws governing ground reaction forces. Ground reaction begins at the foot, and progresses upward through the leg. Therefore, in training, the knee comes before the hip.
Secondly, in the performance of traditional, multi-joint lower body exercise, knee extensors run out of functional contractile mass before hip extensors. “Traditional multi-joint lower body exercise” refers to lower body exercise that follows a standard squatting pattern. “Functional contractile mass” of the knee refers to the vastus medialis, which is almost the exclusive knee extensor in ground force reaction -based sport.
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