Improve Your Spin Bowling with Better Hip to Shoulder Separation | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Improve Your Spin Bowling with Better Hip to Shoulder Separation

This is a guest article from Max Andrews

“Hip to shoulder separation” is one of the most important movements in generating spin and velocity.


The movement creates an angle between the hip and shoulder which, when done properly, generates greater torque, and as a result increased spin and speed.

Interested in getting some of that?

As a bowler, we generate energy from the ground up. Therefore, producing power from our legs is essential. To be able to transfer this energy through the kinetic chain we need to use our hips. To create a powerful hip rotation, we need to create a shoulder to hip separation.

To help you visualise this action, think of a power baseball or cricket hitter when they swing. They generate their energy from the legs, their hips rotate first and then their shoulders will “catch up” and be aligned with the hips and the target.

Bowlers do they same. They open their hips at front foot landing whilst keeping their shoulders closed for just a split second. This fraction of a second - where the hip and shoulder separate - enables the body to transfer these rotational forces up through the kinetic chain and into the bowling arm.

This will equal increase speed and revolutions.

So, how do we do it?

The first drill is a medicine ball throw. There are two types of throws to work on here, shovel throws and shoulder throws.

The key to this exercise it to ensure that you keep in mind that you are trying to create hip and shoulder separation, so let your hips rotate first and then explode and really drive through with your back shoulder.

The next drill is performed with a dowel rod, a broomstick or something that will allow you to keep your shoulders aligned. First, place the rod behind your head on your shoulders and get into your back foot landing position. This drill is similar to the one-step bowling drill, here we focus on rotating our hips whilst keeping our shoulders closed, but still aligned.

The final drill is a variation to the previous drill. Some people will find this works better for them. On this occasion, rather than holding onto a rod we can either rest our hands on a wall or hold onto the netting. Again, we are focusing on creating separation in the lower body from the upper body. You should really be able to feel your hips separating and creating a big angle from your shoulders.

By now you should have developed a deeper understanding of the feeling of hip to shoulder separation.

The movement is tied in with the front leg brace and both are very important in developing a correct bowling technique. Work on this and you should see an increase in spin and velocity.

Click here for more from Max Andrews.

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Thanks Kushal, glad you liked the article.

Is there any chance of a video of these exercises please?

Here is a link to my web page with a sample of my upcoming course, "Biomechanics in Bowling". It contains the drills from this article and looks at numerous biomechanical principles, including a triple and double extension, force vectors and of course hip to shoulder separation to improve performance.!projects/c1vw1