I really love The Half Kneel Turn & Throw Drill because it allows athletes to feel their trunk (torso) turn back (counter-rotate) against the hips as the hips and stride are occurring!
The movement of when the shoulder blade (scap retraction) and latissimus activation occurs, is easily seen in the clips below. This activation starts to happen as the stride leg works out and externally rotates. Another way to think of it is as the lead foot is about to touch the ground, then you pull the elbow back to load the arm. We call this loading in the Sag-Frontal Plane!
Notice that the distal humerus (elbow) never totally elevates above the shoulder at lead foot contact. This will allow for proper activation of the structures mentioned above. Depending on the type of arm action used (such as short arm action or long arm action) and variations in the actual arm pathway/shape, will determine the timing of this sequence.
HALF KNEEL TURN & THROW
HALF KNEEL T-SPINE ROTATION
1. Slow motion throws which will help athletes understand sequence, timing and arm action. Athletes need to create as much tension in the body and around each joint so that the brain understands muscle slack and exploration of what each limb is doing in space.
2. Competition drill to see who can get up the fastest and make an accurate throw. We use a stopwatch and time from first movement to ball release! This creates more of an in-game feel for the athlete and gives them an external stimulus to complete the task vs an internal stimulus (verbal cue).
3. We use the Half Kneel T-Spine Rotation as a warm-up and prep movement prior to any of our specific High Level Throwing® Drills. This movement prepares the thoracic spine and trunk for rotation and can be used with or without bands!