Use Your Hips!

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 4/17/2019

“Use your hips!” is a phrase that can be heard on practice fields at every level of football from youth to the NFL. While many coaches emphasize this, few players become very good at it. USA Football’s Contact System techniques all have one thing in common: hips are the source of power. When focusing on the C.U.F.F. progression (Coil-Uncoil-Fit-Finish), engaging the hips is the primary focus of “uncoil.” Uncoil teaches the extension, or explosion, from the hips prior to contact, helping athletes use their hands as an effective delivery mechanism for contact.

Uncoiling is the act of extending or exploding the hips prior to the point in time when contact occurs. Like the Coil posture, uncoiling is a universal skill for all players and serves as the driving force for all forms of contact. The hips can be the greatest asset when it comes to playing with power and control, but few players are getting the most out of this great source of strength.

The Contact System features a series of Uncoil drills skill development. These movements can be incorporated into individual periods, warm-ups and offseason conditioning programs. Working Uncoil skill development will pay huge performance dividends when the pads come on.

Many techniques and drills compromise the initial positioning of the hips and make it very difficult for any athlete to engage the hips within the block. At best, the hips become engaged later in the play.

The Uncoil video series offers coaches and players a multitude of drills to implement and train both in-season and in offseason practices and workouts, and they are designed to emulate and develop the proper mechanics of the hips, which literally drive all applied forces employed on the field.

The wrecking ball drill develops movement patterns required to deliver hip driven power and is great for isolating hips. In this drill, the hips resemble a wrecking ball from side view and the hands are just the conduit for power transferring from the hips when done right.

The drill is simple to set up and can be done as an activation drill or incorporated into a weight room session. All that is needed is a partner, a medicine ball and a hand shield. The med ball being held correctly establishes the position of the hands for the Bridge fit. The objective is to have the hips drive the ball up into the hand shield while the feet remain rooted in the ground. The player executing the wrecking ball should drive the weight up with the hips, “tucking the tail” and executing a foot fire upon contact with the shield.

Wrecking ball is one of several drills within the Contact System that teaches a player to use the hips. Register with your email to get the wrecking ball drill free and begin incorporating it into your players’ weight room and practice routines.


Wrecking Ball


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