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Optimal Athletic Stance

This post looks at the traditional approach to defensive stance in basketball, but also athletic stance in other sports as well.

Hip Internal/External Rotation

The hip is a ball in socket joint, which is exactly what it sounds like. This allows the hip to move in a variety of ways, including rotation. The hip internally rotates during hip flexion (think kicking) and externally rotates during hip extension (think jumping or pushing). This is to create torque, resulting in greater force production!

During a defensive slide (as shown above) the hip is extending as well as externally rotating. If you start in an externally rotated position, the hip will not be able to externally rotate further. This either results in less force being produced leading to slower movement or the athlete must first internally rotate their hip before pushing off leading to a slight delay in movement!


This concept is applied to basketball defensive stance in the post above but it can be applied to any sport that requires lateral movement. This includes volleyball, football, soccer, tennis, dodgeball and more!

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