In my previous piece, “Hips Don’t Lie: A Message to Pitchers Everywhere”, we touched on the importance for baseball pitchers to give their hips a little TLC. Recent research has found a correlation between limited hip range of motion and risk of tearing the elbow ulnar collateral ligament, which can lead to Tommy John Surgery.

The Tommy John surgery is a  prevalent procedure amongst overhead throwing athletes, but as with any surgery, comes with consequences. Improving hip range of motion can reduce stress on the UCL, which can be as simple as incorporating some simple Yoga Tune Up® hip focused poses .One great pose is the Yoga Tune Up® Happy Baby Minivini, shown in the video below. Even if you are not an overhead athlete, this sequence is great for improving the dynamic mobility of your hips for any sport or movement. The hips don’t lie – and having healthy hips can improve your movement for a variety of activities!



  1. University of Florida. “In pitching injuries, the elbow is connected to the hip.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014.


Enjoyed this article? Read Ankle Ball Buster: Regaining Mobility After a Sprain.

Maya Talisa

Maya’s background in competitive martial arts and volleyball has guided a passion for promoting wellness among athletes through yoga at the high school, collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels. In collaboration with coaches, Maya works with individual athletes and teams to improve performance and reduce injures. Her classes blend guided movement and breath to create balance and flexibility. She is dedicated to promoting strength, conditioning, and lengthening to prepare athletes to compete at the top of their sport and realize their ultimate potential. Certifications & Special Skills: 200e-RYT Teacher Training with Marianne Wells | Mentorship under Marianne Wells, Mark Stephens, Joseph Sarti and Clippers Yoga Coach Kent Katich | Masters in Public Health, Community Health Sciences, UCLA | Yogi Beans: Children's Yoga | Post-Natal Yoga | Baby & Me Yoga | Black Belt Tae Kwan Do, Sparring Coach | Certified Yoga Tune Up® Instructor

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Queen Sheba

Wow I never knew the elbow was connected to the hip. This is great for many athletes who utilize their arms “Happy Babies” for everyone. Who would have thought some hip love would transfer into some elbow love as well.

Elizabeth Pezzello

This article caught my eye as my boyfriend is a baseball player and we often hear of players in the community going through with Tommy John’s surgery. While this might seem like a quick fix, there are many reasons to avoid surgery.

Isabelle P

Go reminder to focus not only on the weakess or more at risk body part. I will keep it in mind.


I recently started reading the book, ‘The Arm’ by Jeff Passan and I hadn’t thought about this pose being a great way to help prevent the Tommy John surgery but it’s so true! Thanks for opening up my eyes to that. I’m thinking about some of the funky shoulder humans I work with and how I should put more emphasis on hip mobility and health.


Thank you Maya. The happy baby minivini is great! I started to focus more on hip mobility in the yoga classes I am teach and the happy baby minivini is always a part of it.

Lisa Pitel-Killah

It is truly amazing that something in the hip affects something in the elbow. Thanks for this and that is one of the best findings that I have learned through Yoga Tune Up thus far, it is all interconnected!


If that surgery doesn’t help illustrate the interconnection between the upper and lower body, I dont know what does.


I’m a sports performance physical therapist and this is very true. Lack of hip mobility can lead to dysfunction throughout the entire kinetic chain. I recently taught a class that included happy baby Minivini myself and got great feedback from my athletes and saw how desperately they needed it. Glad a came across your article and now I can share that extra bit of valuable information with my baseball players regarding increased strain on the UCL and the correlation with hips. Thanks!

Katrina O'Neill

Now that I better understand the link between hips and shoulders, this is a pose I will be incorporating a lot into my program and my overhead athletes or kyphotic clients.

Christiane Parcigneau

I agree: the hips don’t lie! I’ve recently been introduced to the Half Happy Baby minivini and, as a recreational hockey player, this movement feels wonderful. I’ll be sharing it with my team next season!


Yes! The hips are thoroughfare between the bottom and top part of our bodies and a lack of mobility or tightness in the hips can affect the entire structure of the body. I love Happy Baby Minivini, the fluidity of the movement brings awareness and informs the entire hip region. Its my new favorite!

Stephanie Boxall

After reading the previous article and recently experiencing the Happy Baby Minivini, I think this may be something to introduce to our pitcher in the family…he would definately loosen up. Thanks again for great suggestions.

Gretchen Corbin

Thanks for the reminder that tight hips affect the whole body. You’ve inspired me to include Happy Baby Minivini in more of my classes – not just when I’m focusing on the hips! And in general this is a good reminder that when teaching a class that emphasizes a particular “focus” area, to remember to include things for the whole body. (e.g. when teaching a class focused on shoulders, you should include more than just shoulder exercises!)


Thanks for the post! A great reminder that the body is one big kinetic chain. Problems in one area can impact a seemingly unrelated and remote body part – but this post reminds us that no one body part is every really “unrelated” to another. Happy baby minivini is such a fun and freeing way to address mobility issues!

Nicole Adell Johnson

after reading the previous article I felt like having a little happy baby Minivini myself. Great information.