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QUESTION

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The idea of improving your hips seems a little vague to me.  I think that hips play an important role in neutral, top, and bottom, but perhaps in different ways.  Hip positioning is important from neutral, for example lowering your hips to get better leverage and avoid various throws, etc.  Hip pressure is important from top as you are working to keep your opponent broken down.  From bottom, your hips help to create spacing for you to get an escape or reversal.  The question is very vague, so it is tough to answer, but I don't doubt that your hip positioning, etc. can create a lot of opportunities to score.  You may want to clarify the question with a bit of insight, such as the wrestling situation when you were told this.

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it has a lot to do with balance. wrestlers with good hips can avoid dangerous situations. A wrestler with good hips who is faced with a dangerous situation often overcomes it by getting the edge in a scramble. try to get in a lot of scrambling situations while practicing to help.

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Russ Hellrickson (sp) used to preach hips during his clinics at St. X.

He was great at explaining the benefits of keeping your weight in your hips and using it to your advantage. He would actually wrestle during the clinic without using his arms and just pushing people around with his hips. Of course he was an Olympic Medalist and coached how many NCAA Champions, so he knew how to teach and preach the hips very well!

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I think Unicorn Warrior has part of it.  You have to move your hips in some crazy situations when you're scrambling in a flurry.  It could also mean you need to pop your hips more in specific situations.  Ones that come to mind are when your trying to pick someone up in a double leg or after a stan-up when he's trying to hold on to you.  It could also mean when you're sprawling to give more hip pressure.  Jbigdaddy has a good suggestion, to ask the person who told you this exactly what they were talking about.  A specific move, situation or just hip-heisting when you're scrambling.

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Strength and power in the hips are very important, but don't underestimate the importance of hip flexibility.  It's just as important to have flexibile hips as it is to have strong, powerful hips IMO.

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as far as strengthening the core, hip area when it come to putting pressure down on a sprawl you should strengthen your lower back actually. Your erector spinae (lower back muscle) contracts to punch the hips into the ground. Do hyperextensions on a 45 degree or use a roman chair. You can also do supermans on the floor. Lay flat and raise your chest and legs off the ground leaving only your hips/pelvis in contact.

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Practice hip heists every day in practice as one of the last parts of your warm-ups, or you could use it as a conditioning drill.  You start in a tripod position and basically do a sit-out but but keep your butt off the mat.  Then immediately cut one of your legs under and rotate on the opposite side hand back to a tripod position.  Repeat for 15 to maybe 45 seconds for good wrestlers.  The most important part of the drill is to keep your hips moving continuously for a period of time.

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