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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 September;62(9):1179-83

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.13150-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Relationship between ground reaction force and throwing arm kinetics in high school and collegiate pitchers

Kristen F. NICHOLSON 1 , Tessa C. HULBURT 1, Brianne M. KIMURA 2, Arnel L. AGUINALDO 3

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; 2 Department of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; 3 Department of Kinesiology, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA, USA



BACKGROUND: Throwing a baseball requires the transmission of forces generated in the lower extremity, through the trunk, to the upper extremity, and ultimately translates to the ball. A disruption in the functioning of the lower extremities could lead to altered upper extremity kinematics and increased load exerted on the shoulder and elbow. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of ground reaction forces (GRF) on the drive and stride sides and kinetics of the throwing arm in high school and collegiate baseball pitchers.
METHODS: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, data that were previously collected during a pitching evaluation were analyzed. Fifty high school pitchers and 26 collegiate pitchers had received a pitching evaluation. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationships between variables.
RESULTS: Only the drive leg medial force was determined to be a significant predictor of maximum shoulder external rotation torque. Maximum elbow valgus torque was not correlated with any GRF variables and ball speed was only weakly correlated with stride leg medial force. There were no significant differences in GRFs between the high school and college pitchers.
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the limited relationships present, other factors such as muscle strength, coordination, kinematics, or stride technique may overshadow the effects of GRF in highly skilled pitchers and warrant further investigation. Understanding this relationship will be important to both enhancing performance and avoiding injury.


KEY WORDS: Baseball; Shoulder; Elbow; Torque

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