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Am J Sports Med. 1998 Jan-Feb;26(1):66-71.

Characteristic ground-reaction forces in baseball pitching.

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Department of Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Overhand throwing requires contributions from and interaction between all limb segments. Most previous investigations have concentrated on the throwing arm itself, yet poor mechanics at the arm may originate in the lower extremities. Multicomponent ground-reaction forces of both the push-off and landing limbs were measured in six collegiate and one high school level baseball pitchers. Full body kinematics were simultaneously recorded to correlate phases in the pitching cycle with the force data. Pitchers were found to generate shear forces of 0.35 body weight in the direction of the pitch with the push-off leg and to resist forces of 0.72 body weight with the landing leg. Wrist velocity was found to correlate highly with increased leg drive. This study validates the clinical impression that the lower extremity is an important contributor to the throwing motion. Based on this study, strengthening of the lower extremities could be inferred to be important both to enhance performance and to avoid injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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