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Relationships between Hip Strength and Pitching Biomechanics in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers. J Athl Train 2022 Jun 20



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CONTEXT: Hip strength may influence the energy flow through the kinematic chain during baseball pitching, creating a relationship with athlete performance as well as risk for injury.

OBJECTIVE: To identify associations between hip strength and pitching biomechanics in adolescent baseball pitchers during three key events of the pitching cycle.

DESIGN: Cross-Sectional study.

SETTING: Biomechanics laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six adolescent male baseball pitchers (16.1 ± 0.8 yrs.; 184.29 ± 5.5 cm; 77.5 ± 8.5 kg).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures were hip strength (external rotation, internal rotation, flexion, abduction, adduction, and extension). After strength measurements were obtained, motion capture was used to obtain a full body biomechanical analysis at three different events during the pitching cycle (foot contact, maximal external rotation, and ball release). These values were then evaluated for associations between hip strength and pitching biomechanics. Scatterplots were examined for linearity to determine an appropriate correlation test. Associations examined were linear, thus two-tailed Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine correlations between biomechanical metrics. A significance level of p < 0.01 was chosen.

RESULTS: Ten strong correlations were found between pitching biomechanics and hip strength: eight correlations between hip strength and kinematics at key points during the pitch, and two correlations of hip strength with peak elbow varus torque.

CONCLUSION: Several correlations were found between lower extremity strength and pitching biomechanics. This information provides data that may be used to increase performance or reduce injury in pitchers. Increases in hip strength in adolescent pitchers may both improve performance, and decrease risk of injury.

Author List

Albiero ML, Kokott W, Dziuk C, Cross JA


Janelle A. Cross PhD Assistant Professor in the Orthopaedic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin