BALL VELOCITY AND ELBOW LOADING IN FASTBALL PITCHING

Xavier Gasparutto, Erik van der Graaf, Dirkjan Veeger, Frans van der Helm

Abstract


Among baseball players, the pitchers are the most prone to injuries. These injuries occur mainly at the medial part of the elbow and at the shoulder. It is widely accepted that high joint loading are linked to overuse injury for repetitive motion. At maximal exo-rotation (MER), the elbow maximal abduction moment is predominantly counteracted by the ulnar collateral ligament and causes great stress on this structure. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the elbow maximal abduction moment, ball velocity and technique. Thirteen elite pitchers participated in this study. Elbow maximal abduction moment was computed by an inverse dynamics method. Results indicate that the mean maximal abduction moment of the forearm on the upper arm was 41+-9Nm and can be reduced without hampering ball velocity by lowering the elbow flexion angle at MER.

Keywords


baseball pitching; injury; elbow loading; ball velocity

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ISSN 1999-4168