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Lower-Extremity Ground Reaction Forces in Collegiate Baseball Pitchers

Guido, John A. Jr1; Werner, Sherry L.2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 7 - p 1782–1785
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31824e1211
Original Research

Abstract: Guido, JA Jr and Werner, SL. Lower-extremity ground reaction forces in collegiate baseball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res 26(7): 1782–1785, 2012—The purpose of this study was to investigate ground reaction forces (GRF) in collegiate baseball pitchers and their relationship to pitching mechanics. Fourteen healthy collegiate baseball pitchers participated in this study. High-speed video and force plate data were collected for fastballs from each pitcher. The average ball speed was 35 ± 3 m/sec (78 ± 7 mph). Peak GRFs of 245 ± 20% body weight (BW) were generated in an anterior or braking direction to control descent. Horizontal GRFs tended to occur in a laterally directed fashion, reaching a peak of 45 ± 63% BW. The maximum vertical GRF averaged 202 ± 43% BW approximately 45 milliseconds after stride foot contact. A correlation between braking force and ball velocity was evident. Because of the downward inclination and rotation of the pitching motion, in addition to volume, shear forces may occur in the musculoskeletal tissues of the stride limb leading to many of the lower-extremity injuries seen in this athletic population.

1Out-Patient Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine Division, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana

2Sport Science Unlimited, Arlington, Texas

Address correspondence to Sherry L. Werner, swerner02@sprynet.com.

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association