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Effect of Three Different Between-Inning Recovery Methods on Baseball Pitching Performance

Warren, Courtney D1; Brown, Lee E2; Landers, Merrill R3; Stahura, Kurt A4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 683-688
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318208adfe
Original Research

Warren, CD, Brown, LE, Landers, MR, and Stahura, KA. Effect of three different between-inning recovery methods on baseball pitching performance. J Strength Cond Res 25(X): 000-000, 2011-A decrease in blood hydrogen ions (H+) may allow for the recovery of a muscle, which should allow for greater performance in subsequent activity. The purpose of this study was to determine which of 3 forms of recovery were the most effective after an inning of pitching in baseball. Three different measurements were used to determine which recovery method was most effective; the difference in blood lactate (BLa) levels was used as a biological measurement, average pitching speed was the physiological measurement, and the psychological measurement was done on how the pitchers perceived their pitching and recovery. The recovery methods that were used were passive recovery (PR), active recovery (AR), and electromuscular stimulation (EMS). Seven college men aged 21 (±2 years) who were National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II college baseball pitchers were assessed during game play simulations. Blood lactate levels decreased significantly from the premeasurement to the postmeasurement with the EMS recovery method (p < 0.0005); however, BLa did not change for PR (p = 0.017) or AR (p = 0.134). Perceived recovery was also found to be best in the EMS and PR conditions. These findings suggest that EMS is an effective recovery method between innings of pitching.

1Department of Athletic Training, College of Allied Health Professionals, Montana State University Billings, Billings, Montana; 2Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California; 3Department of Physical Therapy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada; and 4Department of Recreation and Sport Management, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

Address correspondence to Courtney D. Warren,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association