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Hip and Shoulder Range of Motion in Youth Baseball Pitchers

Oliver, Gretchen D.; Weimar, Wendi H.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 10 - p 2823–2827
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000796
Original Research

Oliver, GD and Weimar, WH. Hip and shoulder range of motion in youth baseball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res 30(10): 2823–2827, 2016—Lack of range of motion (ROM) has long been suspected as contributing to injury in baseball pitchers. However, all previous ROM research has focused on collegiate and professional pitchers. It was thus the purpose of this study to measure and evaluate bilateral hip and throwing shoulder rotational passive range of motion (PROM) in youth baseball pitchers. Twenty-six youth baseball pitchers (11.3 ± 1.0 years; 152.4 ± 9.0 cm; 47.5 ± 11.3 kg) with no history of injury participated. Bilateral hip and throwing shoulder rotational PROM was measured. There were no significant side-to-side differences for the hip variables (p ≥ 0.05). Shoulder external rotation (ER) was significantly greater than shoulder internal rotation (IR). And the lead leg hip had significantly greater ER than IR. Shoulder ER revealed significant correlations with both lead and stance hip IR (r = 0.45, p = 0.02 and r = 0.48, p = 0.01, respectively). The youth baseball pitchers in this study displayed similar PROM patterns as collegiate and professional baseball pitchers. Additionally, our youth baseball pitchers also presented strong relationships between hip and shoulder PROM. This study reveals that the PROM patterns displayed by these youth may indicate that their available ROM could survive maturation. It is therefore suggested that clinical focus be directed to maintaining hip and shoulder rotational ROM throughout maturation in attempt to determine a possible relations between injurious mechanisms and performance enhancement.

School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Address correspondence to Gretchen D. Oliver,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.