Sports Medicine - Baseball Episode 1 - KIME Physical Therapy

Sports Medicine – Baseball Episode 1

May 24, 2019 |

Welcome to the baseball blog series!

With the start of another year, many of us are looking towards the start of baseball season. Whether you’re a little leaguer, high school athlete, collegiate player, or in the professional ranks, February and March are critical months to transition your body to accept the demands of a long baseball season.

Whether you’re looking to improve your game, gain velocity in your pitch, prevent the inevitable overuse trends of overhead throwing, or just learn a little more about the throwing motion, you have found the right place!

Our passion is to provide the baseball community with information and tools to be successful in improving performance and avoiding common injuries.

This is the beginning of a continuous baseball blog series that will address a variety of topics that we feel are important for the baseball community to be informed on. Enjoy!

The most powerful pitchers in the world do an exceptional job of translating forces FROM THE GROUND through their body during the pitching motion. When done properly, the large muscle groups of the legs, hips, trunk, and shoulder girdle sequence the transmission of the force into the arm in order to pitch at elite velocities for extended periods of time.

The throwing motion is the fastest occurrence in sports, and there is an absolute need in development and maintenance of sport specific strength and mobility to achieve elite levels of performance, as well as avoid injury. Imagine your arm rotating 20 full circles in 1 second if there weren’t any muscles holding it back (2)!

A recent study calculated that 20% decrease in kinetic energy delivered from the hip and trunk to the arm requires a 34% increase in the rotational velocity of the shoulder to impart the same amount of force to the hand, WHICH MEANS as you use your trunk and hips less you’ll place more stress on the throwing shoulder/elbow (3).

Kinetic Linking:
Let’s take a look into how the force from the ground makes it to the hand at ball release.

Finally, that force from the ground reaches the shoulder girdle, elbow, hand, and baseball. Now knowing where that force comes from, and how the elite transfer it through their body, you can see how the throwing motion is the fastest in sports.

Clearly, the individuals in the world of baseball that can achieve this level of performance don’t just roll out of bed and maintain this ability. Elite pitchers have focused strength, conditioning, and mobility programs that get them to this point, as well as drills to help counter the overuse effects of throwing.

We will discuss these specific programs and drills in future baseball blog posts, so stay tuned!

1. The throwing motion in baseball is a high stress and powerful motion.
2. The force that produces the fastest known human motion makes its way through the body by creating power from the legs pushing into the GROUND..
3. Elite pitchers are able to transfer forces from the ground through their body, sequentially, to the ball in their hand.
4. There are specific programs and drills to help improve rotational power, transfer forces effectively, and counter the stressful effects of the throwing motion.

**At Kime Human Performance Institute, we guide players through the whole continuum for a high performing healthy arm.

Testing pre and post off-season training; pre and post in-season

Off-season strength and conditioning program

In-season strength and power maintenance program

In-season arm care program


MacWilliams B, Chao E,Choi T et al. Characteristic ground-reaction forces in baseball pitching. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1998; 26(1)

Escamilla R, Andrews J. Shoulder muscle recruitment patterns and related biomechanics during upper extremity sports. Sports Med. 2009; 39(7): 569-590

Seroyer S, Nho S, Bach B et al. The kinetic chain in overhead pitching: its potential role for performance enhancement and injury prevention. Sports Health. 2010; 2(2): 135-146

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