Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 742 - 750

Research article
Kinematic and Kinetic Profiles of Trunk and Lower Limbs during Baseball Pitching in Collegiate Pitchers
Masahiro Kageyama1, Takashi Sugiyama1, Yohei Takai2, Hiroaki Kanehisa2, Akira Maeda2, 
Author Information
1 Graduate School of Physical Education, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kagoshima, Japan
2 National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kagoshima, Japan

Akira Maeda
✉ National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, 1 Shiromizu, Kanoya, Kagoshima 891-2393, Japan
Email: amaeda@nifs-k.ac.jp
Publish Date
Received: 03-04-2014
Accepted: 25-06-2014
Published (online): 01-12-2014
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to clarify differences in the kinematic and kinetic profiles of the trunk and lower extremities during baseball pitching in collegiate baseball pitchers, in relation to differences in the pitched ball velocity. The subjects were 30 collegiate baseball pitchers aged 18 to 22 yrs, who were assigned to high- (HG, 37.4 ± 0.8 m·s-1) and low-pitched-ball-velocity groups (LG, 33.3 ± 0.8 m·s-1). Three-dimensional motion analysis with a comprehensive lower-extremity model was used to evaluate kinematic and kinetic parameters during baseball pitching. The ground-reaction forces (GRF) of the pivot and stride legs during pitching were determined using two multicomponent force plates. The joint torques of hip, knee, and ankle were calculated using inverse-dynamics computation of a musculoskeletal human model. To eliminate any effect of variation in body size, kinetic and GRF data were normalized by dividing them by body mass. The maxima and minima of GRF (Fy, Fz, and resultant forces) on the pivot and stride leg were significantly greater in the HG than in the LG (p < 0.05). Furthermore, Fy, Fz, and resultant forces on the stride leg at maximum shoulder external rotation and ball release were significantly greater in the HG than in the LG (p < 0.05). The hip abduction, hip internal rotation and knee extension torques of the pivot leg and the hip adduction torque of the stride leg when it contacted the ground were significantly greater in the HG than in the LG (p < 0.05). These results indicate that, compared with low-ball-velocity pitchers, high-ball-velocity pitchers can generate greater momentum of the lower limbs during baseball pitching.

Key words: Throwing movement, pitching ball velocity, ground-reaction force, lower limbs, pivot and stride legs


           Key Points
  • High-ball-velocity pitchers are characterized by greater momentum of the lower limbs during pitching motion.
  • For high-pitched-ball velocity, stabilizing lower limbs during pitching plays an important role in order to increase the rotation and forward motion of the trunk.
  • Computation of the lower-extremity kinetics and measurement of lower-extremity strength may help clarify the role of muscle strength in determining knee and hip function in baseball pitching.
 
 
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