Article / Research Article

"The Effects of a Pre-Throwing Program on Collegiate NCAA Division I Softball Pitchers’ Biomechanical Measures of the Hip and Shoulder Range of Motion"

Gretchen D. Oliver1*, Jessica K. Washington1, Kenzie B. Friesen1, Adam W. Anz2, Jeff R. Dugas3, James R.Andrews2

1Sports Medicine & Movement Lab, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

2Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

3Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

*Corresponding author: Gretchen D. Oliver, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, 301 Wire Road, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA. Tel: +1-3348444483; Fax: +1-3348441467; Email: goliver@auburn.edu

Received Date: 14February, 2018; Accepted Date27February, 2018; Published Date: 06March, 2018

1.            Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a pre-throwing program on softball pitchers’ passive rotational hip and shoulder range of motion and isometric strength.Four female fast-pitch softball pitchers (20.6 + 1.4 yrs, 174.0 + 6.7 cm, 82.6 + 6.6 kg) completed a pre-throwing program one hour prior to the start ofevery game.Data were collected pre-game, post-game, and 24-hours post game three times: pre-season, mid-season, and post-season. Data were analyzed using a repeated-measures analysis of variance with an alpha level of p<0.05.Statistical analysis revealed a significant decrease in throwing shoulder internal rotation from pre-season to mid-season (Mean Difference (MD) = -8.692, p=0.001) and from pre-season to post-season (MD= -12.617, p=0.002) in addition to a significant decrease innon-throwing shoulder internal rotation from pre-season to mid-season (MD= -9.542, p=0.012) and from pre-season to post-season (MD= -12.792, p=0.003). Additionally, a significant increase was revealed in external rotation strength of the non-throwing shoulder from pre-game to 24 hours post-game (MD = 0.925, p=0.043) as well as a significant increase in post-game external rotation strength of the back hip from pre-season to post-season (MD = 1.375, p=0.003).No significant differences were found in rotational hip range of motion, suggesting the pre-throwing program helped maintain the necessary kinematics to aid proper pitching mechanics.These data support the continual implementation of a pre-throwing program as well as biomechanical monitoring of passive range of motion in addition, the need of further research aiming to enroll additional teams into the pre-throwing program. Recruitment of additional teams both to the pre-throwing program as well as serving as a control would allow for more definitive conclusions of the program’s effectiveness.

2.            Keywords: Injury Prevention; Performance; Windmill Softball Pitching



Figure 1: Inclinometer placement for shoulder ROM measurement.



Figure 2: Inclinometer placement for hip ROM measurement.



Figure 3: Dynamometer placement for shoulder ISO measurement.



Figure 4: Dynamometer placement for hip ISO measurement.

Table 1: Pre-throwing Program exercises.

 

Exercise

 

Description

Single Leg Stance

Non-weight bearing hip is flexed to 90 degrees with
arms in the position of a W, pulling elbows to opposite back pockets.

Lunge: without knee touching ground

Arms remain in the W position, elbows to the opposite back pocket.

Airplane

Body parallel to the ground, weight bearing leg straight and fully flexed at the hip.

Deep Squat

Arms overhead in line with the ears.

Single Leg Standing Hip Abduction

Leg moving does not rest on the ground. Try to balance the whole time on standing leg and try not to lean forward or to the weight bearing side.

Single Leg Standing Hip Extension

Leg moving should not allow foot to rest on the ground throughout the exercise and try not to allow the trunk to lean forward.

Side Lying Clams

Position the body where hips, shoulder and knees are in a straight line, with knees bent and feet stacked.

Basic Plank

Maintain tight core and do not let butt rise into the air.

Plank with Shoulder Taps

Maintain tight core and do not let butt rise and do not rotate body when tapping.

Basic Plank with Hip Abduction

Maintain tight core and do not let butt rise into the air, try to keep abduction leg/foot off the ground the whole time.

Pelvic Bridge

Core tight, straight line from shoulders to hip with feet Together.

Pelvic Bridge with Bands and Clams

Core tight, straight line from shoulders to hip with feet together.

Single Leg Standing Hip Diagonal Abduction
Pumps

Take the leg out and back diagonally to the end range of motion and then pump. Keep moving foot off the ground.

Single Leg Standing Hip Extension Pumps

Extend the leg back to the end range of motion and then pump. Keep moving foot off the ground.

Single Leg Backward Kirsty Lunge with Single Leg Hold

Lunge backward across body to get a stretch then bring lunge leg back up to single leg stance with hip flexed at 90 degrees and hold for a count of 3.

Single Leg Pelvic Bridge with Leg Extended

Keep butt level with torso as the right leg extends at the knee.

 

Table 2: Range of motion comparisons between Pre, Post, 24-hours following game at the time events of pre-season, mid-season, and post-season.

 

 

Pre-Season

 Mid-Season

Post-Season

Average

 

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Back Hip IR (˚)

Pre

29.50±11.28

26.35±6.11

26.08±7.28

27.31±8.22

Post

31.05±7.05

24.20±4.87

30.75±7.25

28.67±6.39

24-Hrs

29.25±12.27

27.40±7.09

28.20±9.37

28.28±9.58

Average

29.93±10.2

25.98±6.02

28.34±7.97

-

Back Hip ER (˚)

Pre

34.40±4.18

28.05±9.60

27.58±9.29

30.01±7.69

Post

29.58±7.24

28.55±3.55

30.80±6.35

29.64±5.71

24-Hrs

32.60±8.27

28.80±3.50

30.15±7.05

30.52±6.27

Average

32.19±6.56

28.47±5.55

29.51±7.56

-

Lead Hip IR (˚)

Pre

27.95±4.30

22.95±7.26

21.55±2.3E

24.15±4.64

Post

24.13±3.20

22.30±4.41

24.40±3.12

23.61±3.58

24-Hrs

24.95±2.93

24.75±5.02

22.2±1.39

23.97±3.11

Average

25.68±3.48

23.33±5.56

22.72±2.29

-

Lead Hip ER (˚)

Pre

35.95±11.71

30.65±6.88

29.05±7.58

31.88±8.72

Post

34.38±4.75

31.93±6.56

31.45±9.15

32.58±6.82

24-Hrs

32.98±5.67

29.73±6.65

32.18±10.40

31.63±7.57

Average

34.43±7.38

30.77±6.70

30.89±9.04

-

T Shoulder IR (˚)

Pre

42.63±3.69

32.50±0.62

29.38±5.99

34.83±3.43

Post

43.60±2.56

34.35±3.85

30.95±3.70

36.30±3.37

24-Hrs

39.80±2.53

33.10±2.01

27.85±1.68

33.58±2.07

Average

42.01±2.93*†

33.32±2.16*

29.39±3.79

-

T Shoulder ER (˚)

Pre

110.85±7.10

103.15±11.35

100.75±12.47

104.92±10.31

Post

105.98±8.61

91.03±16.58

105.63±11.27

100.88±12.15

24-Hrs

111.18±8.16

105.75±8.26

99.50±5.00

105.48±7.14

Average

109.33±7.96

99.98±12.06

101.96±9.58

-

NT Shoulder IR (˚)

Pre

48.68±7.99

36.10±2.42

32.83±2.22

39.20±4.21

Post

47.08±6.66

33.80±1.72

31.83±2.51

37.57±3.63

24-Hrs

38.55±2.57

35.78±4.03

31.28±2.26

35.20±2.95

Average

44.77±5.74*†

35.23±2.72*

31.98±2.33

-

NT Shoulder ER (˚)

Pre

106.775±8.90

103.30±16.46

94.28±7.22

101.45±10.86

Post

105.63±12.02

95.75±15.72

102.30±10.58

101.23±12.77

24-Hrs

103.50±7.17

95.55±14.22

96.65±15.75

98.57±12.38

Average

105.30±9.36

98.20±15.47

97.74±11.18

 

IR = Internal Rotation, ER = External Rotation, T = Throwing, NT = Non-throwing.

*difference between pre-season and mid-season at significance level p < 0.05

difference between pre-season and post-season at significance level p < 0.05

 

Table 3:Isometric strength comparisons between Pre, Post, 24-hours following game at the time events of pre-season, mid-season, and post-season.

 

 

Pre-Season

Mid-Season

Post-Season

Average

 

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Mean, SD

Back Hip FR (kgf)

Pre

11.55±0.90

14.13±4.14

14.65±1.18

13.44±2.07

Post

11.20±1.25

13.10±1.59

13.35±2.32

12.55±1.72

24-Hrs

11.58±1.13

12.73±4.33

14.25±0.57

12.85±2.01

Average

11.44±1.09

13.32±3.53

14.08±1.36

-

Back Hip ER(kgf)

Pre

11.28±1.31

11.70±2.22

11.40±1.28

11.46±1.60

Post

 9.58±1.48*

11.43±2.78

10.95±1.69*

10.65±1.98

24-Hrs

11.53±1.44

10.05±2.83

12.58±1.79

11.38±2.02

Average

10.79±1.41

11.06±2.61

11.64±1.59

-

Lead Hip FR (kgf)

Pre

12.15±1.21

13.25±3.15

13.88±2.81

13.09±2.39

Post

11.03±2.02

13.95±2.49

13.03±3.55

12.67±2.69

24-Hrs

11.70±1.35

12.78±3.02

13.93±2.84

12.80±2.40

Average

11.63±1.53

13.33±2.89

13.61±3.07

-

Lead Hip ER (kgf)

Pre

11.55±1.44

10.45±2.45

12.10±2.49

11.37±2.13

Post

9.90±1.94

11.93±2.07

11.23±2.39

11.02±2.13

24-Hrs

10.68±0.59

10.75±1.80

12.95±2.32

11.46±1 .57

Average

10.71±1.32

11.04±2.11

12.09±2.40

-

T Shoulder IR (kgf)

Pre

11.00±1.44

12.10±1.96

11.03±0.97

11.38±1.46

Post

10.38±1.40

10.43±2.16

11.93±1.19

10.91±1.58

24-Hrs

10.58±0.79

10.90±1.86

11.15±1.35

10.88±1.33

Average

10.65±1.21

11.14±1 .99

11.37±1.17

-

T Shoulder ER (kgf)

Pre

10.85±1.76

11.13±0.90

10.30±0.79

10.76±1.15

Post

10.20±0.87

10.75±0.26

10.95±1.31

10.63±0.81

24-Hrs

10.05±1.10

11.00±1 .41

11.10±1.25

10.72±1.25

Average

10.37±1.24

10.96±0.86

10.78±1.12

-

NT Shoulder IR (kgf)

Pre

9.73±1.13

11.08±1.48

10.60±1.07

10.47±1.23

Post

10.18±1.81

10.73±1.88

10.93±0.87

10.61±1.52

24-Hrs

10.28±1.28

10.75±1.95

11.73±1.11

10.92±1.45

Average

10.06±1.41

10.85±1.77

11.08±1.02

-

NT Shoulder ER (kgf)

Pre

9.93±2.05

10.60±1.54

10.25±2.44

10.26±2.01*

Post

10.38±1.79

10.43±1.47

10.90±1.62

10.57±1.63

24-Hrs

11.75±1.71

11.15±0.73

10.65±1.91

11.18±1.45*

Average

10.68±1.85

10.73±1.25

10.60±1.99

-

IR = Internal Rotation, ER = External Rotation, T =Throwing, NT =Non-throwing.

*significance level p < 0.05

1.            Education Udo (2016) Equity in Athletics Data Analysis 2016.

2.            Flynn M (1995) Softball slides into the 21st century: growth in popularity of softball in schools. Parks and Recreation 30: 36.

3.            Guido JA, Jr., Werner SL, Meister K (2009) Lower-extremity ground reaction forces in youth windmill softball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res 23: 1873-1876.

4.            Powell JW and Barber-Foss KD (1999) Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons. J Athl Train 34: 277-284.

5.            Skillington SA, Brophy RH, Wright RW, Smith MV (2017) Effect of pitching consecutive days in youth fast-pitch softball tournaments on objective shoulder strength and subjective shoulder symptoms. Am J Sports Med 45: 1413-1419.

6.            Krajnik S, Fogarty KJ, Yard EE, Comstock RD (2010) Shoulder injuries in US high school baseball and softball athletes, 2005-2008. Pediatrics 125: 497-501.

7.            Rauh MJ, Macera CA, Ji M, Wiksten DL (2007) Subsequent injury patterns in girls' high school sports. J Athl Train 42: 486-494.

8.            Rechel JA, Yard EE, Comstock RD (2008) An epidemiologic comparison of high school sports injuries sustained in practice and competition. J Athl Train 43: 197-204.

9.            Shanley E, Rauh MJ, Michener LA, Ellenbecker TS (2011) Incidence of injuries in high school softball and baseball players. J Athl Train 46: 648-654.

10.            Hill JL, Humphries B, Weidner T, Newton RU (2004) Female collegiate windmill pitchers: influences to injury incidence. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 18: 426-431.

11.            Myers JB, Laudner KG, Pasquale MR, Bradley JP, Lephart SM (2006) Glenohumeral range of motion deficits and posterior shoulder tightness in throwers with pathologic internal impingement. The American journal of sports medicine 34: 385-391.

12.            Kibler WB, Sciascia A, Moore S (2012) An acute throwing episode decreases shoulder internal rotation. ClinOrthopRelat Res 470: 1545-1551.

13.            Robb AJ, Fleisig G, Wilk K, Macrina L, Bolt B, et al. (2010) Passive ranges of motion of the hips and their relationship with pitching biomechanics and ball velocity in professional baseball pitchers. Am J Sports Med 38: 2487-2493.

14.            Byram IR, Bushnell BD, Dugger K, Charron K, Harrell Jr FE, et al. (2010) Preseason shoulder strength measurements in professional baseball pitchers: identifying players at risk for injury. The American journal of sports medicine 38: 1375-1382.

15.            Corben JS, Cerrone SA, Soviero JE, Kwiecien SY, Nicholas SJ, et al. (2015) Performance Demands in Softball Pitching: A Comprehensive Muscle Fatigue Study. Am J Sports Med 43: 2035-2041.

16.            Woods K, Bishop P, Jones E (2007) Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Sports Medicine 37: 1089-1099.

17.            Myers JB, Pasquale MR, Laudner KG, Sell TC, Bradley JP, et al. (2005) On-the-field resistance-tubing exercises for throwers: an electromyographic analysis. Journal of athletic training 40: 15.

18.            Wilk KE, Yenchak A, Arrigo CA, Andrews JR (2011) The advanced throwers ten exercise program: a new exercise series for enhanced dynamic shoulder control in the overhead throwing athlete. The Physician and sports medicine 39: 90-97.

19.            Huang JS, Pietrosimone BG, Ingersoll CD, Weltman AL, Saliba SA (2011) Sling exercise and traditional warm-up have similar effects on the velocity and accuracy of throwing. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25: 1673-1679.

20.            Oliver GD (2014) Relationship between gluteal muscle activation and upper extremity kinematics and kinetics in softball position players. Med BiolEngComput 52: 265-270.

21.            Oliver GD and Keeley DW (2010) Pelvis and torso kinematics and their relationship to shoulder kinematics in high-school baseball pitchers. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24: 3241-3246.

22.            Plummer HA and Oliver GD (2014) The relationship between gluteal muscle activation and throwing kinematics in baseball and softball catchers. J Strength Cond Res 28: 87-96.

23.            Oliver GD, Dwelly PM, Kwon YH (2010) Kinematic motion of the windmill softball pitch in prepubescent and pubescent girls. J Strength Cond Res 24: 2400-2407.

24.            Oliver GD and Plummer H (2011) Ground reaction forces, kinematics, and muscle activations during the windmill softball pitch. J Sports Sci 29: 1071-1077.

25.            Oliver GD, Plummer HA, Keeley DW (2011) Muscle activation patterns of the upper and lower extremity during the windmill softball pitch. J Strength Cond Res 25: 1653-1658.

26.            Dwelly PM, Tripp BL, Tripp PA, Eberman LE, Gorin S (2009) Glenohumeral rotational range of motion in collegiate overhead-throwing atheltes during an athletic season. journal of Athletic Training 44: 611-616.

27.            Sauers EL, HuxelBliven KC, Johnson MP, Falsone S, Walters S (2013) Hip and glenohumeral rotational range of motion in healthy professional baseball pitchers and position players. Am J Sports Med 42: 430-436.

28.            Laudner KG, Moore SD, Sipes RC, Meister K (2010) Functional hip characteristics of baseball pitchers and position players. Am J Sports Med 38: 383-387.

29.            Oliver GD, Plummer HA, Washington J, Weimar WH, Brambeck A (2017) Effects of Game Performance on Softball Pitchers and Catchers. J Strength Cond Res 2017.

30.            Bigliani LU, Codd TP, Connor PM, Levine WN, Littlefield MA, et al (1997) Shoulder motion and laxity in the professional baseball player. Am J Sports Med 25: 609-613.

31.            Ellenbecker TS, Roetert EP, Bailie DS, Davies GJ, Brown SW (2002) Glenohumeral joint total rotation range of motion in elite tennis players and baseball pitchers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34: 2052-2056.

32.            Tokish JM, Curtin MS, Kim YK, Hawkins RJ, Torry MR (2008) Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit in the asymptomatic professional pitcher and its relationship to humeral retroversion. J Sports Sci Med 7: 78-83.

33.            Oliver GD, Plummer H, Brambeck A (2016) Hip and Glenohumeral Passive Range of Motion in Collegiate Softball Players. Int J Sports Phys Ther 11: 738-745.

34.            Fredericson M, Cookingham CL, Chaudhari AM, Dowdell BC, Oestreicher N, et al. (2006) Hip abductor weakness in distance runners with iliotibial band syndrome. Clin J Sport Med 10: 169-175.

35.            Matthews MJ, Green D, Matthews H, Swanwick E (2017) The efffects of swimming fatigue on shoulder strength, range of motion, joint control, and performance in swimmers. Phys Ther Sport 23: 118-122.

36.            Niemuth PE, Johnson RJ, Myers MJ, Thieman TJ (2005) Hip muscle weakness and overuse injuries in recreational runners. Clin J Sport Med 15: 14-21.

37.            Robinson TW (2011) The influence of soccer-specific fatigue on hip range of motion and peak isokinetic hip flexor torque in male soccer players. Iowa State University Digital Respository: Kinesiology, Iowa State University 2011.

38.            Kibler WB, Wilkes T, Sciascia A (2013) Mechanics and pathomechanics in the overhead athlete. Clin Sports Med 32: 637-651.

39.            Laudner KG, Wong R, Onuki T, Lynall R, Meister K (2015) The relationship between clinically measured hip rotational motion and shoulder biomechanics during the pitching motion. J Sci Med Sport 18: 581-584.

40.            Oliver GD and Weimar W (2015) Hip range of motion and scapula position in youth baseball pitching pre and post simulated game. J Sports Sci 33: 1447-1453.

41.            Wilk KE, Macrina LC, Fleisig GS, et al. (2011) Correlation of glenohumeral internal rotation deficit and total rotational motion to shoulder injuries in professional baseball pitchers. Am J Sports Med 39: 329-335.

42.            Oliver GD and Weimar WH (2014) Hip and Shoulder Range of Motion in Youth Baseball Pitchers. J Strength Cond Res 2014.

43.            Loosli AR, Requa RK, Garrick JG, Hanley E (1992) Injuries to pitchers in women's collegiate fast-pitch softball. Am J Sports Med 20: 35-37.

Citation: Oliver GD, Washington JK, Friesen KB, Anz AW, Dugas JR, et al.(2018) The Effects of a Pre-Throwing Program on Collegiate NCAA Division I Softball Pitchers’ Biomechanical Measures of Hip and Shoulder Range of Motion. J OrthopTher: JORT-181. DOI: 10.29011/2575-8241. 000081