Biomechanics of windmill softball pitching with implications about injury mechanisms at the shoulder and elbow

Academic Article


  • Underhand pitching has received minimal attention in the sports medicine literature. This may be due to the perception that, compared with overhead pitching, the underhand motion creates less stress on the arm, which results in fewer injuries. The purpose of this study was to calculate kinematic and kinetic parameters for the pitching motion used in fast pitch softball. Eight female fast pitch softball pitchers were recorded with a four-camera system (200 Hz). The results indicated that high forces and torques were experienced at the shoulder and elbow during the delivery phase. Peak compressive forces at the elbow and shoulder equal to 70-98% of body weight were produced. Shoulder extension and abduction torques equal to 9-10% of body weight x height were calculated. Elbow flexion torque was exerted to control elbow extension and initiate elbow flexion. The demand on the biceps labrum complex to simultaneously resist glenohumeral distraction and produce elbow flexion makes this structure susceptible to overuse injury.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20596215
  • Author List

  • Barrentine SW; Fleisig GS; Whiteside JA; Escamilla RF; Andrews JR
  • Start Page

  • 405
  • End Page

  • 414
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 6