Biomechanics of pitching with emphasis upon shoulder kinematics

Academic Article


  • The American Sports Medicine Institute conducts research to increase understanding of mechanisms involved in upper extremity injuries to throwing athletes. This paper presents a qualitative overview of pitching and a detailed quantitative description of arm motion about the shoulder during this highly dynamic activity. Data on kinematics of arm motions about the shoulder are presented for 29 elite throwers. The major motion about the shoulder is external/internal rotation. Scapulothoracic and glenohumeral flexibility permit the arm to reach an externally rotated position of 175°. Approximately 30 msec before release, the arm internally rotates 80°, reaching peak angular velocities near 7,000°/sec. In rehabilitation of injured throwers, there is a need to appreciate the highly dynamic nature of this skill and to attempt to simulate these dynamic motions and loads as part of the final phase of treatment before the athlete returns to competition.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dillman CJ; Fleisig GS; Andrews JR
  • Start Page

  • 402
  • End Page

  • 408
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 2