Influence of the Lumbopelvic-hip Complex on Female Softball Hitting
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Softball hitting is one of the most difficult skills in sport. Lumbopelvic-hip complex (LPHC) stability, as well as proper proximal to distal segmental sequencing, can directly influence hitting performance, because segment and implement (bat) velocities and positions dictate ball contact, and thus the outcome of the swing. To the author’s knowledge, no data exist that examine the influence of the LPHC on hitting performance indicators, such as hand velocity, in softball athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to determine influences of the LPHC on angular hand velocity; specifically examining the relationship of hip internal and external isometric strength; pelvis and torso rotation separation; pelvis and torso rotational jerk; load timing; and temporal components of maximum angular velocity of the hips, pelvis, and torso to hand velocity throughout the swing. Results revealed a significant, negative correlation between pelvis and torso separation and hand angular velocity at ball contact (r = -0.351, p = 0.039), as well as, a significant, negative correlation between timing of peak angular velocity of the pelvis during the acceleration phase and hand angular velocity at ball contact (r = -0.379, p = 0.028). No other statistically significant findings were observed in this study. Temporal components of the kinematics measured in this study may be of most benefit for practical application to performance improvements in hitting; however, future research is needed to reliably support this notion.