Influence of the Lumbopelvic-hip Complex on Upper Extremity Kinetics in Baseball Pitching
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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The ability of the upper extremity to function efficiently, depends on the strength and stability provided by the lower extremity and lumbopelvic-hip complex (LPHC), however the vast majority of overhead throwing literature focuses on the upper extremity. To the author’s knowledge, data available investigating the influence of functional LPHC stability in baseball pitching is limited. It was the purpose of this study to investigate the correlation of LPHC stability via the single leg squat (SLS) to shoulder and elbow kinetics, and ball control (velocity and spin) during the fastball baseball pitch. Twenty-five right handed male baseball athletes volunteered to participate (17.33 + 3.05 years; 182.42 + 9.18 cm; 78.62 + 15.57 kg). The results of the current study indicated that SLS performance had: (1) no relationship with shoulder kinetics, (2) no relationship with elbow kinetics, (3) no relationship with ball speed, and (4) no relationship with ball spin; concluding that LPHC stability had no influence on upper extremity kinetics for the current study. These findings suggest the need for further investigation into functional LPHC stability in throwing athletes in an attempt to assist clinicians during the evaluating process attempting to assist with identifying those persons whom may be at risk for upper extremity injuries; also for coaches who may be interested in predictors of performance. Future studies should consider examining knee and trunk kinematics when performing a single leg squat in the frontal and sagittal planes; to include individuals with upper extremity dysfunctions; as well as incorporate women baseball pitchers. The inclusion of those with upper extremity dysfunctions as well as women baseball pitchers could add to the literature concerning the physical attributes of those who suffer from dysfunction, and the attributes needed to make both men and women successful baseball pitchers. Furthermore, establishing LPHC parameters, specifically for the single leg squat, would aid in continuity when evaluating patients.