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Softball Pitching and Injury Rates Study Results
By: Cindy Bristow
Softball Pitching is a natural motion; it won't hurt a pitchers arm. Ever heard or said that before? If so then read on to find out the real story.
My whole life I've heard people say that softball pitching is a natural motion and won't hurt your arm. These same people aren't doctors, or even pitchers, which is why I always found this hilarious. I'm not a doctor either but I am a pitcher and having had a pitching arm so painful that I couldn't raise my hand to drink a cup of water during a game I was pitching, I've found these comments absurd. Now learn the actual truth behind this long-held myth.
Think about it for a minute. You're standing there, at a dead stop, holding an object in your hand (any object that has some amount of weight to it) and in one quick motion you're going to try to propel this object through the air as hard and as fast as you possibly can. Doing so would require a tremendous amount of power, strength, speed and force - all things that require lots of muscles doing lots of things. Now, imagine that you're going to repeat this same process over and over and over hundreds of times a day, thousands of times a week, hundreds of thousands of times a year and millions of times over your lifetime. And now tell me - with a straight face - that it won't hurt me, and in fact, it's actually "natural". Come on&I think this whole idea of "natural" has been fostered to promote a psychotic notion of over practice on the part of the pitcher.
I've often said that there's nothing "natural" about throwing something forward as hard as you can as often as possible over years of your life. While allowing your arm to drop down (as in the underhand pitching motion) might be a more natural place for your arm to be since our arms were designed to hang down when at rest, there is nothing "natural" about using our body to throw something forward to the millionth degree. I think this whole concept of "natural" evolved from the fact that in the overhand throwing motion the arm is raised above the head being supported only by very small muscles around the shoulder joint, and our bodies aren't built with the intention of our arms being raised over our heads in a forceful manner for long periods of time.
Well now there is finally some evidence to show that softball pitching is not as "natural" as everyone has wanted to believe. In a recent study done by Dr. Nikhil Verma at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago 7 female windmill pitchers were studied using motion analysis and other scientific evaluations of their biceps muscles while they were pitching underhand and throwing overhand. Keep in mind these studies were conducted with pitchers throwing underhand and overhand at 53 mph.
What they found:
What we can learn:
For more information on this study check it out for yourself in the March Issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
For more information on pitching check out our fantastic pitching products:
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