Are you passionate about improving your game and winning?
A previous blog entry addressed the need to develop Athleticism before skills and how the DARI 3-D motion analysis can help to advance general athleticism. Today’s topic will highlight the lower extremity mechanics for the baseball pitcher and what components of this movement the DARI analysis specifically addresses.
Identify to Develop
The average time from when a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher makes his first move to when the ball is released to the plate is less than 1.3 seconds.(1) And it takes a 95-mile an hour fastball around 425-450 milliseconds (0.425-0.450 sec) to reach the catcher’s glove or the bat. As for the batter, it takes 150 milliseconds on average for a MLB player to get their bat around.(2) (See appendix for adjusted reaction times by age.)(3)
Wow, that’s quick and there is a lot going on during this time for the pitcher and the batter. To simplify this series of events, our focus will be on the pitcher, specifically on the pitcher’s lower body because this is where the power source. Deficits or improvements here can drastically affect the speed of a pitch.
The pitcher’s first move will be to lift one leg (knee moves towards head). Secondly, that leg will stride towards the plate and eventually the foot will strike the ground. At this point, the trailing leg is completing the drive towards the plate and will be leaving the ground soon to follow through. The biomechanics of the muscles and joints performing this movement sequence is overwhelming. So let’s keep it simple and look at the parts that matter most.
Specifically identifying structural weakness and component deficits of the muscles and joints will make a huge impact when developing a program for to improve pitching or developing athleticism.
Develop the mechanics of athleticism first.
During the pitcher’s first move, when one leg is lifted off the ground the other leg acts as a strong stable base to move upon. Initially static then very much dynamic to complete the pitch. Here are some key components of the lower body to review and develop:
Leg lift to first move:
ROM/strength of moving leg
Balance / stability on stance leg *(DARI)
Core mobility/ trunk ROM *(DARI)
Hip ROM *(DARI)
Knee ROM *(DARI)
Ankle ROM *(DARI)
First move to front foot strike:
Lateral hip stability *(DARI secondary)
Disassociation of hips and core (separation)
Front foot strike to pitch release:
Unilateral squat *(DARI)
Knee Valgus (**) *(DARI)
Core mobility, stability
Lumbo-pelvic-hip disassociation (separation)
Thoracic mobility *(DARI)
Triple extension of leg *(DARI)
*(DARI) The components marked *(DARI) above are direct measurements in the DARI analysis. DARI stands for Dynamic Athletic Research Institute, the creators of a markerless motion capture system that assesses human motion to identify strengths and weakness within functional movements.
The DARI report has two profiles, Strength and Power. The Strength Profile looks at the available joint range of motion and how you’re able to control these motions. The Power Profile analyzes a series of jumps to reveal how you perform explosive movements.
In addition to giving these motions a numerical value, the analysis also details how the movements are occurring, e.g. the balance test assesses your ability to stand on one leg but also indicates where any sway is coming from i.e. hip, knee or ankle. The lunge test accurately identifies the stride length, the contralateral hip extension and trunk position. Finally, the efficiency of the jumps are exposed through the ability to gain triple extension of the lower extremity.
(**) Knee valgus is movement of the knee towards the midline of the body when it is placed under stress. Valgus is commonly seen at the knee when landing from a jump or during a one leg or two leg squat. If valgus is occurring at the knee it indicates a weakness or breakdown in the ability to control the knee motion.
Pitching a baseball is a complex skill. Breaking it into phases makes it easier to assess. Breaking the phases down even further can guide us to make the movements more efficient. The valuable insights gained at this level have a great influence on athletic performance and longevity.
To see if a DARI 3-D motion analysis can make you a better athlete...
Contact Motion In Action LLC for a FREE DEMO and consultation.
Raise your Athleticism to a new level so you can dominate the competition.
www.motioninactionllc.com 412-344-4800 email@example.com
(1) The Way Baseball Works. Pg 90. Dan Gutman, Tim McCarver 1996. https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0684816067
Next post ….the athlete’s perspective. Why can’t I perform as the coach wants me too… Why can’t I correct my form… he is telling me exactly how to do it … but I can’t make the changes stick...I’m I just weak or stupid if I can’t make these changes...