By Jordana Bieze Foster
Hip range of motion (ROM) and strength in collegiate baseball pitchers decrease significantly over the course of a competitive season, but these changes are not associated with pitching workload, according to research from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In 14 collegiate baseball pitchers, investigators assessed bilateral hip rotation ROM and hip isometric strength before and after a single competitive season. They found that postseason measures of external rotation, total rotational ROM, and hip abduction strength were significantly lower than preseason measures in both the trail and lead hips. Internal rotation ROM and hip extension strength did not change significantly between preseason and postseason.
The findings, which were published in the August issue of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, could have implications for in-season training strategies to maintain pitching effectiveness and reduce injury risk. The authors were surprised to find, however, that pitching workload (defined as the number of pitches thrown over the course of a season) was not significantly associated with any of the significant changes in ROM or strength measures.
Zeppieri G, Lentz TA, Moser MW, Farmer KW. Changes in hip range of motion and strength in collegiate baseball players over the course of a competitive season: A pilot study. Int J Sports Phys Ther 2015;10(4):505-510.