Dr. Emily Simonavice
Research has been completed discussing flexibility and throwing velocity, but there is a void of literature determining whether these two variables are related.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between the flexibility of the glenohumeral joint and the throwing velocity of a baseball.
Methods: Thirty college males, all above the age of 18 years of age, volunteered to throw a baseball as fast as they could, having three separate trials to reach their maximal throwing velocity. The participants completed the “Back Scratch” test to assess the flexibility of the glenohumeral joint in each arm. Each participant completed three throwing trials and the velocities were recorded into a chart along with their back scratch test results and hand dominance. A Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Analysis was performed to determine if a correlation between glenohumeral joint and the throwing velocity of a baseball existed. An independent t-test was also conducted to determine if there was a difference between hand dominance and glenohumeral joint flexibility. Significance was accepted at p<0.05
Results: It was found that there was no correlation between glenohumeral joint flexibility and average throwing velocity. Left-hand dominant participants had a mean flexibility of 1.3±1.9 inches in the left arm and 2.1±1.9 inches in the right arm. They had an average throwing velocity of 83.2±6.0 mph. Right-hand dominant participants had a mean flexibility of -1.7±2.9 inches in the left arm and 0.5±2.4 inches in the right arm. They had average mean velocity of 77.9±9.9 mph. There was significant difference in left arm flexibility between the left and right hand dominant participants (p=0.005). A difference in right arm flexibility was not significant between left and right hand dominant participants (p=0.076).
Conclusion: There was no correlation found between glenohumeral joint flexibility and average throwing velocity. According to these results, coaches should not focus on making their athletes more flexible in hopes to gain a higher throwing velocity.
Lawless, Kaylee; Davis, Ramie; Rivers, Heather; and Szathmary, Daniel
"Identifying the Correlation Between the Flexibility of the Glenohumeral Joint and the Throwing Velocity of a Baseball,"
Vol. 17, Article 6.
Available at: http://kb.gcsu.edu/thecorinthian/vol17/iss1/6