Baseball Players and thoracic Rotation: Three Exercise Progression To Build Ultimate Rotational Power!
Last week Dr. Anthony Falco broke down the biomechanics involved in both swinging and throwing in baseball and the role these movements play in the development of a misaligned pelvis and hip injuries. This week, I will break down the importance of rotational power related to both movements along with a three exercise progression to not only develop better and more efficient rotational ability, but proficiency in weight transfer and additional power development.
The Role of The Core and Thoracic Spine
As Dr. Falco stated last week:
“The core is essential for generating and transferring force during the powerful and asymmetrical movements that take place in baseball. For the purpose of this discussion we are going to define the core as: the abdominals, the erectors (muscles that run parallel to the spine), the pelvic floor, and the hips (the glutes, groin muscles, and hip flexor muscles). “
“When throwing a pitch, the core muscles maintain stability of the low back and hips allowing force generated through the legs to be transferred through the core to shoulder complex and ultimately to the ball. This transfer of force takes place in less than 0.2 seconds! The core is essential to maintaining proper mechanics through all phases of delivering a pitch. Any imbalances in flexibility, strength, or coordination at that high rate of speed can lead to decreased performance and injury.”
With that being said, we must also acknowledge the role of the thoracic spine in conjunction with the core. After force is transferred from the lower half to the upper half and shoulders via the core, the thoracic spine (mid back), must be able to rotate and the hips able to clear in order to square the body to both the target when throwing or the ball when swinging. Lack of rotational power can severely limit velocity potential and swinging power. That is, an extremely strong base at the legs or shoulder may not see full potential utilized if a player cannot rotate at a similar rate.
The Planes of Motion Involved In a Swing or Throw
Many people would state that a pitching delivery or swing is performed in the transverse plane (plane which involved rotation). While that is correct, I like to break down these movements in two phases because there are movements that take place prior to the rotation that occurs. As a result, I like to explain each motion as a frontal plane movement followed by a rotation (transverse plane).
Three Exercise Progression To Develop Rotational Power
The following exercises progress from simple thoracic rotational focus to then include both frontal and transverse movements with a weight transfer, and lastly a more advanced progression that builds excess power prior to the movement.
Interested in recovering from a rotationally related injury or developing more rotational power? Stop by one of our two locations in Wayne, give us a call at 973.368.4907 or email us at staff@performancePTSC.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on social media to see how we can help you!
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2 - Coleman SH, Mayer SW, Tyson JJ, Pollack KM, Curriero FC. The Epidemiology of
Hip and Groin Injuries in Professional Baseball Players. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead
NJ). 2016 Mar-Apr;45(3):168-75.
Gerry DeFilippo: ISSA CPT- CPPS, AAPS. Founder/Owner: Challenger Strength.