Over the past four years I’ve probably spent hundreds of hours reading research papers (full ones, not just abstracts), medical journals, and derivative materials to gain a better understanding of biomechanics, applied anatomy, and kinesiology as it relates to baseball and exercise science in general.
I’m currently doing a lot of research on how to convert 3d biomechanical models of pitchers (which we will be able to construct soon using software and four high-speed cameras that are being ordered for delivery in March) into usable data that includes things like joint loads and torques. This is a rather difficult task given the estimates that go into the methods, but what’s even more difficult to figure out are the methods themselves! Stuff like this isn’t exactly published for the layman and is typically only read by other professionals in academia, not coaches like myself.
Regardless, I continue on, seeking help on the ASMI message boards and asking multiple people in the industry and academia who are very gracious with their time.
Right now I’m focused on the following two papers and their derivative works (both are freely available):
- Biomechanics of Pitching with Emphasis upon Shoulder Kinematics (Dillman, Fleisig, Andrews)
- Dynamics of the Shoulder and Elbow Joints of the Throwing Arm During a Baseball Pitch (Feltner, Dapena)
Some of the research papers that I’ve loved in the past and continue to read over and over again are:
- Humeral Torque in Professional Baseball Pitchers (Sabick et. al.)
- Kinetic Comparison Among the Fastball, Curveball, Change-up, and Slider in Collegiate Baseball Pitchers (Fleisig et. al.)
- Biomechanics of the Shoulder in Youth Baseball Pitchers (Sabick et. al.)
- Correlation of Range of Motion and Glenohumeral Translation in Professional Baseball Pitchers (Borsa et. al.)
And one of the best papers that shapes the most of my training:
- Differences in Scapular Upward Rotation Between Baseball Pitchers and Position Players (Laudner et. al.)
There are many others that I enjoy, but those are my favorite. Give them a shot if you’re got some time and inclination to read source material. A warning, though – it gets addicting to those with inquisitive minds!