While it is the subject of most articles on “pitching mechanics”, the role of the lower half when it comes to the pitching delivery is open to interpretation by many coaches out there, which often serves to confuse the individual athlete. We’ve recently started a long-range analytical project using force plates, EMG sensors, and high-speed video to delve deep into what the lower half is really doing during a high-velocity throw. If you don’t follow me on Twitter (@drivelinebases), then you missed out on a few of our recent findings and data dumps.
Here’s some interesting information from our sports science lab on the lower half:
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EMG Data + Synchronized Video
While this isn’t conclusive, it shows that the trailing leg hamstring and glutes are actually most involved during deceleration and not force production. When you consider that the hamstring flexes the knee, this makes a lot of sense, and that the rear glute extends the hip as well. The front quad is highly active during force production / arm acceleration as it is bracing and blocking force into the ground. This jives with force plate data that we’ve collected on high-velocity professional pitchers – the blocking leg produces more z-plane (downwards/compressive) force than the back leg:
This is also consistent with how we train the lower half in Hacking the Kinetic Chain, our flagship velocity development system.
Hip Rotation in the Delivery
It seems to make sense that faster hip rotation produces higher ball velocity, but the data is rather inconclusive on this fact:
Reviewing our earlier post about the lower half and momentum in the pitching delivery, there’s quite a bit of conflicting information about hip rotational angular velocity.
So, that’s what we’ve been up to lately! We dump all the tidbits to Twitter, so again, follow us there for more updates – @drivelinebases. You will find the long-term results of our study into the mechanics of the lower half here.
Check out this article on how to efficiently use your lead leg in your delivery.