Year of Publication

2009

Date of Thesis

08-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Abstract

This study examined if pitchers who performed warm-maintenance (WM) using treadmill walking and arm circles between innings maintained better ball velocity and accuracy than using only a traditional warm-up (NWM). Collegiate pitchers (N = 7) pitched four simulated innings on two different occasions. During NWM, each pitching stint was followed by a sham treatment involving brief, light treadmill walking at 15% HRR (93.1 ±12.7 bpm) and then seated rest. During WM, pitching followed the same pattern of activity, however instead of seated rest subjects performed arm circles and walked on a treadmill at 45% HRR (128.1 ±2.8 bpm), for each entire half-inning. Innings consisted of 15 pitches, with fastballs thrown on pitches 1-3, 7-9, and 13-15, which were evaluated for velocity and accuracy. Performance readiness and shoulder external and internal rotation were evaluated before each inning. Velocity and accuracy were each analyzed by using a 2x3 ANOVA (Treatment x Trial) for each inning, with repeated measures on both factors. For performance readiness, dependant samples I-tests were used to analyze between condition effects of each inning. Pitching arm range of motion was analyzed using a 2x2 ANOVA (Treatment x Rotation) for each inning, with repeated measures on both factors. The significance level for all statistical analyses was set at p < 0.05. The results showed that there was no significant difference between WM and NWM, with respect to pitching velocity, accuracy, or performance readiness. However, performance never significantly declined due to the effects of WM. There were no significant differences in pitching arm shoulder range of motion. Although WM did not improve performance, the fact that velocity and accuracy can be maintained with the use of WM, pitchers and coaches might want to reconsider the current sedentary approach typically practiced between innings.

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