Baseball: Squatting Throwing Doesn’t Increase Medial Elbow Torque
Squatting throwing is not associated with increased medial elbow torque in youth baseball catchers, according to a new study.
The authors of “Squatting Throwing is Not Associated with Increased Media Elbow Torque in Youth Baseball Catchers,” sought to compare medial elbow stress during squatting throwing, standing, and maximum effort throwing in youth baseball catchers. They analyzed its relationships with throwing variables and the hip joint internal rotation range of motion.
The study, which was published online on October 28, 2021, in the journal Arthroscopy, included 42 youth baseball catchers. Exclusion criteria included pain during pitching, history of surgery or upper extremity injuries within 12 months.
All the catchers performed 5 throws for squatting throwing, standing throwing, and maximum effort throwing conditions. They were all outfitted with a wearable sensor sleeve that recorded the medial elbow torque, arm speed, and shoulder rotation. A radar gun was used to measure ball velocity.
Overall, the medial elbow torque was significantly higher during maximum effort throwing (19.0 ± 5.2 Nm) than during squatting throwing (14.3 ± 5.4 Nm) and standing throwing (15.7 ± 4.7 Nm) (both p < .001).
There was no significant difference between squatting throwing and standing throwing. Ball velocity was positively associated with the medial elbow torque during squatting throwing and standing throwing (p = .023 and p = .029, respectively).
During squatting throwing the hip joint internal rotation range of motion on the throwing side was negatively associated with the medial elbow torque (p = .011).
“The medial elbow torque during squatting throwing was equivalent to that during standing throwing. Increased medial elbow torque was associated with higher ball velocity during squatting throwing and standing throwing and with decreasing hip joint internal rotation range of motion on the throwing side during squatting throwing,” the researchers wrote.
“Evaluation and stretching of the hip joint internal rotation range of motion on the throwing side may be important to decrease elbow stress during squatting throwing in youth baseball catchers.”
The study authors included Akira Saito, Ph.D., PT and Kyoji Okada, M.D., Ph.D., both of Akita University Graduate School of Health Sciences and Yuhei Ono, PT, of Okitama Public General Hospital, Yamagata, Japan. Kento Tsuchida, PT of Funasbashi Orthopedic Clinic in Chiba, Japan also contributed to the study.