Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of throwing surface and distance on varus elbow torque and arm speed. Methods: 11 male collegiate baseball pitchers (age = 20.73 ± 1.56 years, height = 175.26 ± 9.03 cm, mass = 70.31 ± 9.03 kg) participated in this study. Varus elbow torque and distance were measured using a 3D motion sensor housed in a spandex sleeve at the medial joint line of the elbow. Participants were instructed to complete their normal warmup routine as if they were about to pitch in a bullpen session or a game. Participants were then fitted with the sleeve and 3D motion sensor and then instructed to throw 5 maximum effort fastballs at both 60 feet 6 inches and 50 feet 6 inches from a 10-inch mound and 5 maximum effort fastballs at both 60 feet 6 inches and 50 feet 6 inches from flat ground. A two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to analyze the differences in elbow varus torque and arm speed when pitching from 60 feet 6 inches and 50 feet 6 inches from a 10-inch mound and from flat ground. Tests of significance were carried out at an alpha level p < 0.05. Results: Significant differences in elbow varus torque were found when throwing from a 10-inch mound compared to flat ground (10-inch mound = 46.99 ± 2.36, Flat ground = 42.67 ± 3.14). No significant differences in elbow varus torque were found when throwing from 60 feet 6 inches compared to 50 feet 6 inches regardless of surface (60 feet 6 inches = 45.38 ± 2.96, 50 feet 6 inches = 44.28 ± 2.59). No significant differences in arm speed were found regardless of surface or distance. Conclusions: Throwing from a 10-inch mound appears to place more torque on the elbow than throwing from flat ground. Clinicians should be mindful of this fact when progressing patients through throwing programs.
Cage, Stephen A.; Dong, X. Neil; Warner, Brandon J.; and Gallegos, Diana M.
"Comparison of Pitching from Flat Ground vs. 10-Inch Mound Regarding Elbow Varus Torque and Arm Speed,"
Journal of Sports Medicine and Allied Health Sciences: Official Journal of the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association: Vol. 5:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/jsmahs/vol5/iss2/5