Descriptive Profile of Lumbopelvic Control in Collegiate Baseball Pitchers

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Laudner, K, Wong, R, Latal, J, and Meister, K. Descriptive profile of lumbopelvic control in collegiate baseball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res 32(4): 1150–1154, 2018—Throwing a baseball requires the transmission of forces generated in the lower extremity, through the trunk, then to the upper extremity, and ultimately out through the ball. Disruptions in this kinetic chain, specifically in lumbopelvic control, have been associated with decreased pitching performance and increased risk of injury. The purpose of this study was to establish normative data of lumbopelvic control among collegiate baseball pitchers. Data were compared bilaterally and with a group of nonthrowing physically active individuals. Eighteen asymptomatic pitchers and 30 nonthrowing subjects participated in this study. Each subject performed 6 separate tests bilaterally: single-leg balance, single-leg mini-squat, and static single-leg bridge. An iPod-based tilt sensor was placed around the waist of each subject and used to determine the amount of anterior-posterior lumbopelvic tilt during each test. Independent t tests showed that neither group had any bilateral differences in lumbopelvic control (p > 0.10). The groups had similar lumbopelvic tilt values during the single-leg balance (p > 0.08) and mini-squat tests (p > 0.72), but a significant difference during the bridge maneuver. For this test, the pitchers had less lumbopelvic control than the control group for both the lead leg (p = 0.003) and trail leg (p = 0.01). The descriptive values of this study may assist in designing lumbopelvic conditioning programs with the intent of enhancing pitching performance, as well as in the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of various injuries associated with lumbopelvic control deviations.

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