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PROPER ARM PATH AND TIMING

A pitcher's arm path and timing is a mystery to most, and it's not just about the positions, but the timing of when the arm is in certain spots...  I'll use Greg Maddux for an example here because of his healthy and long MLB career.  I know people are going to write this off because he wasn't your prototypical "power" pitcher, but in his younger days he threw hard! So for you velocity obsessed guys out there you should pay attention also!

This is the position your arm should be in at foot strike.  Not to be confused with weight bearing foot strike...  This is the spot where the front foot makes contact with the ground.  The importance of this position is simple...  Momentum! If the arm gets up early it has to stall out or wait for your body to catch up leading to a start, stop, start arm action killing the movement pattern.  You will notice that the front foot is down, but the front knee is not yet settled in line with the front foot.  Also, the arm is not quite vertical... 

 

The next pic is Maddux at what I like to call weight bearing foot strike...  It needs no further explanation...

Can you see the difference in the two???  Notice how the body weight is now transferred to the front leg, and it's beginning to stabilize? As well as the lower body differences, note that the ball is now vertical with the throwing elbow just below the shoulder.  

Now that the front foot is actually down and stable, its time for the hips to finish rotating and the trunk to follow.  The throwing arm scapula will now rotate upwards (note the elbow is now higher than the shoulder opposite of the previous pic) causing the arm to lay back in the most natural way possible without yet putting the elbow in front of the ball.  What this means is that the UCL is not under a lot of stress through this part of the lay back phase, which reduces the amount of time the ligament is actually loaded, reducing stress on the arm! I know this will confuse many of you...  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ARM HEALTH AND INJURY PREVENTION SIGN UP FOR OUR ELITE PITCHING DEVELOPMENT CLASSES THAT ARE AN ALL INCLUSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR PITCHERS AND NOT YOUR TYPICAL ONE SIZE FITS ALL PROGRAM!

The final pic is at ball release... 

Note his forward trunk tilt and front leg stability in this shot giving him the ability to throw on a downhill angle forcing pitches to move south through the strike zone.  The timing of how the arm works in relationship to the body is crucial for not only arm health, but also velocity, command, and movement. 

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