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Biomechanics

of
Throwing
Objectives in Throwing
Activities
• Maximum Distance
• Maximum Accuracy
• Speed and Accuracy
Maximum Distance
• Determining Factors
– Release velocity
• Greater release velocities
produce greater distance
Maximum Distance
Determining Factors

Release angle

Gravity produces a constant

acceleration that acts on
the projectile from release
to landing, causing the
projectile to follow the path
of a parabola
Maximum Distance
• Determining Factors
– Release angle
• Optimum release angles
produce the greatest distances
Angle

Distance
Maximum Distance
• Determining
Factors
– Release
Height
• Greater
release
heights
produce
greater
Maximum Distance
• Determining Factors
– Aerodynamics

Lift
Maximum Accuracy
• Determining Factors
– Release Point
• The ball follows a path
that is a tangent to the
release point on the
arc of the throwing
motion
Maximum Accuracy
• Determining Factors
– Throwing Arc
Speed and Accuracy
• Determining Factors
– Kinetic Chain
– Throwing Arc
– Release Point
– Aerodynamics
Distance

Height of Aerodynamic
Release Factors

Physics Position
Attitude Wind Angular
Angle Velocity Velocity of
Speed of Angle of Implement
Release Release

Forces Time Distance


Exerted
Aerodynamic Factors
• Magnitude of forces exerted is
governed by:
– Speed of release
– Angle of release
– Angle of inclination to the horizontal at
release
– Velocity of wind
– Angular velocity at release
Overhead Throwing
• Broken down into six phases
• Involves application of the
kinematic link or kinetic chain
to maximize the velocity output
of a thrown object
Phases
1. Wind-up
2. Stride
3. Arm Cocking
4. Arm Acceleration
5. Arm Deceleration
6. Follow Through
Phases
Wind-Up
• Begins at the start of
movement and ends when the
lead leg is maximally lifted
Stride and Arm Cocking
Stride
• The lead leg drives forward
and both arms are abducted
• The throwing arm externally
rotates
• The four rotator cuff muscles
fire to hold the head of the
humerus within the glenoid
fossa
• The scapula rotates upward
Stride
• The Supraspinatus is the most active of the
rotator cuff muscle during this cycle
• The remaining rotator cuff muscles
(Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and
Subscapularis), although active, are less
important
• The Deltoid is also very active at this stage
Arm Cocking
• This phase begins when the lead foot makes
contact with the ground during the stride
phase and ends when the throwing arm
achieves its maximum external rotation
• Rotation of the hips and pelvis helps set up
the rotation that will be transferred to the
torso and shoulders
Arm Cocking
• Muscles acting at the shoulder and scapula
position the glenoid fossa against the head of the
humerus and stabilize the scapula
• Specifically these include the levator scapula,
serratus anterior, rhomboids, trapezius, and
pectoralis minor
• Incorrect function of these muscles and movements
at this stage will alter the correct biomechanics
and will eventually lead to injury
Right-elbow
flexion
Left-external
shoulder
rotation

Right-
shoulder
adduction
Left-
shoulder
horizontal
adduction
Levator Rhomb
Scapula oids
Serratus Trapezi
Anterior us
Pectoralis
Minor
Arm Cocking
• The rotator cuff muscles maintain
tension at this point to keep the
head of the humerus stable inside
the glenoid fossa
• The internal rotators of the shoulder
will develop tension to slow down
and prevent excessive external
rotation
Arm Acceleration
Arm Acceleration
This is the quickest phase of the throw

This phase starts just after the shoulder reaches maximum
• external rotation and ends when the ball is released
The internal rotators of the shoulder have been stretched
• like a coiled spring during the previous phase. They
shorten rapidly, assisted by this spring-like effect, and
produce very rapid internal rotation of the shoulder
Arm Acceleration
• The rotator cuff muscles help to
keep the head of the humerus
stabilized in the glenoid fossa
• The trapezius, rhomboids, levator
scapula, and serratus anterior are
also very important in keeping the
scapula stable during this movement
Arm Deceleration
Arm Deceleration
• This phase starts when the ball is released and ends
when maximum internal rotation of the shoulder is
reached
• The throwing arm is horizontally adducted and
internally rotated to the neutral or anatomical position
and the scapula is protracted
• Posterior muscles of the G-H Joint, especially the
Teres Minor, slow down the movement at the shoulder
while the retractors of the scapula slow down the
scapular protraction
Follow Through
Follow Through
• The arm deceleration process helps
reduce the force and therefore the
stress on the joints and muscles
involved
• This phase begins when when the
internal rotation of the shoulder
ends and finishes when the thrower
returns to a balanced position
Follow Through
• This part of the movement is designed
to extend the time that it takes to come
to a stop as well as distribute the forces
to the body and leg
• The posterior muscles of the G-H Joint
are very important to continue the
deceleration process at the shoulder
Follow Through
• The serratus anterior is very
active in stabilizing scapular
rotation while the rhomboids
and the middle part of the
trapezius continue to slow down
and reduce the force of
scapular protraction