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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 481490, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/481490
Research Article

The Acute Effects of Upper Extremity Stretching on Throwing Velocity in Baseball Throwers

Department of Physical Therapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, P.O. Box 453029, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3029, USA

Received 29 June 2013; Revised 31 August 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Mark Willems

Copyright © 2013 Michael Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. To examine the effects of static and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching of the shoulder internal rotators on throwing velocity. Subjects. 27 male throwers (mean age = 25.1 years old, SD = 2.4) with adequate knowledge of demonstrable throwing mechanics. Study Design. Randomized crossover trial with repeated measures. Methods. Subjects warmed up, threw 10 pitches at their maximum velocity, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 stretching protocols (static, PNF, or no stretch), and then repeated their 10 pitches. Velocities were recorded after each pitch and average and peak velocities were recorded after each session. Results. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA. No significant interaction between stretching and throwing velocity was observed. Main effects for time were not statistically significant. Main effects for the stretching groups were statistically significant. Discussion. Results suggest that stretching of the shoulder internal rotators did not significantly affect throwing velocity immediately after stretching. This may be due to the complexity of the throwing task. Conclusions. Stretching may be included in a thrower's warm-up without any effects on throwing velocity. Further research should be performed using a population with more throwing experience and skill.