PLYOMETRIC TRAINING IMPROVES THROWING VELOCITY

Carter, A. B., Kaminiski, T. W., Douex Jr., A. T., Knight, C. A., & Richards, J. G. (2007). Effects of high volume upper extremity plyometric training on throwing velocity and functional strength ratios of the shoulder rotators in collegiate baseball players. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21, 208-215.

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This study examined the effects of an 8-week course of high volume upper extremity plyometric training on isokinetic strength and throwing velocity of a group of intercollegiate baseball players (N = 24). Throwing velocity, isokinetic peak torque, isokinetic functional strength ratios, and time to peak torque were measured pre- and post-training. Ss were rank-ordered according to concentric internal rotation strength and were assigned randomly to either a plyometric training group or a control group. Training consisted of six upper extremity plyometric exercises ("Ballistic Six") performed twice per week for eight weeks. Ss assigned to the control group performed regular off-season strength and conditioning activities, but did not perform plyometric activities.

The plyometric training group demonstrated significant increases in throwing velocity following eight weeks of training when compared with the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in any of the isokinetic strength measurements between the groups pre- to post-training. Significant differences were seen within the plyometric training group for concentric internal rotation and eccentric external rotation isokinetic strength at 180/s and 300/s; and within the control group for eccentric external rotation isokinetic strength at 300/s and concentric internal rotation isokinetic strength at 180/s.

Implication. Plyometric training could be a beneficial supplement to a baseball player's off-season conditioning by improving throwing performance and strengthening the rotator cuff musculature.

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