Noffal, G. J., Knudson, D., & Brown, L. (2004). Effects of stretching the upper limb on throwing speed and isokinetic shoulder torques. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 937.

This study determined the effects of static stretching of upper limb muscles on overarm throwing speed and isokinetic torque of shoulder internal rotators at two velocities (3.14 and 5.24 rad/s). Ss (N = 40) were randomly assigned into control and stretching groups. The experimental protocol consisted of two test sessions scheduled a week apart. Ss in the experimental group performed static stretching (S) exercises with their dominant limb in one session and no stretching (NS) in the other. Ss in the control group did not stretch in either of their two sessions. Following warm-up and S or NS, Ss were tested for throwing speed and concentric isokinetic torque of the shoulder internal rotation musculature at two velocities. Throwing speed was measured with a radar gun and shoulder internal rotation torques were measured with an isokinetic dynamometer. Speed and torque were compared.

Significant interactions were found for throwing speed and isokinetic torque at 3.14 rad/s (but not for isokinetic torque at 5.24 rad/s). Stretching reduced throwing velocity and shoulder isokinetic torque at the slower isokinetic speed.

Implication. Static stretching of the arm before a high speed movement, such as throwing, reduces subsequent throwing velocity. Stretching should not be part of a throwing or pitching warm-up.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.