Magazine article USA TODAY

Pitchers' Weak Core Linked to Missed Days

Magazine article USA TODAY

Pitchers' Weak Core Linked to Missed Days

Article excerpt

Professional baseball pitchers with poor core stability are more likely to miss 30 or more days in a single season because of injury than are hurlers who have good control of muscles in their lower back and pelvis, suggests research from Ohio State University, Columbus.

In the study, moundsmen were assessed for lumbopelvic control during spring training. Pitchers with more tilt in their pelvis as they raised a leg to stride were up to three times more likely to miss at least 30 days--cumulative, not consecutive--during the season than were those who showed minimal tilt.

The study shows association, not causation, but does suggest that pitchers might benefit from training to improve their lumbopelvic control--essentially, a more stable core during movement.

Researchers say these findings and previous studies suggest that "task-specific training" mimicking real-world, quick-reaction activities--as opposed to such static moves as crunches and planks--could be an effective core-strengthening approach for pitchers and other active people.

'The nice thing about lumbopelvic control is that there's not any downside we can think of to trying to improve it," points out Ajit Chaudhari, associate professor of health and rehabilitation sciences. The research suggests that a well-controlled core can minimize interference of energy's movement through the body from the legs to the throwing arm. …

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