Baseball Pitching Velocity Training

In this episode of the @TopVelocity #PitchingTips Show V2 we answer the questions below:

  1. Brent, you gotta put this more into layman's terms for me, please. I'm really interested in the slow-down phase of the delivery.
  2. Shoulder the ankle and the hips move separately as well as the hips and shoulders?

Understanding Pitching Mechanics: Elbow Flexion, Linear Momentum, and the Kinetic Chain

Welcome to the Topvelocity Pitching Tips Show, where pitchers can find expert advice on enhancing their performance on the mound. In this episode, Brent Pourciau and Nick Randazzo address viewers' questions about pitching mechanics, specifically focusing on the slowdown phase of the delivery and the sequencing of movements in the kinetic chain. By exploring these topics, pitchers can gain valuable insights into optimizing their pitching mechanics and reducing stress on their arms.

The Slowdown Phase and Elbow Flexion:

One of the questions raised is about the slowdown phase of the pitching delivery and the concept of elbow flexion. Brent introduces the study titled "Elbow Flexion Post Ball Release Associated with Elbow Varus Deceleration Moments in Baseball Pitching." Elbow varus moments refer to the forces exerted on the back of the arm during deceleration. Brent explains that excessive elbow flexion at the release can lead to increased stress on the arm, resulting in discomfort and potential injuries such as bicep and forearm strains. He emphasizes that rotational pitchers, who rely heavily on trunk rotation and aggressive arm movements, may be more prone to these stresses.

The Importance of Linear Momentum:

To reduce the strain on the arm during the slowdown phase, Brent and Nick highlight the significance of linear momentum and trunk movement. They suggest that pitchers should strive for a more linear trunk and avoid excessive rotation that pulls the arm inside 90 degrees. By generating forward momentum and directing energy through the trunk, pitchers can alleviate the flexion forces on the elbow. This approach allows the arm to naturally extend forward, reducing stress on the varus side of the elbow. The combination of linear and rotational movements creates a balance that can enhance velocity while minimizing the risk of arm injuries.

Understanding the Kinetic Chain:

In response to another question about the sequencing of movements in the pitching delivery, Brent and Nick compare the kinetic chain to a bow and arrow. They explain that the hips act as the "middle" of the bow, initiating the movement, while the subsequent rotation involves the ankle, hip, shoulder, elbow, and wrist in a sequential order. The proper timing and coordination of these movements are crucial for an efficient pitching delivery. While the hip initiates the linear momentum, the ankle complements it by kicking and extending just before landing. This sequential activation of body parts creates a powerful and fluid chain of energy transfer.

The Relationship Between Hips and Shoulders:

An additional aspect discussed is the synchronization between hip and shoulder movements. While the hips lead the way in both linear and rotational momentum, the shoulders follow suit. To generate maximum power and accuracy, the hips should initiate their movement before the shoulders begin their rotation. This coordinated sequence allows the energy to flow smoothly through the body, leading to a more efficient and effective pitching delivery.


By understanding the mechanics of the slowdown phase, the importance of linear momentum, and the sequencing of movements in the kinetic chain, pitchers can enhance their performance while reducing the risk of arm injuries. Striving for a more linear trunk, finding the optimal timing between body parts, and maintaining proper sequencing are key factors in optimizing pitching mechanics. Aspiring pitchers are encouraged to continue asking questions and seeking expert guidance to refine their skills and achieve their full potential on the mound.

Subscribe and follow the Topvelocity Pitching Tips Show to stay updated on future episodes and gain further insights into improving your pitching technique.

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