Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Martha Bass

Second Advisor

Mark Loftin

Third Advisor

Alberto Del Arco

Relational Format



From 1994-2006, 1.5 million baseball injuries were treated within emergency departments across the United States while the upper extremity was the second most commonly injured body part. Although it has been determined that pitch count, pitch type and pitching mechanics are the main contributors to upper extremity pain in baseball pitchers, footwear has not been considered a potential factor. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine how baseball-specific footwear [turf shoes (ts) and molded cleats (mc)] affects the shoulder and elbow dynamics of youth and adolescent pitchers during an overhead pitch on various surface inclinations [flat ground (fg) and pitching mound (pm)]. The aims of the study were to investigate the effect of wearing baseball footwear on (1) upper extremity kinematic variables, (2) lower extremity muscle activity, and (3) torso and pelvis kinematics while on various inclined surfaces. Eleven healthy male right-handed baseball pitchers (age: 13.18 â± 1.72 years; height: 179.01 â± 15.72 cm; mass: 61.00 â± 14.66 kg) who wore baseball footwear for 1 hour per week while actively playing completed the study. Participants threw ten fastballs in all counterbalanced conditions (mc x fg, mc x pm, ts x fg, ts x pm). A 3d motion capture system collected full-body kinematics and electromyography (emg) data. Three pitches thrown without marker obstruction in each condition were analyzed and averaged for each participant. A 2x2 [2 surfaces (fg, pm) x 2 footwear (ts, mc)] repeated measures anova was used to compare the variables of interest. Results shono significant differences were seen for ball velocity. Significant differences were seen across surface conditions and footwear conditions (p<0.05). Pitching in ts elicited a greater amount of shoulder external rotation while mc increased the amount of shoulder internal rotation. Pitching from a mound also placed more stress on the shoulder and elbow relative to flat ground. Stride leg ankle plantarflexion (pf) exhibited significant differences across surface and footwear. The ts shoa greater pf position relative to the mc. These results are consistent in the ankle stabilization muscles (g & ta) showing significantly greater muscle activity in the ts versus mc.


Emphasis: Exercise Science

Included in

Biomechanics Commons



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