Arm Hieght

I have visited Chris Olearys website and completely agree with what he thinks, which is that the arm should stay below the shoulders the whole delivery and this can lead to arm problems. Does anyone think the same?

DM59!! :lol: so it begins…im scared…

Apparently he doesn’t.

I think it might have some validity but it provides no real evidence for or against having the arm above the shoulder throughout the pitching motion based on O’Leary’s correlational research.

dm and chris have very different views on the height of the elbow, dm believes that the elbow should be even with the shoulder, and chris thinks it should be below it, i agree with dm…i believe thats right isint it? dm

[quote=“tannerlorenz”]so it begins…im scared…[/quote] :lol: I think we’ve just agreed to disagree and re-hashing this old argument is futile.

[quote=“Spencer”]… it provides no real evidence…[/quote]I agree with the “no real evidence” part.

[quote=“Spencer”]…for or against having the arm above the shoulder throughout the pitching motion based on O’Leary’s correlational research.[/quote]He’s been hard to pin down on this one. When Chris first started speaking about this, it seemed like this was what he was saying. The operative term in your quote Spencer is “throughout the pitching motion”. I took it at least to mean that back then. As we discussed it more, Chris was focussing on the inverted W, or M, position in the backswing, where the elbows get above the acromial line. I pointed out that the elbow doesn’t stay at that level “throughout the pitching motion” but drops well before the forearm even points up, let alone during serious external rotation. I “think” Chris agrees about that one physical fact.

The elbow actually isn’t above the shoulders throughout the pitching motion. It’s only for a very brief moment in the backswing and that’s during some pretty benign external rotation.

What he and I disagree on is that having the elbow at shoulder height during external rotation is more naturally injurious than if it’s below. I’ve not disagreed with him on below being no worse, or maybe even safer. I do believe that having the elbow below shoulder height throughout the pitching motion makes it much more difficult to get very high velocities. Randy Johnson being an exception due to his body type.

So, I’ve never recommended the elbow be “above” the shoulders throughout. I’m not even sure that’s possible, anatomically. I don’t believe having the elbow below the shoulders is inurious, just not as effective re: velocity generation. I also don’t believe that the M is potentially injurious simply because the elbow gets above the shoulder line for a nanosecond. I do have “concerns” over the M because of the very late timing of external rotation, maybe resulting in a very violent external rotation at its extremes.

But I thought that the elbow does stay below the shoulders throughout the motion and then as you approach the release point, your shoulders tilt, making appear that the elbow is above the shoulders. Im not quite sure about the hieght of the elbow. I have seen many healthy long lasting pitchers keep the elbow at the shouler hieght, then some below it.

I have actually come to agree with DM, that elbows level with the shoulders are NOT bad as long as the elbows drop below the level of the shoulders before the shoulders start to turn. That is what Nolan Ryan does in this clip.

For more detail, here are a couple of stills of Nolan Ryan at the high cocked position. Notice how his PAS elbow is below the level of the shoulders.

My problem is with guys like Mark Prior whose elbows are still at or above the level of their shoulders as their shoulders start to rotate.

No I don’t.

This clearly isn’t the case with Mark Prior, which is one root cause of his problems.

That’s not the case when it comes to Mark Prior.

DM,

That’s the best explanation I’ve seen to date of that whole issue. Nice!

Chris,

Glad to see you’re coming around to (some of) DM’s perspective (which I happen to agree with). The late timing of the external rotation that DM mentioned is something I talked to the NPA’s motion analysis guy about back last month when I was at their facility for my certification. I am going to try to push them to start measuring rotational velocity of external rotation and to correlate that to injury. Maybe, then, we’ll have some factual data one way or the other.

what do you mean by that

I mean how fast the forearm lays back as the shoulders rotate. The late timing of external rotation that DM mentioned means that the arm starts into external rotation at a slihtly later point in the delivery. This means - I think - that the external rotation will likely occur faster for the arm to keep up with the shoulders (or for the shoulders to not get ahead of the arm). If external rotation happens at a faster rotational velocity, it seems that the forces placed on the soft tissues of the shoulder and elbow would be greater thus increasing the chance for injury.

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I have actually come to agree with DM, that elbows level with the shoulders are bad…[/quote]Well, I actually didn’t say that. I’m assuming this was just a typo and you just forgot to put in the word “not” in front of “bad” making it “…that elbows level with the shoulders are not bad as long as …”

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]… as long as the elbows drop below the level of the shoulders before the shoulders start to turn. That is what Nolan Ryan does in this clip.[/quote]I’ve looked at every clip of Ryan I could find and in them all his elbow is very near or in line with his shoulder line as he rotates his shoulders. Are we splitting hairs here Chris?

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]My problem is with guys like Mark Prior whose elbows are still at or above the level of their shoulders as their shoulders start to rotate.[/quote]If we look at video of Prior, it becomes evident that, as I’ve been saying all along, his elbow comes back down to shoulder level before his forearm gets to vertical. Yes, external rotation is happening “as the shoulders start to turn”, as you state, but I’ve yet to be convinced that this very small amount of external rotation, at this point in his range of motion (nowhere near the extremes of when the forearm lays back beyond vertical) is injurious.

Here’s my synopsis of things.

  1. You claim that having the elbow higher than the shoulder line throughout the pitching motion is harmful. Correct me if I have that wrong. Video evidence tells me that it doesn’t actually happen “throughout” anyway but only for a brief moment in the backswing.

  2. You claim that the very small amount of external rotation, in what I propose is within a very benign range, that happens just as the shoulders start to rotate, is injurious. This is what I question.

  3. I’ve proposed for quite a while now that the elbow above the shoulder in the M motion isn’t the potentially injurious feature of that motion and that the violence of the external rotation that it causes is a probable issue.

Correct.

You can see his PAS elbow drop as his shoulders start to turn.

This photo says otherwise.

The video clip of Mark Prior shows that it’s neither brief nor for just a moment.

Chris: So u still believe that the inverted W and L are still incorrect, right?

Yes.

ok just making sure

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]You can see his PAS elbow drop as his shoulders start to turn.[/quote]Where is his elbow as his shoulders actually continue to turn, not just when he “starts” to turn them? During. In line, I see.

This photo says otherwise.


[/quote]His forearm is not yet vertical, even in this still image. Actually, go 2 more frames past this point in the actual video it came from and tell me where his elbow is. It is completely misleading to anyone reading what you wrote for you to use one single frame of a dynamic motion and claim that it represents what happens in full motion. As usual, you use still images inappropriately.

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]The video clip of Mark Prior shows that it’s neither brief nor for just a moment.[/quote]Sorry, but it doesn’t. Take the clip below and open it in Quicktime, which you have, and step through it frame by frame. Other than a brief moment at the start of his shoulder rotation, the elbow is at or very close to shoulder height, not above.

I am kinda lost now.

Yeah. That’s kinda the danger of these things. :frowning:

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Mark Prior’s shoulders clearly start turning between Frame 29 and Frame 30, while his elbow is still above the level of his shoulders. Watch the numbers on his chest turn.

This is the root cause of Mark Prior’s problems.

This is as vertical as Mark Prior’s forearm gets.

30

Don’t call me a liar.

Here’s Frame 31.

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