Elbow height

What causes the “dreaded” elbow above the shoulder? Is this bad for the labrum/cuff.
What drills/ mechanical changes are effective to get the elbow below or parallel to the shoulder.



I’m asking when the front foot plants–Not at release.


Ideally the elbow should be on a level with the shoulder, neither higher nor lower. You might want to take a look at your delivery and see what happens, then you can make the necessary adjustment.

Thanks Zita,

We threw yesterday indoors. First time off the mound this year. Throwing drills and long toss since feb 1. We’ll be on the mound again later this week and i will post video. I did notice his hands are breaking to early?

14 years old
175 lbs


Personally, I actually prefer the elbow to be slightly below the shoulder at foot strike. A trick that usually helps out is having the pitcher keep his shoulders “back” towards second base into foot strike.


It sounds like maybe your pitcher could stand to get himself moving forward sooner/faster. Are his hands early or is his body late? Always two ways to look at things. :wink:

I noticed Strasbergs elbow is above his shoulder just before his front foot plants. Did this contribute to his injury. Will his pitching coach change this aspect of his mechanics as part of his rehab?


[quote=“vtleaffan”]What causes the “dreaded” elbow above the shoulder? Is this bad for the labrum/cuff.
What drills/ mechanical changes are effective to get the elbow below or parallel to the shoulder.[/quote]

Something I’ve noticed with pitcher’s who have elbow level problems
is that most often they separate their glove hand and pitching hand
too early in their delivery, thereby causing their elbow to rise above the level of their shoulders.

Folks. There have been many, many discussions here about this idea of the elbow being below or above the shoulder at any particular point in the delivery. Some posters have even gone to the trouble of posting pics that draw lines across the shoulders and through to the elbow, illustrating that the elbow isn’t above the shoulders relative to the line between them but above the shoulder in a purely absolute vertical sense from the ground. Trunk tilt to the side needs to be considered. laflippin has a particularly good link to a video showing, like a clock, many arm slots resulting from trunk tilt. la, can you post that link again?


vtleaffan specifically said:

“I’m asking when the front foot plants–Not at release.”

And in this regard, shoulder abduction varies greatly independently of trunk tilt.


Thanks for the link to Driveline baseball. Very informative and helpful regarding the inverted W.


I don’t think dm59 linked to my site. It’s in my signature. :slight_smile:

The article regarding the “inverted W” on my site can be found here:

At foot plant, the remainder of hip rotation still has to occur followed by shoulder rotation so there’s still time for the elbow to get to where it needs to be. As long as it’s in the right area code at foot plant, it has the chance to be a non-issue.

Right, Roger.

The problem with the “elbow above the shoulder” wording is that it, in itself, isn’t the issue, which is where Chris O’Leary started and evolved from there into something akin to what Kyleb is saying (which is what I proposed way back when Chris started this talk). The elbow above the shoulder concept is really only a sign of the real (well, proposed) issue, that being the violence of the external rotation and its impact on various things. Many have taken the elbow position at a certain point in the delivery as being the stressful thing but it comes back down once extreme ranges of external rotation are entered into. The point at which the inverted W guys do this is in a relatively benign position regarding humeral rotation in the glenoid. There’s not even agreement on the inverted W’s suggested dangers. ASMI hasn’t really said that any one particular mechanical trait is worse than another regarding injury rates (unless they’ve changed recently).