Heel or ball of foot?

When you use your back leg are you pushing off the heel or the ball of foot?

I push off the ball of my foot.

ball of foot for sure

i push off the toe of my foot
just to get an extra inch closer to the plate
it gets my hips going towards the plate faster

I dont push off, bad for pr.

Hoysauce got it right, he doesn’t push off the rubber and neither does anyone else (unless their post leg straightens out and they exhibit some type of a ‘jump’ in their motion).

Try to get this right, pitchers, it is shocking that so few of you understand the factual details of your own mechanics.

If there is a slight bend at your knees in your starting position, and if your post leg never straightens during the stride forward and release of the baseball, then you are not pushing off. Nor should you push off. If you did, the pushing force would cause you to jump.

Undoubtedly, some coach back in the day decided that “push off the rubber” sounded like good advice–if you’re pushing, that means you are working harder and applying more force and that’s good for pitchers, right?

Sorry, no amount of repeating nonsense is going to make the nonsense turn into fact. Pithers do of course need to generate lots of force, but it doesn’t come from “pushing off” of the rubber.

When a pitcher shifts weight toward his front hip and simultaneously lifts his stride leg, the gravitational force acts on his body like a lever (with the fulcrum being his post foot). As the pitcher begins levering forward his post leg swivels underneath as his hips rotate open.

Look carefully at lots of video of pitchers–the post leg does not straighten out at any time between start of motion and landing of the stride foot. With only a single camera angle, there can be the illusion of “straightening” as the bent post leg swivels through your line of vision–nevertheless, there is no actual straightening of the post leg and therefore no “push off the rubber”.

The sensation that you may mistakenly call “pushing off” is really just isometric tension against the gravitational force–that is, you must keep just enough tension in your post leg to keep from sinking to the ground in normal gravity. Since you lift one leg off the ground during your stride, your post leg must then maintain all of the isometric tension necessary to keep you from falling. No doubt, that can feel like a “push off”…but it isn’t.

[quote]Hoysauce got it right, he doesn’t push off the rubber and neither does anyone else (unless their post leg straightens out and they exhibit some type of a ‘jump’ in their motion).

Try to get this right, pitchers, it is shocking that so few of you understand the factual details of your own mechanics.

If there is a slight bend at your knees in your starting position, and if your post leg never straightens during the stride forward and release of the baseball, then you are not pushing off. Nor should you push off. If you did, the pushing force would cause you to jump.

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Francisco Rodriguez
Tim Lincecum
Yovani Gallardo

kelvin,

If the three names you posted are answers to something in my post, you are going to have to tell me precisely what question it is that they provide an answer to.

Let me guess: You think they all “push off” of the mound, or they have been quoted in the newspaper as saying “We push off of the mound”, or somebody told you that they all “push off” of the mound.

Am I close? I don’t have a whole lot of time for playing games with you but I am curious as to whether you have any clue whatsoever about baseball pitching.

Lincecum, Yovani Gallardo, and K Rod definately push off the rubber in this video

I watched the repeated Lincecum delivery, enjoyed the AC/DC soundtrack, and came to the opposite conclusion that you did.

At what point does Lincecum’s post leg give even the slightest hint of straightening at the knee as he “pushes off” of the rubber?

Try as hard as you can to separate what you have been told is “definitely true” from what you can see with your own eyes and hopefully understand with your own mind: Lincecum’s post leg maintains about the same angle of bend at the knee as he starts out with throughout his stride and footstrike.

Now, assume a “push up position” and do a single push up without ever changing the angle of bend at your elbows. I’d definitely like to see that…

Lincecum creates great momentum to the plate by rapidly shifting his weight forward and thrusting his stride leg forward. That’s pretty much all accomplished by the hips. As he tracks forward, his bent post-leg never straightens out in a “push off”, it swivels beneath his hips as they open toward the plate.

Ever see a basketball player shoot a “jumper”? They push off. They put some bend in their knees, then their legs straighten out as they push off the floor and, just like the name implies…they jump up into the air a bit as a result.

Now, assume a normal “free throw position”, with a slight bend in your knees, and jump 1 inch up into the air without ever straightening your legs–I’d definitely like to see that, too.

[quote=“rtbaseball11”]Lincecum, Yovani Gallardo, and K Rod definately push off the rubber in this video


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What’s the cricket bowler doing with his back foot?

He is using it as anyone does when they throw. There is a video of Lincecum throwing for Washington its a side view. Hes Front leg and Glove arm are the reason he is thrown forward so far. Pushing off makes no sense whatsoever.

xv,

Thanks for pointing that out–it looks to me like this particular cricket bowler briefly pushes off with his back foot. You can clearly see that he briefly pushes his body upward from the back foot/ankle in that clip.

But, is that relevant to baseball pitching? I don’t think so. Cricket bowlers take a long run up to the bowler’s plate, or bowler’s rubber, or whatever the heck spot they bowl from.

Thus, I imagine that the cricket bowler clip was taken out of that context.

In a way, the method the cricket bowler uses to approach his release point reminds me more of a high jumper than a baseball pitcher. Baseball pitchers aren’t allowed to run forward and jump, although I suppose the rules wouldn’t actually prevent them from jumping off of the rubber from a standing position, if they really want to do that.

Maybe some of the “push off” theorists should try that sometime: Come set, jump up into the air, and let 'er rip. The surprise factor alone might be worth a strike call…

Have you guys ever watched that…“game”!!! More like a confusing sort of chinese firedrill sorta thing…I used to watch a club play out at the University Of North Fla. wow! It is almost impossible to describe the act of doing it…The fielders all kinda stand around and they have a batsman guy thingy fella, who may…or may not swing and may or may not hit it…IN ANY DIRECTION and then run back and forth between those wickett thingies…until apparently he decides it is time to not do it anymore…with his flat bat in his hand…I would think that the guys from Monty Python invented it if it didn’t pre-date them by several centuries…The “bowler” thrower guy is more like an outfielder throwing for distance…except he bounces it sooner…The really funny part to me is that the Indian and Pakastannie guys now are better at it than the British guys who invented it.

About a year ago I took my family to London for some vacation time. The boy and I brought our gloves and a few baseballs because we were going to be staying close to Battersea Park, which has some great spots for playing catch.

While there, we observed quite a bit of cricket–everything from beer leagues (where every fielder literally had a bottle of beer at his position) to fairly serious looking amateur teams.

We tried our best to derive the rules by watching the action but…I couldn’t really figure it out. We had a good time talking with some of the players (I especially enjoyed hanging around some of the teams that had beer) but neither we nor they could satisfactorily explain to the other the logic and strategy within our games.

On the other hand, there is some very good scientific literature that stems from biomechanics and kinesiology studies of cricket, and Peter McCleod did some of the best research that I know of on human reaction times in high-speed ball games from his careful studies of cricket. His stuff used cricket to ilustrate the ideas and results; however, his work can easily be generalized to understand the limitations of human reaction time within any ball sport.

if the push wasnt used the back leg owuld stay straight throughout the pitching delivery
some push with the back leg must be used to acheive this stride length
back leg is bent then straightened out

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kelvin,

I suspected that it might only be a matter of time before you would use still photos to make the suggestion that Lincecum is “pushing off” the rubber with his big toe after he has already landed on his stride foot, or is within a few milliseconds of landing.

In all of the pictures you show, the pitcher has a significant bend in his post leg knee. You may be trying to parse some kind of argument from an apparent difference in angle that you think you can discern from stills taken from different perspectives but it is clear from video that Lincecum doesn’t “push off” and change the angle in his leg. Rather, the bend in his post leg is maintained approximately constant as the leg swivels underneath him.

Sprinters push off the blocks and their legs straighten. Basketball players taking a ‘jumper’ push off from the floor and their legs straighten. I guess pitchers must seem magical to you…they can push off of a surface with the post leg, even though it doesn’t straighten out during the push.

Try harder to exercise that noggin of yours a little harder…

[quote=“laflippin”]xv,

Thanks for pointing that out–it looks to me like this particular cricket bowler briefly pushes off with his back foot. You can clearly see that he briefly pushes his body upward from the back foot/ankle in that clip.

But, is that relevant to baseball pitching? I don’t think so. Cricket bowlers take a long run up to the bowler’s plate, or bowler’s rubber, or whatever the heck spot they bowl from.

Thus, I imagine that the cricket bowler clip was taken out of that context.

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On the contrary, I believe that the cricket bowler uses his back foot to stop his momentum the same way Lincecum and any other high level thrower does. He also pivots and drags that foot. If he truly wanted to “push” he would not have turned his foot perpedicular to the target. It also keeps his hips closed and creates a stretch in the hip flexors of his post leg. The stretch in this area delays foward trunk flexion.

Looking at the whole throw, I believe the cricket bowler “pushes” off/up with his front foot.

Well my opinion is this;
Once the weight transfer is past center point (And that IMO is what you are doing is transfering weight from front to back)…the back side becomes “along for the ride”. Now the key element of any, every single pitcher I’ve ever seen is at foot strike, the body needs momentum to transfer the weight, but it becomes a hinderance to timing (As in the case of “over-striding”)…the point of the body that requires the momentum is the hips, all pitchers rotate on the hips (If they are effective). Linececum creates seperation and an open stance, for him to “push” would effect that seperation and open stance, he subsequently would end up throwing across his body and likely have a higher risk of shoulder issues…so (And this is all just my observation and backed not by the sophistication of arguement that XV and La have so credably provided), what is seen in TL is a great effort to open his hips and create seperation (This includes the head lean)…once the foot strike happens he has such leverage as to create the velocity his little body does…So if I was an eager young pitcher like Kelvin, my top most desire would be how to get as open and seperated and not screw up my timing…jumping around is not the answer…Mills momentum model is interesting but you still end up with both feet on the ground and are rotating shoulders.

i use the ball of my foot