How are my mechanics/why pain in my arm? Video included

Hey guys,

I haven’t posted in a while, winter hit hard and it has just warmed up so I’ve been throwing for about a week. Things were really good until I went and threw today, and after maybe 10 pitches my arm hurt and I didn’t want to push it any further. I had my buddy film me from the side, back, and front (keep in mind my arm hurt during these pitches) so I could look at what I’m doing and see if I’m doing anything that would be causing my arm pain. It hurts above my elbow, kind of between my bicep and my tricep on the inside of my arm. Not muscle pain, feels like its on the bone or something…maybe a tendon?

Anyways, here is the video:

What do you guys see that I’m doing wrong? What am I doing right? What could be causing the pain?

I can tell right off the bat that I’m taking a step back before I wind up. That needs to stop. It also looks like I drop my arm really far back behind me when I start my pitch. I also noticed that my elbow alignment is a little off. Maybe a lot off. My head is a bit cocked to the side when I complete the pitch. But from what I can tell, it doesn’t look like anything I’m doing would be causing the pain in my arm.

Any tips and advice is greatly appreciated!

I should also mention, the video has three pitches in it, all fastballs. After each pitch at regular speed I included a slow motion for each pitch.

Watch your glove side while you pitch, what do you see?

I personally see absolutely no activity from the glove action, I don’t think would be the cause of pain, but that definitely decreases velocity and can increase a stressor onto the arm.

Huh…good eye, never noticed that. What kind of action should my glove side be making? I’ve never really thought about my glove side at all…

Try getting your arms to make an upside down W as your front foot starts to move down then once your throwing arm rises, begin to tuck in your glove arm to the front of your armpit.

I don’t think it’s very wise to pitch so early after resting all winter but that’s just me. Hopefully you warmed up before you pitched. From the pain you’re experiencing, I can’t be completely sure but maybe you’re pushing your arm past its limits to the point where your bicep, tricep, elbow, etc become more vulnerable.

About three weeks ago, I was doing long toss and I eventually made it to my peak distance. I’m not so big on long toss, I personally don’t like it much but after a few throws, my bicep began to hurt a bit if I flexed. I’m kinda incorporating what happened to me with your situation I guess. It took about 4 full days for my bicep to heal completely so hopefully you’ll be sore free by that time.

I do warm up before I pitch, but I think you’re right, I may be pushing it too far too early. What do you guys recommend doing to get my arm conditioned for pushing hard?

I’ve recently started to do bicep curls and pushups to specifically strengthen my tendons (muscles too, but not as big an emphasis). Is it a good idea to just go throw a bit every day…no pitching, just regular catch, maybe some long toss?

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Take a look at the :18 mark where your front foot has just fully touched down. Now check out your shoulder position. They should be still in line with the target. You have them opened much too soon. The glove side isn’t helping with this. In that same frame, your glove is hanging there, contributing to the early shoulder opening issue or at least not helping to avoid it. You’re lifting the ball up on the way back and pushing it toward the target. No whip.

Also, I’m assuming you’re in sneakers here, as your front foot takes a slide forward when your weight lands on it.

As a result of all of this, and maybe just rust from the winter reduction of activity, your throwing arm is doing the lion’s share of the work by itself.

So, get some cleats on first. Get our good buddy Roger here to help you with your glove side, work on keeping the shoulders closed until landing and work on the timing and motion of how you’re getting to the top on the way back.

Would the best way to contact Roger be through a private message?

So if I’m understanding correctly, my shoulders both need to be in line with home plate when my front foot lands, and right after I land I open up my shoulders and release the ball? If I can correct this in my mechanics, it should take some of the load off of my throwing arm then?

Thank you so much for this advice, I really appreciate it. I will grab some cleats soon, good eye. Sneakers in this video for sure.

I’m hoping that just by invoking his name, Roger will chime in.

“Poof”

You rang? :smiley:

DM is correct. Proper sequencing includes hips rotating before shoulders (to create separation which, in turn, creates power). It also includes hips starting to rotate into front foot plant and shoulders rotating after front foot plant.

Although many pitchers and even coaches don’t realize it, the glove is crucial to all of this because it can easily do things to disrupt this sequencing and timing. For example, dropping the glove, flying open with the glove, or pulling the glove back will usually destroy timing resulting in early shoulder rotation; hip rotation and shoulder rotation will start to overlap and hip and shoulder separation will be reduced.

In your case, your glove arm never really gets extended out front. It just hangs with your glove down by your knee. As DM said, this probably leads to early shoulder rotation. Try to get it out front in what we call an “equal and opposite” position. That is, the front arm should sort of mirror the throwing arm in a symmetric manner. And it should be there until as close to front foot plant as possible. If it feels like you’re having to hold it there artificially long, get yourself moving forward sooner and faster to get into foot plant quicker.

Make all “equal and opposite” adjustments to you glove arm - leave your throwing arm alone.

Achieving good sequencing and timing can certainly create a more efficient delivery that does take some load off the arm.

The other reason to need a good glove side is because the body attempts to be equal and opposite on its own. A low glove side often leads to a high throwing side. If you can get your glove arm extended, that will impact your throwing side by lowering your throwing elbow and taking you out of the injury zone.

Currently, your throwing elbow is above your ear when it should be below your shoulder. I’m sure that is contributing to your pain.

Thank you SO much for this advice, I really appreciate it. I never realized how important the glove arm is.

Thanks also for pointing out how high my elbow is, and that if I can get it lower it will get it out of the injury zone, this is huge for me. I want to try out for the BYU baseball team in the Fall if I can get everything together.

I will work on these things and in another few weeks or so I’ll get another video together so you guys can take a look. Thanks again!!

I’d be careful about altering the throwing arm. While the throwing elbow may be above the ear in absolute terms (i.e. relative to the ground), the shoulders are tilted and the elbow is actually pretty much in line with the acromial line of the shoulders. That’s not an issue.

I think cleaning up the glove arm (i.e. not dropping it) may allow the shoulders to level out the the arm/elbow to lower. Keeping the head upright/eyes level will help as well. “Take care of posture, let arm slot happen.”

[quote=“Tweaker”]Thanks also for pointing out how high my elbow is, and that if I can get it lower it will get it out of the injury zone, …[/quote]I see nothing wrong with your elbow height. Also, there is no evidence that this “elbow above the shoulder” is the cause of anything. It’s theory that’s been promoted as fact. Your elbow never gets high, regardless. Focus on the other things you’ve heard here, not the elbow height. That will only distract you from the things that will cause real improvement.

OK, thanks for the heads up. Basically, if I focus on the other things you guys recommend, the elbow issue will resolve itself?

Of course, none of us here can guarantee that, or anything. There could be many reasons for your arm pain. It could be conditioning, genetics, over-use, etc., etc. We’re only able to give you our opinions on how your mechanics stack up against those we believe are common in the best in the game.

I don’t consider the elbow height to be an issue. To me, the early shoulder rotation is the issue.

I’m pretty sure I advised that raising the glove side was the focus. By doing that, the elevated elbow would naturally come down without focusing on it. Acromial alignment is more easily judged from the front. A more active front side would probably delay the shoulder rotation. I’d just work on the glove side, get that part comfortable, then re-assess the entire delivery, because, at that point, it won’t look anything like the original.

The “elevated elbow” in this case is a direct result of torso lean. As CoachPaul said, we need a front view to see acromial alignment. I suggest that, should we see this pitcher from the front, we would see alignment and torso lean to the glove side. This whole elbow height thing is barking up the wrong tree anyway. As Roger said, the early shoulder rotation is the big ticket item here and glove side management is one of the tools that can be used to combat the issue.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will work on my glove side and my early shoulder rotation. So to be clear…get the hip rotation by planting the foot, then unwind the shoulders and release. By working on my glove side, the shoulder rotation should fall into place. Correct?

I will post another video after I feel like I have shoulder rotation dialed and have my glove side all worked out.

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it!