Physics of Throwing/Swinging

If you are interested, some of my work was featured in the NY Times this week (online) and will be in-print next week: Doctor Strange Throw

I’m involved with the physics of throwing and swinging sports. I show the more open-minded sports enthusiast how to throw harder (further) and swing faster. Even as an old man, I throw stuff far and swing stuff fast.

Dr.Strangethrow, I’ve been slowly studying what i can on pitching and movement. What I’ve seen recently is even though the tennis serve has similar arm movements and stress
shoulder and UCL issues are rare .Would you recommend tennis, mainly the serve, as part of an offsesson or even in season excercise?

The short answer is yes, but there is always more to the story; and my research into the physics of throwing and swinging based on physics as it pertains to human biomechanical mechanisms. You are welcome (even encouraged) to learn more.

A primary difference between pitching and serving is this:

  • The pitcher lets go of the ball. This means the pitcher’s body does not need to decelerate the weight of the ball.

  • The tennis player hangs onto the racquet. This means the tennis player’s body must decelerate the weight of the racquet resulting in stronger backside decelerator muscles which creates more balance in the shoulder (front to back) and, therefore, more durability.

This is a lesson for pitchers because stronger decelerators are an “enabler” of increased velocity. The body will only accelerate the arm to the degree it can decelerate the arm or else it risks injury. Strengthening the decelerators, therefore, allows arm (and ball) acceleration can be increased without also increasing chances for injury.

Yes, I study this as a physics professor familiar with biomechanics. One of my devices for the baseball player to try is the Mega-Torque tennis racket:

Look on youtube for hbo sports steve delabar. He gave up after many years in the minors after he broke his elbow. A few years later as coach he tried the npf weighted sock ball program. When he radared himself he was throwing mid 90s and made it to the show. In an interview Tom House said similar about holding onto the ball for decelarators

Thank you, I know all about these guys. I’m working on some new ideas; one in particular called Power-Pronation. Tom House is a psychologist (trying to coerce folks into doing what he prescribes) whereas I’m a physics professor who analyzes the forces involved in mechanics. Show me the evidence is what I do. As always you are welcome to learn more.

Tom House has also worked with some of the greatest to have played the game in both baseball and football, so there’s that too.

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He (i.e., House) also caught Hank Aaron’s 715th HR. That probably makes no more sense to you than does quantum physics, but then not to worry as Dick Feynman (Nobel Laureate in Physics) said: “No one really understands quantum mechanics.” BTW: I have two new techniques based on physics for throwing the football. If you want to learn more. Of course, I’ve also taught quantum mechanics, but then that is another story.

Including Nolan Ryan, from back when pitchers threw complete games, like his 13 inning 235 pitch count game in 1974. He was actually taken out at 235, the opposing pitcher, Luis tiant, went 15 innings. Cant say that shortened his career…of course hes a freak of nature!

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Another Nolan Ryan fact i heard today. At age 61 he threw out a ceremonial 1st pitch clocked at 85mph.

Dr. StarangeThrow,

What is the cost of converting rotational force (redirection) into Linear force?

I will always go with coach Newton on this when deciding on how to achieve uniform acceleration by length.

This question always never gets an answer.

Tennis players used to serve “outside of vertical” (forearm orientation) and rip their MCL’s (UCL), Flexors and Extensors until Dr. Mike Marshall showed Stan Smith how to voluntarily pronate his serves “inside of vertical”, now it’s the norm. Voluntary forearm pronation has saved many sports like football where again, Dr. Marshall taught Archie Manning, Fran Tarkenton, Brian Sipe and many more a better way for your throws to articulate by forearm pronating the QB throws over 40 years ago, now it’s the norm.

In fact all the other overhead ballistic throwing sports take advantage of driving their arms inside of vertical. Only one does both and most to the outside, that would be baseball youth, HS, College and pro pitching, the thing Dr. Marshall actually excelled at. All our youth pitchers are still taught intuitive forearm supination and have to be lucky to find the opposite information. The pros are starting to get it but they operate under a type of secret society where its hard for them to give up an advantage. Top down don’t work unless it’s recognized for what it is.

The norm is for folks who don’t know any better. Plenty of those available. As George Carlin said: Think of how stupid the average person is and then realize half of them are stupider than that. I usually try to do better through education and then re-education largely due to imagination. Stay tuned for Power-Pronation.

See ?

See? I’m on the seafood diet: when I see food I eat it.

I’m waiting Doc.? I’m actually interested and that has nothing to do with sleep.

First 3 questions: (1) Are you a young or old person? (2) Do you throw (or think you know how to)? (3) Are you willing to try Power-Pronation? Supinating the palm on the back-swing and pronating on the forward swing. In other words, going from Karate Chop (supinate) to the Reverse Karate Chop (pronate).