Pronating is un-natural?

I don’t really get this whole pronating thing… turning the ball over, so to speak…

Is this something that most people do naturally as they throw? …

For me, it seems completly counter to everything my arm wants to do, goes completely against all the force I’m trying to throw with…

For me, it seems I natually have a bit of slider action at release… this is what’s comfortable for me…

Should I force myself to “pronate” my fastball? I really don’t get what the advantage is to pronating, other then getting some screw-ball type action on the pitch … I mean, the screwball is such a rare pitch, no one throws it, yet everyone here seems to condone this “pronating” release …

Is pronating just the new term for screwball? Just as “arm slot” is the new term for “release point” ???

It’s very natural when throwing a football, but not natural as when throwing a baseball (but you can easily get used to it).

As you have found, it feels much more natural to supinate the forearm when throwing a baseball (ending thumb up).

It’s comfortable for the moment but problematic in the long term.


However, you can throw a fastball while pronating while still putting pure backspin on the ball. Think of throwing a screwball as an extreme form of pronating.

What pronating does is…

  1. Takes some of the load off of the UCL (if done early enough).

  2. Keeps the bones in the elbow from slamming together.

does pronating reduce speed? it feels like it does…

(BTW, chris, I enjoy your pitching alalysis reports… the sequence of photos do a good job of clearly demonstrating how the hips should rotate before the shoulders)

Forced pronation is probably not a great idea, however a “slider” type release is almost always hard on the arm, despite the great success Mariano Rivera has had. Traditionally, a screwball has been the one hardest pitch on the arm. This may simply be because people didn’t develop their arms to throw a screwball or because it is inherently bad for the arm. I don’t know the answer to that.

Pronation is natural after ball release. If you are looking for maximum velocity however the key is to keep your fingers behind the ball. Turning the ball over a bit either through supination or pronation will usually result in more movement and less velocity.

Some pitchers turn the ball over a bit on their changeups, somewhat like a screwball, to get a bit more movement and a bit less velocity from a pitch that doesn’t put as much stress on the arm anyways.

Right on CADad. Good post.

It may until you get used to it.

This is a myth.

There’s no reason why the screwball (or any pronated pitch) should be hard on the arm and lots of reasons why it isn’t.

Having been a quarterback, pronation comes as a natural motion for me. I would suggest throwing a football right before working on a “sinking” 2-seamer. I throw both a cutter (thumb up) and sinker (thumb down). Neither put any more stress on my arm than my “straight” 4-seamer. I think that the versatility of being able to change speed and make the both move in both directions keeps the hitter off balance and you can really freeze some hitters with late movement.

I started pronating my wrist when i was pitching when i was 19, only with my 2 seam fastballs…I had more movement, but I got a shoulder impingement a year later that I had to rehab for 3 or 4 months, and I believe it’s from pronating because my shoulder is still a little tender and when i make a pronation movement i feel the tightness in that spot i had the impingement…

I will never pronate again to protect my arm, whether that’s truely what caused it or not i can’t say for sure but I’ve pitched alot, at certain seasons i probably threw more then I should have, I’ve played in two leagues at once pitching in both, ever since i was 13 and when i was 9-12 i was pitching in little league

all along i had never had any arm problems whatsoever, the first time i had issues was about 6 or 7 months after i started pronating trying to get that screwball sinking action on the fastball

IMO…wear and tear on your arm is a cummulative thing, and in your post you referenced a few factors that may have contributed to your setback…in other words, the attempt at pronation ( which I think you did anyway ) and the timing of your injury was very possibly just a coincidence.

Your impingement is unlikely to have been caused by pronating.

Instead, it was probably related to taking your elbows above (and possibly also behind) your shoulders at some point during your delivery.

maybe, but it might also be from pronating…so i’m not gonna do that anymore…

like i said, if i attempt to protate now I feel it in the exact same spot i had the pain and fatigue in the shoulder injury

What you are probably feeling is tightness in one of the tendons of the Biceps. They insert into the shoulder.

Pronating after release is natural - almost all pitchers do it regardless of what pitch is thrown. Pronating before the release - as is done when throwing a palm-out change-up - should only be done to one’s comfort level.