Sidearm vs. Overhand

Why do overhand pitchers typically throw harder than sidearmers?
Much of the rotation is along a vertical axis (hips, shoulders), so I would expect that to help sidearm more?

I’m wondering because I throw a little harder 2-3 mph maybe when I throw from higher, but I get much more movement on 2-seam and slider when lower.

It all comes down to which is more comfortable for you and which enables you to get more movement on your pitches. Some pitchers will use both deliveries; but they have to be careful not to fall into a pattern which would allow the batters to pick up one or another pitch and thus set themselves for a nice juicy fastball. I for one would go with the sidearm delivery—for me it was a natural one and I always threw that way. plus I never had any arm or shoulder problems. If you do go sidearm, it might be a good idea for you to pick up and work with the crossfire, especially with the slider. That’s one pitch the batters couldn’t do anything with if they stood on their heads. :baseballpitcher:

Think of it this way… if you were going to carry a heavy object like a 40-lb bag of cement, would you hold it arms extended away from your body or arms bent close to your body?

We are stronger with arms bent closer to the body.

Sidearmers’ overall arm paths are wider than overhanders (it’s like carrying that bag of cement arms extended away from the body), which results in BETTER movement but poorer velocity.

But that’s just a guess.

better leverage, use of gravity, plus your trunk flexors are stronger than your trunk rotators and you engage your lats much more (shoulder extensors and biggest muscle in torso)

If you had a sledgehammer would you be able to hit harder swinging straight over the top or sideways? Obviously over the top. All things being equal, this means that a higher arm slot will result in greater velocity.

Problem is, all things are generally not equal. A properly synced up sidearm delivery can generate elite velocities, just like a poorly synced up over the top delivery can have poor velocity.

Arm slot is just one variable.

I don’t think so. How about an Olympic hammer thrower? Which is basically equivalent of throwing a sledgehammer SideArm.

The only accurate statement:

With respect to throwing hard SideArm, one of the hardest throwers of all time:

Also you might find the following of interest both Johnson and Wood threw the ball SideArm.

We are comparing apples to oranges.

Maybe the sledgehammer analogy isn’t perfect. But the hammer throw is much more than just one step and a throw…it’s the equivalent of a rotational crow hop!

Johnson was much more rotational (merry go round) and less ferris wheel, so he had to get as much out of that axis as possible. He had extreme counterrotation of his upper half so that he could maximally stretch and engage his torso for as long as possible. I have found that this strategy works well for me as someone with a similar arm slot.

Most high 3/4 pitchers don’t have nearly the amount of counterrotation because they are utilizing more of the ferris wheel, which I think is associated with slightly different muscular activation. They don’t need to be as rotational to throw hard. That being said, the absolute hardest of the hard throwers like chapman tend to find ways to maximize all components (merry go round, ferris wheel and flat bed). There’s always a way to downplay one of these components slightly provided that you up regulate one of the other components. Neftali Feliz doesn’t have exceptional merry-go-round, but he utilizes the ferris wheel well and has an absolutely ridiculous flat bed (back hip drive) that helps him generate high velocity.

My best guesses at differences in muscular activation, given the differences in body segment positioning:

Sidearm: more emphasis on trunk rotators and pecs to accelerate the body and arm, while over the top is more of an emphasis on lateral trunk flexors, rectus abdominus and lat. This is another reason most of the hardest throwers tend to be around a 3/4 arm slot, having an optimal balance of between these two ends of the spectrum as far as muscular activation and utilization.

[quote]We are comparing apples to oranges.

Maybe the sledgehammer analogy isn’t perfect. But the hammer throw is much more than just one step and a throw…it’s the equivalent of a rotational crow hop! [/quote]

What is being compared is the development and transfer of momentum around the rotational axis.

Has nothing to do with “crow hop”.

Johnson was side arm PERIOD.

From The dictionary:

From Wikipedia:

{quote]In baseball, sidearm describes balls thrown along a low, approximately horizontal axis rather than a high, mostly vertical axis (overhand).[/quote]

You said:

[quote]My best guesses at differences in muscular activation, given the differences in body segment positioning:

Sidearm: more emphasis on trunk rotators and pecs to accelerate the body and arm, while over the top is more of an emphasis on lateral trunk flexors, rectus abdominus and lat. This is another reason most of the hardest throwers tend to be around a 3/4 arm slot, having an optimal balance of between these two ends of the spectrum as far as muscular activation and utilization.[/quote]

All of your muscular activation ignores (your ignorance) whats really happening (throwing physics).

Please post an actual clip of you throwing 92+ MPH so that all of us can see and compare how you ACTUALLY throw as opposed to how you SAY you throw 92+ MPH.