Stride Angle


#1

I was looking randomly comparing pitcher’s stride lengths, and came across this article on stride angle and pitcher performance and health from Somax. Just wanted to know what people thought about this and if stride angle is really something we should be looking for( how to measure it though?) for velocity, accuracy, and arm health? Thanks!

Here’s the link: http://www.somaxsports.com/StrideAngleERA.html

And another on Barry Zito: http://www.somaxsports.com/ZitoStrideAngle.html

I forgot, does anyone know how to do Microfiber Reduction? I read on it through this site and was curious if it is comparable to myofascial release or trigger point with a foam roller. I know I wouldn’t mind some more hip/pelvic flexibility. :smiley:


#2

Other than showing that some pitchers are more flexible than others I can’t conclude anything from their pictures. I see way too many inconsistencies. If I was trying to promote a theory based on a biomechanical position I’d take the measurement from the same position in the delivery from pitcher to pitcher- not one at leg lift (Marichal, Spahn) and another at release (Duchserer) and others at various positions prior to or after foot strike.

IMO leg lift, leg swing and stride are unique to each pitcher. If you pick a point early or late enough in any stride you can make the “stride angle” number say what you want to in order to fit your scenario.

If you’re truly trying to prove that stride angle is an “absolute”, and if Maddux, at 135*, is the standard then measure and compare everyone at the same point in delivery as Maddux, which is well after foot strike and very near the point of maximum external rotation. Poor Zito hasn’t even gotten into foot strike yet when they measure him and their conclusion is that “stride angle” is his problem.

That being said I won’t argue that maximizing stride length is important and that flexibility plays an important part. But so do functional strength, dynamic balance, posture, and momentum.

In addition, from personal experience, I agree that muscle groups can get “stuck” together rather than “sliding” next to each other. In distance runners calves and hips are particularly vulnerable. Various massage techniques can be effective in breaking up these adhesions and restoring normal range of motion. That’s why what you do as part of your recovery is as important as your workout.


#3

Here’s what I’ve been saying all along—pitchers need to get their entire lower body involved, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion. That’s how they get the power behind their pitches, and whether they use a high leg kick or a slide-step has little or anything to do with it. I learned this from watching the Yankees’ Big Three rotation of the late 40s to the mid-50s; I saw just what they were doing, and I picked it up and worked with it. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, but I found that as a result of working with this aspect of good mechanics I was throwing harder and faster with less effort, and not a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else. In addition—and the article fails to mention this—a sidearm pitcher who uses the crossfire does not stride directly to the plate, but takes a step toward third base (if a righthander) or first base (if a southpaw), whips around and delivers the pitch from that angle. I did this so much of the time that I remember when my pitching coach was helping me with my circle change and he said to me, “I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw.” :slight_smile: So although this is an interesting theory set forth in the article it doesn’t cover everything.