Using your Legs


#1

I was just wondering how having strong legs beifits in pitching a baseball? In other words where in the pitching motion do the legs generate the power? It may be an obvious question but I was just curious since pitcher’s dont really push off the rubber like the old school methods teach when are the legs used. Maybe some of the mechanical gurus can help me out with this one.


#2

stamina is one of the benefits of having strong legs.


#3

Maybe I should of reworded the question but Im interested in how they, mechanically speaking beifit pitching. where in the pitching motion does the strength of the legs factor into the delivery?


#4

At a high level, the legs initiate momentum (or energy) and transfer that momentum to the hips. It is then transferred up the remaining links in the kinetic chain (i.e. the shoulders, arm, hand, and fingers) and onto the ball. The more momentum you create (within reason), the harder you will throw the ball and the more you will use your body to throw (assuming good mechanics and timing and proper flexibility and functional strength).

You need strength in the legs to perform the initial sideways push against the rubber to initiate movement toward home plate (there is no big push thereafter), you need strength in the legs to swing the front leg out into foot strike, and you need strength in the legs to brace the front leg after foot strike and stop the forward motion of the front hip (which causes the back hip to “whip” around the front hip thus transferring momentum to the hips. And, as someone else already mentioned, you need strength in the legs to do all of this repeatedly over the course of a game.


#5

Repetition is definately a key part of strong legs.

I overstretched a muscle on the outside of my leg, my plant leg was weak, and I couldn’t throw strikes. Once it healed, I was back to my old self.

The repetition concept is why old thinking thought long distance running was good for pitcher. Thoughts being your on your legs a long time in a run, and this lets you pitch longer. The problem is that pitching doesn’t use, slow twitch muscles or aerobic energy system. (the two things that distance running trains).

Thus the more modern school of thinking is training fast twitch muscles and anaerobic energy system. (plyo’s, heavy weights, sprinting)

Strong legs help big time, as far as major leaguers go, look at the short guys especially, they’re easiest to notice thing muscular legs on.
Pedro Martinez and Bartolo Colon stand on absolute tree trunks.


#6

According to Tommy John, the idea of the legs generating power is overrated. Thier primary use is for maintaining balance as you shift your upper body weight and acting as shock absorbers… that’s according to TJ.


#7

You do see the irony in that, don’t you?


#8

I was going to say…Roger, TJ wouldn’t know a whole bunch about velocity now would he?

It would be beneficial to go back and look at guys who throw exceptionally fast as starters (Exclude freaks of nature like Billy Wagner and Randy Meyers…they are also not starters). Rocket has got some hamhocks hangin there and Zambrano is a horse, Nolan’s legs looked like they were sculpted and we won’t even talk about what Steven’s buddy Kyle Farnsworth looks like. Big hams big butt, big speed. You don’t see guys with those attributes be finess pitchers now do you?
It’s all about the energy transfer.


#9

You do see the irony in that, don’t you?[/quote]

oh yeah.