What is the point for making an M with your arms


#1

what are the benifits if any by making an M with your arms. I see guys like Derek Turnbow and Garcia who just bring the ball straight back and they throw hard.


#2

Don’t make an M with your arms. It leads to arm injuries IE Mark Prior. I’m sure dm59 or chris o’leary can elaborate.


#3

I don’t know of anyone who actually recommends making an “M” with your arms. On the other hand, the is at least one person on this board who thinks doing so leads to injuries. But that is only a theory at this point.


#4

[quote=“zforce39”]what are the benifits if any by making an M with your arms. I see guys like Derek Turnbow and Garcia who just bring the ball straight back and they throw hard.[/quote]its accually a W, u should do this


#5

Prior is a good example of the M. Some, as Tanner notes, call this an inverted W or M. It’s all about the timing of when that happens. It’s the same relative position of the forearms and upper arm. Arm action’s a funny thing. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of research into it. If you look through some old posts of mine, you’ll read about my thoughts on the whipping arm action (or search for “full external rotation”) that all, and I mean all, hard throwing major league pitchers use. Now, they all go through a similar process at a specific time but they DON’T all get there in the same way. As you pointed out, Garcia straightens his arm out and swings it way up to a very high point. Then he goes through full external rotation and whips the ball. Prior uses the inverted W, or M, that you’re speaking about. The forearms remain pointing downward as the elbows lift up to shoulder height. They then rotate upward and the shoulders and elbow come forward as the hand and forearm get to almost vertical. He then goes through full external rotation, just like Garcia. The vast majority of MLB pitchers use the horizontal W motion. It’s pretty much the same motion as the M but the timing is different. Some W’s actually pull the ball out of the glove in a rather direct, horizontal direction right into the horizontal W at shoulder height. Some W’s start with the forearms more pointed down or even with the arm straightened out and pointing down but they, as lift the elbows, the LIFT the back of the throwing hand and forearm up and through the horizontal W. They then go through the full external rotation zone, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

OK. Now that my little dissertation is done, what about injury? Chris seems to think that the M is not the best in that regard. I think, and correct me if I have you wrong here Chris, that the dangerous part in his estimation is that M throwers end up with the elbows above and behind the shoulders. When external rotation of the humerus begins. Right Chris?

My own belief is that this isn’t the problem. They don’t keep the elbows up there as the humerus continues to rotate. My own BELIEF, no research at all to back this up, is that the M causes the speed of external rotation of the humerus to be increased as it goes toward maximum, or full, external rotation and ends up in what Marshall terms “reverse forearm bounce”. So, I don’t recommend the M.

Now, the W is a different animal, a bit. You get the same arm path (more on a plane from 3rd to 1st for a RHP) which I believe facilitates a smooth whipping action through full external rotation, but you do it in a less violent and jerky motion. You transition better and thus with less, not no, risk.

Slingers, like Garcia, get there as well, I just believe it’s more difficult to get the forearm laid back because of the path the hand takes. As I’ve said before, it isn’t impossible with the slingers, Garcia proves that, but it’s much easier to do with a W path and easier to teach.

My $0.02 worth.


#6

I personally don’t like the W or the M. I lead with my elbow and have my glove immediately tucked in. More effecient, and gets me to my cocked position easy.


#7

[quote=“SnakeManiac72”]I personally don’t like the W or the M. I lead with my elbow and have my glove immediately tucked in. More effecient, and gets me to my cocked position easy.[/quote]Question #1: Assuming this is OK for your glove side, which I’m unclear on, what about the throwing side?

Question #2: What do you mean by having your glove “immediately tucked in”? When is “immediately”?

The glove side can successfully do many things within each throwing side motion. I’m more concerned in this discussion about the throwing side and how one gets to and through full external rotation.


#8

Well, I didn’t mean immediately as in it’s there as I start my delivery. But I lead with my elbow going towards to the plate with my upper body not my glove, so the glove is right there to tuck in as I come to the cocked position. Look at the blog, and Bill Thurston’s video on the cocked position. I do it as he explains.


#9

i think the W or M helps control as well, i’ve been working with getting better with it and its been producing better results


#10

I’m guessing this is what you’re talking about, right? The video I posted in the other topic?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-462414173609124603&q


#11

Tanner, I’m assuming you make a W, not an M? If you make an M it’s been nice knowing you, and you minds well start the countdown to arm injuries.


#12

[quote=“SnakeManiac72”]Tanner, I’m assuming you make a W, not an M? If you make an M it’s been nice knowing you, and you minds well start the countdown to arm injuries.[/quote]yea i make a W, can someone please post a picture of what a M motion looks like


#13

http://www.chicago-cubs-baseball.com/images/nhlc.jpg
Notice how the elbows both come above the shoulders.
Wasn’t sure if I posted the pic right so I threw in the link to it as well.


#14

[quote=“SnakeManiac72”]http://www.chicago-cubs-baseball.com/images/nhlc.jpg
Notice how the elbows both come above the shoulders.
Wasn’t sure if I posted the pic right so I threw in the link to it as well.
[/quote]gotcha


#15

I think it’s dangerous (not to mention unnecessary).

The only guys who do this are people like Mark Prior. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that he has had continual problems. In fact, i think his recent shoulder problems are directly related to his doing this.

Anthony Reyes of my Cardinals does this and I am concerned about his long-term durability as a result.

What’s more, the greats like Ryan, Seaver, Clemens, don’t do this.

Also, this is one of the aspects of Freddy Garcia’s mechanics that I like the most.


#16

I believe the idea of making the “M” (or the “Upside Down W”) originated in circles associated with Paul Nyman and his concept of scapular loading.

I’m not sure if Mark does it deliberately or by accident (e.g. whether he was taught to do it or not).


#17

Correct.

The problem is that this isn’t universally the case. Some people like Billy Wagner and Bobby Madritsch start the rapid external rotation process with their elbows at least above their shoulders. I believe that this contributes tp their shoulder problems.


#18

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I believe the idea of making the “M” (or the “Upside Down W”) originated in circles associated with Paul Nyman and his concept of scapular loading.[/quote]Not quite. Scap loading is not peculiar to the M, W or any other arm action.


#19

Chris
I’m going to play “amateur kinesiologist” here for a bit. Feel free to correct me where I go awry.

I just called up videos of the 3 pitchers I have access to who “appear” to bring their elbows above their shoulders at full scap load. Those are Prior, Smoltz and Wagner. This position seems to be what you have issues with. You may have read how Mike Marshall states that it is physically impossible to abduct the humerus above the acromial line. The scap loaded position is one of maximum humeral abduction the entire scapular complex is lifted here, not just the humerus. Since the humerus is attached to the body via this complex, humeral alignment in the glenoid is maintained. This is what scapular loading utilizes to maximize the range of motion of the humerus during a pitch.

Now, if you put this position in the context of the entire motion, as we always should, you will notice that very little external rotation of the humerus happens while the elbows are in this fully scap loaded position AND that rotation is within the degree range that is quite normal for the humerus and rotator cuff. When external rotation goes beyond that normal degree range, namely when the forearm passes by approximately vertical, the elbow has dropped as a result of the scaps unloading to an elevation that is in line with the acromial line. This is when the external rotation gets into the “challenging” zone but the elbows are no longer “above the acromial line”.

So, if my little foray into human anatomy is correct, this position isn’t the evil it’s being made out to be and my thought about the violent nature of the external rotation becomes the issue. This is why I find a W motion to be less objectionable. It allows for a smoother transition into full external rotation and back again.

OK. All of you physios, kinesiologists or physicians, hit me!!! :frowning:


#20

I agree, but I have seen the “Upside Down W” advocated in the context of how to most efficiently scap load.