Trunk axial rotation in baseball pitching and batting

Glenn S. Fleisig, Wellington K. Hsu, Dave Fortenbaugh, Andrew Cordover, Joel M. Press

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to quantify trunk axial rotation and angular acceleration in pitching and batting of elite baseball players. Healthy professional baseball pitchers (n = 40) and batters (n = 40) were studied. Reflective markers attached to each athlete were tracked at 240 Hz with an eight-camera automated digitizing system. Trunk axial rotation was computed as the angle between the pelvis and the upper trunk in the transverse plane. Trunk angular acceleration was the second derivative of axial rotation. Maximum trunk axial rotation (55 ± 6°) and angular acceleration (11,600 ± 3,100 °/s2) in pitching occurred before ball release, approximately at the instant the front foot landed. Maximum trunk axial rotation (46 ± 9°) and angular acceleration (7,200 ± 2,800 °/s2) in batting occurred in the follow-through after ball contact. Thus, the most demanding instant for the trunk and spine was near front foot contact for pitching and after ball contact for batting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalSports Biomechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Spine
  • abdominal muscle strain
  • hitting
  • kinematics
  • lumbar disk degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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