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Dr. Maureen Dunn, Kinesiology

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Chronic static stretching programs have been reported to increase shoulder range of motion (ROM), but no study has examined how this increase may affect throwing velocity in overhead athletes. It was hypothesized that a 4-week stretching program would increase the ROM of the glenohumeral joint and also increase throwing velocity among collegiate baseball players. Baseline shoulder ROM and overhand throwing velocity were assessed before participants were matched into either a control group (CON, n=7) or an experimental group (STRETCH, n=8). The STRETCH group then performed two sets of two stretches (the cross-body stretch and the sleeper stretch), 30 seconds each, four times per week for a duration of four weeks. Results revealed that horizontal adduction ROM for both active (A) and passive (P) measures increased significantly in STRETCH compared to CON over time (STRETCH: Pretest: A=39.8 ± 8.8°, P= 42.5 ± 5.2°; Posttest: A= 43.3 ± 3.5°, P= 45.4 ± 3.1°; CON: Pretest: A= 41.6 ± 10.6°, P= 45.3 ± 11.2°; Posttest: A= 36.3 ± 5.7°, p 0.018, P= 40.0 ± 6.1°, p=0.020). Passive extension ROM also had a significant interaction (p =0.023), while external rotation increased more in STRETCH than in CON, but this interaction failed to reach significance (p=0.054). There were no significant differences between internal rotation, flexion or throwing velocity over time or between treatment groups. Despite the lack of change in throwing velocity with the stretching program, the correlation between the change in horizontal adduction and the change in velocity showed a significant positive relationship (R²= 0.518 , p=0.005). More research is needed to solidify the possible relationship between range of motion and throwing velocity in collegiate baseball players.


This research was supported by the Hope College Department of Kinesiology.

Title on poster differs from abstract booklet. Poster title: Effects of a 4-Week Shoulder Stretching Program on Range of Motion and Throwing Velocity Among Collegiate Baseball Players

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