Sport-specific training targeting the proximal segments and throwing velocity in collegiate throwing athletes

Thomas Palmer, Timothy L. Uhl, Dana Howell, Timothy E. Hewett, Kert Viele, Carl G. Mattacola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Context: The ability to generate, absorb, and transmit forces through the proximal segments of the pelvis, spine, and trunk has been proposed to influence sport performance, yet traditional training techniques targeting the proximal segments have had limited success improving sport-specific performance. Objective: To investigate the effects of a traditional endurance-training program and a sport-specific power-training program targeting the muscles that support the proximal segments and throwing velocity. Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial. Setting: University research laboratory and gymnasium. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 46 (age = 20 ±1.3 years, height = 175.7 ± 8.7 cm) healthy National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III female softball (n = 17) and male baseball (n = 29) players. Intervention(s): Blocked stratification for sex and position was used to randomly assign participants to 1 of 2 training groups for 7 weeks: a traditional endurance-training group (ET group; n = 21) or a power-stability-training group (PS group; n = 25). Mean Outcome Measure(s): The change score in peak throwing velocity (km/h) normalized for body weight (BW; kilograms) and change score in tests that challenge the muscles of the proximal segments normalized for BW (kilograms). We used 2-tailed independent-samples t tests to compare differences between the change scores. Results: The peak throwing velocity (ET group = 0.01 ± 0.1 km/h/kg of BW, PS group = 0.08 ± 0.03 km/h/kg of BW; P <.001) and muscle power outputs for the chop (ET group = 0.22 ± 0.91 W/kg of BW, PS group = 1.3 ± 0.91 W/kg of BW; P <.001) and lift (ET group = 0.59 ± 0.67 W/kg of BW, PS group = 1.4 6 0.87 W/kg of BW; P < .001) tests were higher at postintervention in the PT than in the ET group. Conclusions: An improvement in throwing velocity occurred simultaneously with measures of muscular endurance and power after a sport-specific training regimen targeting the proximal segments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.


  • Pelvis-stability exercise training
  • Performance assessment
  • Spine
  • Trunk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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