CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Sports Med Int Open 2021; 05(01): E8-E13
DOI: 10.1055/a-1244-1621
Orthopedics & Biomechanics

The Effects of Body Mass Index on Softball Pitchers’ Hip and Shoulder Range of Motion

Kenzie B. Friesen
1   School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA
Adam W. Anz
2   Andrews Research and Education Foundation, Gulf Breeze, FL, USA
Jeffrey R. Dugas
3   Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaaedic Center, Birmingham, AL, USA
James R. Andrews
2   Andrews Research and Education Foundation, Gulf Breeze, FL, USA
Gretchen D. Oliver
1   School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA
› Author Affiliations


Currently it is hypothesized that increased body mass index may contribute to overuse injuries. Thus, if hip or shoulder range of motion is affected by body mass index, pitchers may be placing additional stress on joints as they seek to pitch at maximal velocity. The purpose of this study was to examine if range of motion at the hips and shoulders were related to body mass index classification. A sample of 147 female softball pitchers (17.0±4.2 years; 167.6±11.8 cm; 70.6±17.5 kg; body mass index=24.8±4.7 kg/m2) participated. Bilateral hip and shoulder range of motion were assessed. Multivariate analysis of variance results indicated body mass index [Wilks’ Λ=0.742, F=1.722, p=0.014, η2=0.095] significantly affected range of motion of the shoulder and hip. Post hoc results indicated the underweight group had significantly more range of motion than the obese group in hip internal range of motion on both the throwing side (mean difference=12.39, p=0.005) and glove side (mean difference=11.98, p=0.004). Although body composition is not overly emphasized among softball pitchers, the current study reveals excess weight may inhibit proper mechanics. Coaches, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning personnel, and athletes should acknowledge the role that body composition can play in affecting pitch outcomes.

Publication History

Received: 07 July 2020

Accepted after revision: 12 August 2020

Article published online:
16 December 2020

© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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