Impact of Engaging the Nonthrowing Arm on Maximal Ball Velocity From an Overhand Throw With Both the Dominant and Nondominant Arms: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • | 2 Graduate School of Education, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • | 3 Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
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The overhand throw is a complex whole-body motor skill that is fundamental to many sports and activities. When throwing properly, the momentum generated to complete the movement begins in the lower body and transfers through the trunk to the throwing arm. This proof-of-concept study’s primary purpose was to evaluate the impact of the nonthrowing arm on the ball speed during an overhand throw with both the dominant and nondominant arms. Eighteen participants (age: 20.20 ± 2.90 years, nine women) were divided into two intervention groups: a pulling group taught to engage the nonthrowing arm through a pull toward the body and a nonpulling group taught the overhand throw using a component-based physical education curriculum. Each participant completed 12 total throws, six for each side (dominant and nondominant arm). Ball speed and kinematic data were collected using an eight-camera motion analysis system and were assessed using a pre–post study design. The two groups showed significant improvements pre–post when throwing with both the dominant and nondominant arms. Based on effect size comparisons, engaging the nonthrowing arm makes a meaningful difference in maximal ball velocity.

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