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(1) DOUBLE PEAK MUSCLE ACTIVATION PATTERN IN A BASEBALL SWING


Authors:

Garrett A. Ball – Student, Colorado Mesa University

Nicholas Cardinale – Student, Colorado Mesa University

Pedro Gonzalez – Student, Colorado Mesa University

Brent Alumbaugh

Michael Reeder

Kristin J. Heumann, PhD, CSCS, c-EP – Associate Professor , Colorado Mesa University

Abstract:

The double peak muscle activation pattern has shown a positive relationship with enhanced speed and force in a golf swing and in mixed martial arts striking. Similar to golf and a mixed martial arts strike, a baseball swing is a rotational swinging motion with potential to display the double peak phenomenon. PURPOSE: To observe muscle activation patterns using surface electromyography (sEMG) in three phases of the baseball swing. METHODS: Single subject analysis of muscle activation while hitting a ball off of a tee was performed on six NCAA Division II male baseball athletes. Subjects were asked to hit a baseball off of a baseball tee into a net using game-emulated swings. Surface EMG electrodes were attached to the left and right rectus abdominis and left and right erector spinae muscles of each subject. While using a high-speed camera synchronized to the Noraxon sEMG electrodes, muscle voltage was recorded and compared to the three different phases of the swing: initial movement towards the ball, early to mid-swing phase, and bat to ball contact. RESULTS: Double peak muscle activation patterns were observed in the swings of all subjects; however, the prevalence of the double peak phenomenon varied between subjects. In the swings that produced a double peak, there was a period of initial muscle activation in phase one (initial movement towards the ball), a decrease in muscle activation in phase two (early to mid-swing phase), and another spike in muscle activation in phase three (bat to ball contact). In the swings where a distinct double peak was not observed, there was a consistent increase in muscle amplitude through phase three (bat to ball contact). CONCLUSION: This study observed a double peak muscle activation pattern during a baseball swing in Division II collegiate baseball players. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: These results could be used to enhance training regimens for specific rotational sports that aim to increase the consistency of the double peak in key muscle groups, increasing the effective mass transferred into an object. Future research should be conducted to determine the relationship between double peak muscle activation, bat velocity, and hitting performance.

 

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