The lead leg is extremely important to throwing velocity. Highly proficient athletes coordinate stride knee extension at the right time and at the right joint angle to extend the knee at the right velocity. In theory, for every 100 degrees of knee extension added per second, an athlete can increase their velocity by 1mph.
The action as it relates to throwing is called the lead leg block and refers to the stride leg directing force into the ground to decelerate the body’s forward momentum headed toward the plate. It is essential that the lead leg block transfers as much linear energy as possible into rotation for the most efficient pitching mechanics.
To accomplish this, athletes need to focus on strength, stabilization, and power production on one leg.
How a Strong Lead Leg Block Relates to Arm Health
In our previous post we showed you the three important measures of efficiency in throwing:
- Achieving the highest velocities with the lowest throwing arm forces.
- Achieving the highest velocities with the least energy generated by the throwing arm.
- Displaying minimal strength loss post-game while delivering the baseball with a high amount of accuracy (a measure of repeatability).
The lead leg block is essential to all three of these efficiency criteria. If not coordinated properly, the shoulder and elbow may experience strength loss and higher loading rates, lower velocities, accuracy issues, and an increase in repetitive stress.
Without a testing device, you don’t know how well you maintain strength after an outing, affecting your competitive success. But with the ArmCare App, you will know if your throwing arm is weaker after pitching, which is the first clue to ensure your delivery, workload, and recovery strategies are optimized.
Check out this ArmCare IQ episode where we talk about lead leg mechanics.