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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is Scapula loading?

Posted by: Major Dan (markj89@charter.net) on Mon Dec 16 09:52:03 2002

What is scapula loading and more importantly, how do you teach a
> > player to do it? Can somebody explain?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Is it pinching the shoulder blades together? How does that
> > help in hitting? I have watched video (and of course I do not know
> > what to look for) but I surely cannot see "scapula loading". And if I
> > did, I wonder where that would rank in order of important things a
> > hitter needs to be worried about - oh, I need to pinch my shoulder
> > blades together. In Jack's video, where do you see this scapula
> > loading that you keep talking about?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Any guidance?
> > > > >
> > > > > Tom or Jack or one of Nyman's better students is welcome to tell
> > me I'm all wet, but my understanding of scapula loading is this. If
> > both shoulder blades are pinched, then both would be loaded. Opposite
> > would be unloaded. RH batter should start with the right scap loaded
> > and the left scap fully unloaded. Look at the USA Today Bonds clips
> > for an example of dynamic scapula use.
> > http://www.usatoday.com/sports/gallery/bonds/flash.htm
> > > > >
> > > > > Mark H.
> > > >
> > > > Mark-
> > > > you are correct in your understanding.
> > > > Welcome to anatomy class. read on if you want the details.
> > > >
> > > > The scapula or shoulder blade is one of the bones of the shoulder
> > joint(s). With the clavicle or collar bone, it forms the
> > Acromioclavicular (A-C) joint. The Glenohumeral joint is the humerus
> > or upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. Internal and external
> > rotation refer to the humerus rotating within this joint.
> > > > The acromioclavicular joint moves the entire Glenohumeral joint:
> > when you shrug - shoulders to ears, or pull your shoulders back or
> > round them forward. The scapula slides along the rib cage and is
> > attached to the ribs, moved by the Serratus Anterior muscles. The
> > rotator cuff muscles (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor,
> > Subscapularis) connect the scapula to the humerus.
> > > >
> > > > When Jack talks about the need for tight connection between
> > shoulder turn and the arms/hands/bat, the scapula's role is critical.
> > > > When the upper body rotates quickly around the spine, any 'loose'
> > parts will get momentarily left behind. Think of sitting in a car at a
> > stop light, leaning slightly forward, when the driver suddenly floors
> > it and goes 0 to 60 in 5 seconds in his fast sports car.
> > > > You will be slammed back into the seat, bounce forward some, then
> > slam back and finally get pinned to the seat until acceleration slows
> > or stops.
> > > > If your top hand shoulder (the right one for right handed hitters)
> > is in a neutral position when rapid shoulder turn begins, it will
> > likewise get slammed back and bounce around during the swing. It is
> > the shoulder's version of Jack's slipped transmission (loss of
> > connection between the hips and shoulders is what Jack refers to).
> > > >
> > > > If instead, the hitter loads/retracts the scapula before shoulder
> > turn, it will be like sitting back in the seat before the car
> > accelerates. Shoulder turn will bring the entire shoulder complex
> > smoothly in the arc of shoulder turn to contact, no bouncing around.
> > > >
> > > > Jack has been very clear that actively pushing the top hand
> > forward has negative effects on the swing. An unloaded shoulder at
> > initiation of shoulder turn also has negative effects. Usually it
> > results in a late, passive scapula 'load' followed by the shoulder,
> > arm and hands being thrown out of the shoulder turn too early. The
> > hands momentarily drag, then are thrown out of connection before
> > contact. The Acromioclavicular (A-C) joint bounces around like the
> > passenger in the sports car. Once the hands are thrown like that, the
> > L comes out, etc. before contact. Proper scapula loading as part of
> > the swing load process can prevent that and maintain connection
> > through contact just like sitting back in your seat will prevent
> > whiplash.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Great explanation. Tom tried to explain this to me forever. First I
> > figured out the tight connection, but then it took seeing a Nyman
> > pitching drill clip before I finally understood how much dynamic
> > powerful movement the shoulder complex/scapula is capable of. Once I
> > understood this, a light went on looking at the referenced Bonds clip
> > and further study of it convinced me, for the moment at least, that
> > the primary force for the final arc/tightening handpath/hook is
> > supplied by scapula load/unload (depending on which shoulder). Now I'm
> > chewing on the internal rotation part of rear shoulder scap loading
> > that Tom talks about. I'll get that about the time Tom comes up with
> > something else. : )
> > >
> > > Mark H.
> >
> > Scap "loading" means the muscles are put on stretch(eccentric stretch)
> > to prepare for subsequent action.How this is done is different in
> > throwing overhand(one arm whip/symmetric arm action during
> > loading-loading happens in "early cock" and "late cock" phases of
> > throw) vs. hitting where you develop a two handed push/pull action.In
> > this hitting case,the back scap is pinched,the front scap loaded in
> > the opposite direction as pointed out by Mark as the lead arm
> > stretches across the chest.
> >
> > Internal rotation is likewise necessary to set things up for the next
> > part of the sequence.In the case of the overhand throw,the hands break
> > with(symmetric) internal rotation in the "early cock" phase.Then
> > things are set up for the arm to lay back(externally rotate) in the
> > "late cock" phase.During these phases,there is all sorts of
> > traditional teaching emphasis on "not dropping the elbow" etc.This is
> > because the arm must be internally rotated and fully extended and
> > fully abducted in the "early cock" phase to then set up for
> > whipping(form loop to whip)by externally rotating in the "late
> > cock".Then the arm can whip by internally rotating in the
> > "acceleration" phase.Internal rotation must lead the
> > whipping(acceleration) to be efficient.This what is described as
> > "staying on top" or "not dropping down" as the pitcher gets tired
> > which results in pushing instead of whipping(lose
> > connection/integriity of "whipping loop").Disconnection in other words
> > occurs if the arm flexes or adducts(elbow "drops" or "leads" before it
> > has started whipping(accelerating) via internal rotation.
> >
> > Due to the nature of hitting,dropping/adducting the arm is OK,but any
> > flexing motion will disconnect and "push" the swing.This is the
> > meaning of undesirable "top hand dominance".The back arm will
> > disconnect by flexing( "L" comes out of back elbow prematurely/back
> > elbow does not stay in slot,but drifts forward toward belly
> > button).Setting up the arm to avoid this(as well as cocking the hip
> > adequately/keeping body parts/limbs balanced) requires internal
> > rotation of the back arm at the right time.Connection depends on the
> > right action here,not just the lead arm action.The sequence should be:
> >
> > Internal rotation as hip cocks and bat cocks.Then Scap loads to max
> > which occurs as hips "uncock".Bat is turning into plane as this
> > "uncocking"/"torso launch" occurs by combo of external rotation and
> > adduction of back arm BUT the arm(humerus) can not flex or their will
> > be disconnection.Some of this can be seen in the Bonds clip under
> > internal rotation above.
> >
> > Another style is Arod.He holds the back elbow high in the stance in a
> > way that "preloads" the scapula.The he internally rotates the back arm
> > with hip cock,but little additional scap loading(because it starts
> > loaded most of the way),then back elbow drops(adduction and external
> > rotation of back arm/humerus,NO flexion) around toe touch.
> >
> > Internal rotation goes with hip cock and is necessary to set up
> > external rotation-without-flexion to maintain mechanics that avoid
> > disconnecion.
> >
> > So
> Hi All
> Back in the early 1990’s when I defined top-hand-torque as the added dimension to the swing that great hitters exhibit, it was to define the forces acting on the bat that caused the bat-head to first accelerate back toward the catcher. I termed it “Top-Hand-Torque” because the top-hand was being pulled back around a more stationary bottom-hand (in relationship to the shoulder) as the back-elbow lowered to the batters side.
> As a batter prepares the launch position, he shrugs (or tucks) the lead-shoulder forward under the batter’s chin. As he approaches contact, he un-shrugs (105 degree position) the lead-shoulder to give a greater pull back of the lead-arm. This causes the bottom-hand to hook around the top-hand (Bottom-Hand-Torque).
> It seems to me that this discussion is describing some of the muscle groups/movements that produced those torque forces. Am I right in this assumption or does “scapula loading and unloading...” produce a different mechanical force TO THE BAT than “top & bottom-hand-torque?”
> Jack Mankin
I think you are right in what you say- tht and bht are outward descriptions, scap loading/unloading and internal/external rotation of top hand arm are at least part of the physical/muscular/skeletal actions that produce the forces on the bat.
I think some who have had difficulty with bht and especially tht don't like the idea of fingers and hands producing so much batspeed. However, if those same motions are driven by bigger, stronger muscles and passed on through the hands and fingers, then it makes more sense.

If I had to parallel the two, I agree that bht is related to the loading the the lead shoulder scapula/unloading of back shoulder scapula. Tht is probably related to what Tom described as: "Bat is turning into plane as this "uncocking"/"torso launch" occurs by combo of external rotation and adduction of back arm" where "combo of external rotation and adduction of back arm" is what produces the tht.

Does anyone agree or disagree with this? I'm throwing this out as at least a starting point. Don't know if it holds water or not...


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