Passive range of motion of the hips and shoulders and their relationship with ball spin rate in elite finger spin bowlers

Objectives: Investigate rotational passive range of motion of the hips and shoulders for elite finger spin bowlers and their relationship with spin rate. Design: Correlational. Methods: Spin rates and twelve rotational range of motion measurements for the hips and shoulders were collected for sixteen elite male finger spin bowlers. Side to side differences in the rotational range of motion measurements were assessed using paired t-tests. Stepwise linear regression and Pearson product moment correlations were used to identify which range of motion measurements were linked to spin rate. Results: Side to side differences were found with more external rotation (p = 0.039) and less internal rotation (p = 0.089) in the bowling shoulder, and more internal rotation in the front hip (p = 0.041). Total arc of rotation of the front hip was found to be the best predictor of spin rate (r = 0.552, p = 0.027), explaining 26% of the observed variance. Internal rotation of the rear hip (r = 0.466, p = 0.059) and the bowling shoulder (r = 0.476, p = 0.063) were also associated with spin rate. Conclusions: The technique and performance of elite finger spin bowlers may be limited by the passive range of motion of their hips and shoulders. The observed side to side differences may indicate that due to the repetitive nature of finger spin bowling adaptive changes in the rotational range of motion of the hip and shoulder occur.