Gretchen Oliver

Gretchen Oliver
Auburn University | AU · School of Kinesiology

PhD, FACSM, ATC, LAT, CES

About

210
Publications
53,009
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,566
Citations
Introduction
Gretchen Oliver currently works in the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University. Their most recent publication is 'Biceps Tendon Changes in Youth Softball Pitchers Following an Acute Bout of Pitching'.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - present
Auburn University
Position
  • Professor
Education
August 1999 - December 2003
Texas Woman's University
Field of study
  • Biomechanics

Publications

Publications (210)
Article
Softball pitchers with a high body-fat percentage (bf%) can often be successful, despite the heightened risk of injury associated with high bf%. Given the importance of propulsion during pitching, those with high bf% may have an advantage performance-wise. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the differences in ground reaction force...
Article
Full-text available
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female adolescent athletes occur at disproportionately high levels compared to their male counterparts. However, limited prospective data exist on the validity of low-cost screening tools that can proactively identify ACL injury risk, specifically for female athletes. The purpose of this study was to ass...
Article
Full-text available
Background Research has shown that repetitive stress from playing an overhead (OH) sport can cause musculoskeletal and osseous adaptations to occur on the dominant side. Additionally, there are limited data about the residual effects of these adaptations after the cessation of sports participation. Purpose To investigate the effects of prior parti...
Article
Background A comprehensive examination of the kinetic chain during an overhead athlete’s upper extremity assessment, such as the closed kinetic chain upper extremity stability test (CKCUEST), may help clinicians identify potential upper extremity dysfunction. Hypothesis Body position observed on dominant and nondominant hand touch during a CKCUEST...
Article
Background: Strength testing of shoulder rotation is commonly used in clinical examinations of the shoulder. People prone to shoulder injury, such as overhead athletes and manual trade workers, place their shoulders under tremendous amounts of stress when the cervical spine is in nonneutral positions. If these nonneutral cervical spine positions r...
Article
Softball pitchers are often above-average size and frequently injured; therefore, it is necessary to understand how biomechanics can change according to pitcher body composition. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between joint peak angular velocities and pitch velocity, as well as examine how pitchers' joint angular velociti...
Article
Background Inconsistent findings exist between drive-leg ground-reaction forces (GRFs) and pitching mechanics. Previous literature has largely reported drive-leg mechanics and GRFs at the start of the pushoff phase for their role in initiating force development. Little research has assessed drive-leg kinematics that includes a pitcher’s windup moti...
Article
Full-text available
Background High shoulder distraction force has been observed in softball pitchers during the acceleration phase (top of the pitch to ball release) of a pitch. Increasing elbow flexion may reduce shoulder forces and the susceptibility to pain by shortening the lever arm of the throwing arm. Purpose To determine the association of peak elbow flexion...
Article
The primary aim of this investigation was to describe the energy flow through the kinetic chain during softball hitting using a segmental power analysis. Twenty-three NCAA Division I collegiate softball athletes (20.4 ± 1.7 yr; 166.7 ± 22.0 cm; 74.9 ± 15.9 kg) performed three maximum effort swings off a stationary tee placed in the middle of the st...
Article
Full-text available
Background Softball pitchers exhibit high throwing shoulder distraction force, which is a theorized mechanism of throwing shoulder overuse injury. Windmill pitching involves a variety of highly individualistic pitching styles, and certain kinematics preceding ball release likely influence the amount of shoulder stress that a pitcher accrues. Purpo...
Article
Full-text available
Background Softball pitching is a whole-body motion that utilizes the kinetic chain to transfer the large amounts of force generated by the lower extremity to the ball. Although the lower extremity is responsible for generating most of the force in softball pitching, limited research has investigated how lower extremity kinematics vary with age. P...
Conference Paper
Background Softball pitching is a strenuous task that accrues high forces at the shoulder resulting in frequent overuse injury, potentially exacerbated by increased pitcher body fat. Objective To examine differences in injury rate, pain prevalence, and throwing shoulder kinetics between pitchers with high and healthy body fat percentage (BF%). We...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between whole body and throwing arm composition and length with throwing shoulder distraction and anterior force. While literature shows a relationship between shoulder force and pain, as well as between body mass and pain, it was hypothesized that pitchers with greater body fat ma...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Limitations in passive hip range of motion (PROM) may negatively affect pitching mechanics in baseball pitchers. Understanding the relationships between PROM and mechanics can assist in the development of injury prevention protocols. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the association of hip rotational PROM with pelvis...
Article
Full-text available
Background Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical for healthcare workers (HCWs) since it acts as a barrier to infection transmission; however, current PPE is not ideally suited to their needs due to limitations in protection and comfort. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify major issues of current PPE for body protection and ass...
Article
Full-text available
Background Baseball leagues have implemented pitch count and pitch type restrictions based on biomechanical concepts associated with pitch type. Softball has not yet adopted these practices, although softball pitchers continue to pitch at a high volume and learn multiple pitches at a young age. Purpose To examine shoulder and elbow kinetics betwee...
Article
Background: The windmill softball pitch is a dynamic sporting movement that places softball pitchers at high risk of injury. Unlike baseball, there is limited research into the mechanical differences between softball pitchers of varying skill levels. Purpose/hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to compare pelvis and trunk kinematics between...
Article
Background In the throwing elbow, increased elbow torque has been correlated with increased injury risk. Additional insight into the relationships between anthropometric factors and elbow joint loading is warranted. Purpose To investigate the relationship among physical limb length characteristics, elbow kinetics, and elbow kinematics in youth bas...
Article
Full-text available
Background Softball pitchers have an eminent propensity for injury due to the high repetition and ballistic nature of the pitch. As such, trunk pathomechanics during pitching have been associated with upper extremity pain. The single leg squat (SLS) is a simple diagnostic tool used to examine LPHC and trunk stability. Research shows a lack of LPHC...
Article
Background: Windmill softball pitching is a highly skilled movement, combining whole body coordination with explosive force. Successful pitching requires sequential movement to transfer energy produced by the lower extremity to the pitching arm. Therefore, drive leg ground reaction force (GRF) and the time over which a pitcher can develop force dur...
Article
Context: Understanding the musculoskeletal adaptations in the shoulder complex of varying ages of tennis athletes may suggest preventive protocols and conditioning and rehabilitation programs to this population. This study aimed to generate a bilateral descriptive profile of shoulder flexibility, scapular and clavicular position, and muscle streng...
Article
Softball pitchers often pitch several games within a day and over consecutive days during a competitive season. High volumes of pitches thrown can decrease muscular strength, resulting in less proximal force generation and upper extremity compensation to maintain performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess upper and lower extrem...
Article
Performance during the baseball pitch is dependent on the flow of mechanical energy through the kinetic chain. Little is known about energy flow during the pitching motion and it is not known whether patterns of energy flow are related to pitching performance and injury risk. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify energy generation, a...
Article
Full-text available
Currently it is hypothesized that increased body mass index may contribute to overuse injuries. Thus, if hip or shoulder range of motion is affected by body mass index, pitchers may be placing additional stress on joints as they seek to pitch at maximal velocity. The purpose of this study was to examine if range of motion at the hips and shoulders...
Article
Full-text available
Background A lack of lumbopelvic-hip complex (LPHC) stability is often associated with altered pitching mechanics, thus increasing pain and injury susceptibility. The single-leg squat (SLS) is a simple diagnostic tool used to examine LPHC stability. Purpose To examine the relationship between trunk compensatory kinematics during the SLS and kinema...
Article
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate injury occurrence sustained by collegiate rodeo athletes during practice and competition. Design: Descriptive epidemiology. Setting: Eleven National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association member institutions across the United States. Participants: Participants included 264 male and female co...
Article
Background A majority of softball literature focuses on the mechanics associated with pain and injury within a single pitch type per study; however, the generalizability of these findings is unknown since a kinematic comparison has yet to be performed between pitch types. Understanding kinematic differences between pitch types can be used to identi...
Article
Context Inadequate hip range of motion (ROM) and isometric strength (ISO) may interfere with energy flow through the kinetic chain and result in increased injury susceptibility. Objective To examine the relationship of hip ROM and ISO with energy flow through the trunk and pitching-arm segments during the windmill softball pitch in youth athletes....
Article
Context:Inadequate hip range of motion (ROM) and isometric strength (ISO) may interfere with energy flow through the kinetic chain and result in increased injury susceptibility. Objective:To examine the relationship of hip ROM and ISO with energy flow through the trunk and pitching arm segments during the windmill softball pitch in youth athletes....
Article
Researchers suggest that motion deriving energy from the more proximal segments of the body is important to reduce injury susceptibility. However, limited clinical assessments have been associated with efficient energy flow within a complex movement such as the baseball pitch. This research aimed to determine the relationship between glenohumeral s...
Article
The primary aims of the study were (1) to examine kinematics and kinetics of those pitching with and without lower extremity pain in collegiate softball pitchers, and (2) to determine if there was an association between the lower extremity pain and lower extremity kinematics, trunk kinematics, and shoulder kinetics in collegiate softball pitchers....
Article
Bordelon, NM, Wasserberger, KW, Cassidy, MM, and Oliver, GD. The effects of load magnitude and carry position on lumbopelvic-hip complex and scapular stabilizer muscle activation during unilateral dumbbell carries. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2020-The primary aims of the study were to (a) quantify the effect of load magnitude on lumbopelvic...
Article
Background: The unilateral and repetitive nature of overhead sports, often result in a biomechanical overload of the upper extremity. Understanding the musculoskeletal shoulder range of motion (ROM) and strength patterns in the youth sports of baseball, softball, and tennis could assist injury prevention screening and further the development of co...
Article
Full-text available
Most human movement research takes place within controlled laboratories where researchers observe participant movement. Because a majority of daily activity is performed without observation, we hypothesized movement within a laboratory would vary when there was a small, large or absence of research group. We also hypothesized that personality type...
Article
The purpose of this study was to describe the knee kinetics of baseball hitting, develop a tool to predict knee kinetics from easily obtainable measures, and to compare knee kinetics to other exercises along the rehabilitation continuum to determine a timeline for when hitting may resume after ACL reconstruction. Nineteen high school baseball athle...
Article
With the lack of pitch count regulation, youth softball pitchers are experiencing unremitting high stresses on the anterior shoulder. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of acute changes in the long head of the biceps tendon with pitching kinematics and kinetics in youth softball pitchers following an acute bout of pitching. Tw...
Article
Though chronic overhand throwing is known to result in range of motion and strength adaptations, there is limited research regarding interventions for maintenance of these characteristics. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to explore the use of a pre-throwing protocol focusing on lumbopelvic-hip complex musculature in high school baseball...
Article
Full-text available
Background Athletes who sustain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are more likely to develop adverse health outcomes, such as knee osteoarthritis, knee pain, and obesity. It is assumed that the long-term consequences of ACL reconstruction are caused by the reconstruction itself. Studies have observed that relaxin, a peptide hormone similar...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite evidence that overuse is the most common mechanism of injury, softball pitchers currently have no pitch count regulations. Pain has been associated with certain pitching pathomechanics, and some reports indicate increased pain following a single pitching bout. Hypothesis/Purpose The purpose of this study was to analyze kinematic...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to assess single-leg squat (SLS) performance on reported pain. Forty-two youth softball athletes (13.0 ± 2.0 years; 162.19 ± 9.75 cm; 60.80 ± 14.28 kg) completed a bilateral SLS and a health history questionnaire in which they indicated if they were currently experiencing any pain/discomfort. Due to the clinical signif...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Athletes who have sustained a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are at a greater risk of re-tear and of developing other adverse outcomes, such as knee osteoarthritis, compared with uninjured athletes. Relaxin, a peptide hormone similar in structure to insulin, has been shown to interfere with the structural integrity of the...
Article
Despite evidence that overuse is the most common mechanism of injury, softball pitchers currently have no pitch count regulations. Pain has been associated with certain pitching pathomechanics, and some reports indicate increased pain following a single pitching bout. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine trunk and lower extremity kin...
Article
Female athletes are at an elevated risk for tearing their anterior cruciate ligament, compared to their male counterparts. Though injury screening clinical tests and neuromuscular training programs have been widely implemented, injury rates remain high among female athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between serum re...
Article
Recently, an emphasis has been placed on understanding how ovarian sex hormones and hormonal contraceptives affect risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The literature presents large discrepancies in whether or not hormonal contraceptives affect ACL injury risk; therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether vertical groun...
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare measures of bilateral shoulder and hip range of motion (ROM) between youth softball pitchers and position players. Fifty-two youth softball athletes (12.7±2.1 yrs.; 160.28±10.98 cm; 59.31±15.07 kg) participated. Bilateral hip and shoulder ROM were measured among pitchers (n=29) and position players (n=23). A...
Article
Objectives: To examine differences in shoulder internal rotation (IR) torque among youth pitchers of above and below average relative glenohumeral (GH) rotation strength levels. It was hypothesized that differences in IR torque during the pitching motion would could be explained by differences in relative IR and external rotation (ER) strength. Des...
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of pelvis and torso angular jerk on a performance indicator of hitting, specifically hand velocity. Eighteen softball athletes were analysed (20.3 ± 1.6 years; 164.9 ± 24.9 cm; 74.4 ± 14.0 kg). Participants were instructed to execute 3 maximum effort swings off a stationary tee at the middle...
Article
Context Previous research has indicated that throwing sports expose athletes to overuse injuries and that specialization in sport is linked to injury. However, the effect of overexposure to a throwing sport on a dynamic movement task is unknown. Objective To determine if sport specialization in youth throwing athletes affected performance on the s...
Article
Objectives: Though pitchers often throw during multiple games in a day, there are currently no pitch count restrictions in softball. The accumulation of high pitch counts over time may contribute to the development of upper extremity pain. The purpose of our study was to examine functional characteristics of shoulder and hip range of motion (ROM),...
Article
Full-text available
Background Injury prevalence has been well described among baseball athletes; similarly, a better understanding of injuries in softball athletes is needed. Purpose To examine shoulder and elbow injury epidemiology among high school softball athletes in the United States. Study Design Descriptive epidemiological study. Methods Injury data were ob...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is a paucity of research regarding the relationship between fastpitch softball pitching mechanics and reported pain. Thus, understanding the pitching mechanics of athletes pitching with upper extremity pain and those pain free is paramount. Purpose To examine lower extremity pitching mechanics, upper extremity kinetics, and upper...
Article
Friesen, KB, Barfield, JW, Murrah, WM, Dugas, JR, Andrews, JR, and Oliver, GD. The association of upper-body kinematics and earned run average of national collegiate athletic association Division I softball pitchers. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-Although recent literature has increased examination of the association of injury and biomec...
Article
Objectives: Lack of control of the lower extremity or trunk during single leg tasks is often associated with pathomechanic adaptations during the pitching motion which may increase the risk of pain and injury to the upper extremity. The objectives of the study were to determine the amount of variability in stride knee mechanics accounted for by co...
Article
Although polo is a well-known equestrian sport, it is fundamentally misunderstood. The purpose of this study was to examine trunk and upper extremity kinematics and segmental velocities during the offside forehand polo swing between male and female athletes. Ten female and 17 male professional polo athletes volunteered. An electromagnetic tracking...
Article
Full-text available
Background When using the tuck jump as a dynamic movement assessment, clinicians note movement flaws to determine injury potential and provide further training in attempt to improve movement technique deficits. The Tuck Jump Assessment has been identified as a dynamic assessment for lower extremity injury susceptibility.[3-6] The purpose of the Tuc...
Poster
Full-text available
The dynamic movement of the windmill softball pitch requires the body acting as a kinetic chain of interdependent segments working proximal (lower extremity) to distal (upper extremity) for the the most optimal ball release. If the end result is to generate the greatest ball speed, one has to display proximal stability for distal mobility in attemp...
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine whether glove arm kinematics during a windmill softball pitch impact pelvic and trunk kinematics as well as pitching arm shoulder kinetics. Thirty-Nine college softball pitchers (20.0±1.4 yrs.; 174.7±6.1 cm; 82.0±13.0 kg; 10.7±2.7 yrs. of experience) threw 3 pitches to a catcher while kinematic and kinetic...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Participation rates in fastpitch softball are continually on the rise, especially in youth. With the increased participation also comes the increased injury susceptibility. Unfortunately, the common misconception about the dynamic 360° windmill softball pitch, that it is a natural motion and thus does not cause stress on the shoulder, dete...
Article
Wasserberger, KW, Downs, JL, Barfield, JW, Williams, TK, and Oliver, GD. Lumbopelvic-hip complex and scapular stabilizing muscle activations during full-body exercises with and without resistance bands. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-Inefficient sequencing in the kinetic chain has been linked to decreased performance and increased injury...
Article
The purpose of this study was to evaluate pitching mechanics between female softball pitchers with upper extremity pain and those without upper extremity pain. Specifically, the trunk, shoulder and elbow kinematics and shoulder kinetics during the change-up softball pitch were examined. Fifty-five collegiate softball pitchers participated, divided...
Article
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the acute kinematic changes that occur on the youth baseball swing following use of a resistance tubing training device. Methods: Kinematic data were collected on 10 subjects (13.2 ±1.9 years of age; 161.8 ±17.4cm; 54.4 ±15.9 kg) at 240 Hz using Flock of Birds electromagnetic tracking system (Track...
Article
Because pitch counts do not exist for softball, pitchers may throw between 1200 and 1500 pitches over 3-day tournaments. With this workload, a common symptom among softball pitchers is anterior shoulder pain. The purpose of this study was to examine long-head biceps tendon (LHBT) changes in youth softball pitchers following an acute bout of pitchin...
Article
The purpose of this study was to evaluate pitching mechanics between female softball pitchers with upper extremity pain and those without. Specifically, the examination of trunk, shoulder and elbow kinematics and shoulder kinetics during the change-up softball pitch. Fifty-five collegiate softball pitchers: upper extremity pain (20.0±1.3 yrs; 174.4...
Article
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE: Throwing is a dynamic and complex task, which requires sequential movement to sufficiently transfer energy from the lower extremity to the upper extremity. Due to the repetitive stress of the overhead throwing motion, sport medicine personnel have developed different methods to assist in alleviating pain an athlete may be experiencing. O...
Article
Full-text available
Equestrian polo has experienced a 44% increase in participation over the last several years; however, there are a lack of data available describing this motion. In order to develop and implement training programs for youth athletes, there is a need to establish normative data for common polo swings, such as the offside forehand shot. The purpose of...
Article
Full-text available
Wheelchair basketball is a sport designed for individuals with permanent lower body disabilities. While the sport was developed for those with physical disabilities, leagues allow individuals without a disability to play the sport. The purpose of this study was to identify muscle activations of commonly used lumbopelvic-hip complex (erector spinae,...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a pre-throwing program on softball pitchers’ passive rotational hip and shoulder range of motion and isometric strength. Four female fast-pitch softball pitchers (20.6 + 1.4 yrs, 174.0 + 6.7 cm, 82.6 + 6.6 kg) completed a pre-throwing program one hour prior to the start of every game. Data were...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to determine if tuck jumps can be used as a dynamic movement assessment to ascertain a previous history of upper extremity injury in an overhead throwing sport. Seventy-one youth baseball and softball athletes (28 baseball/43 softball; 12.41±2.22 yrs.; 161.98±13.65 cm; 59.17 ± 14.90 kg) were recruited to participate an...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The scapula is a critical link utilized in the kinetic chain to achieve efficient overhead movement and transfer energy from the lower extremity to the upper extremity. Additionally, daily activities such as sitting at a computer or driving in a car may negatively influence an individual's ability to maintain proper body posture and th...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of lumbopelvic–hip complex (LPHC) instability on segmental sequencing and the maximum velocities during the overhead throw. Fifty softball athletes (164.0 ± 104.0 cm, 65.6 ± 11.3 kg, 16.3 ± 3.8 years) classified as either college, high school or youth performed three 60 ft overhead throws then ex...
Article
Full-text available
Background While the kinematics of the pitching arm, trunk, and pelvis have been described and studied, glove arm kinematics remain an understudied portion of the pitching motion. Baseball pitchers seek to achieve maximum ball velocity in a fashion that does not place the arm at risk of injury. Purpose To assess the relationship between glove arm...
Article
Background: Fastpitch softball is a popular sport for young females. However, data are limited describing youth pitching mechanics. Normative data describing pitching mechanics in the two youngest player pitch leagues are critical to gaining an improved understanding of proper mechanics in an attempt to establish injury prevention programs. Purpo...