ArmourBite Mouthpiece Helps Pitchers Increase Velocity | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

ArmourBite Mouthpiece Helps Pitchers Increase Velocity

June 17, 2011

University of Southern California pitching coach Tom House suspected that Under Armour's ArmourBite mouthpiece might help pitchers increase their velocity. But he needed to put it to the test, which is precisely what he did this past fall and winter with 10 pitchers—eight minor leaguers and two collegians. Neither of the college players attends USC, but two of the eight pros attended the university prior to the study.

The study sample was small, statistically insignificant enough for critics to dismiss, but the results were unmistakable. The study, held at the Rod Dedeaux Research and Baseball Institute on USC's campus, began last September with approximately 10 weeks of conditioning work and continued into early January through mid-February with the actual experiment.

During the study, pitchers gained an average of two mph of velocity on their fastballs when wearing the ArmourBite.

House’s study protocol involved each pitcher wearing an ArmourBite while performing his normal warm-up exercises, then throwing three to five fastballs with six different weighted balls, for a total of 18 to 30 pitches. The baseballs weighed two ounces, four ounces, five ounces [the normal weight of a baseball], six ounces, one pound and two pounds. Each pitcher then repeated the same routine, including the warm-up, without the ArmourBite.

House pointed out that the one- and two-pound baseballs were larger than a normal ball, but it didn't affect the study. He says, “The size of the ball didn't influence one way or another what the velocity of the pitches would be.”

The inspiration for the study was House's awareness of how stress affects the temporomandibular joint [TMJ] in the jaw. A person’s natural reaction under emotional or physical duress is to grind his teeth or clench his jaw, which compresses the TMJ. A hormone called cortisol, which produces stress and fatigue in the body, is released when physical pressure is applied to the jaw. ArmourBite was designed to prevent teeth from clenching and to pivot the jaw forward to reduce pressure on the TMJ.

While conceding that he's not a medical expert, House, who holds a master’s degree in performance psychology and a doctorate based in psychology from USC, simply wanted to see if ArmourBite made a difference. He says, “We were…looking for a process that would give [athletes] an edge when they got into spring training or when they played baseball in a college environment.”

After the study, House concluded that each player’s game preparation could be made more efficient—and more effective—if he wore the ArmourBite. Several hurlers gained three to four mph in pitch velocity, and all study participants still wear ArmourBite during training and in games, according to House.

When asked if Little Leaguers could potentially benefit from wearing ArmourBite, House hesitated, stating his concern about the lack of physical maturity of players in that age group. The same goes for high school players. House says, “I would have to be certain that [a younger athlete’s] stability, mobility and flexibility was there, that he had enough strength to give me maximum effort with the number of throws to test the ArmourBite.”

For now, it appears that collegiate and professional baseball pitchers are the main beneficiaries of the ArmourBite.

Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His work can be found at kylestack.com.

Kyle Stack
- Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His...
Kyle Stack
- Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His...
Must See
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,167,357
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 22,127,087
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 3,214,136

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips, Part 3

Money doesn't grow on trees, so I am back to share five more ways to perform exercises when your facility is missing some workout equipment. Be sure to...

Fitbit Surge vs. Charge HR: Which One Is Right for You?

Pros and Cons of Using a Weightlifting Belt

Guide to Training on Different Surfaces

8 Training Innovations Shaping the Future of Fitness

One Piece of Home Exercise Equipment Every Athlete Needs

Your High School Weight Room Is Inadequate

5 New Game-Changing Fitness Inventions

The Best Workout You're Not Doing

12 Must-Have Items in the Athlete's Gym Bag

The Most Overrated Equipment in the Gym

Spark Motion Takes Baseball Training to the Next Level

Embrace Contact in Basketball With This Tool

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips, Part 2

You Need These 4 Fitness Training Accessories

Basketball Workout: Vary Your Equipment

Previewing the New Fitbit Flex

Push-Up Equipment That Works

Under Armour's Armour39 Helps Athletes Get Better

Battle-Tested Workout Equipment You Can Make Yourself

Best Baseball Equipment for Pitchers

5 Fitness Trackers That Are Worth the Money

A Field Guide to Weird Looking Weightlifting Bars

Weight Room Debate: Should You Wear Lifting Gloves?

New Cirrus Yoga Mats Let You Show Team Spirit

3 Pieces of Inexpensive, Effective Football Training Equipment

A Better Foam Roller: the enso Roller by EvoFit, Reviewed

Nike+ FuelBand Tracks Your Everyday Activity

The Best Home Exercise Equipment For Under $200

Short on Workout Equipment? Try These Tips

Show Your Team Pride With a Cirrus Stability Ball

Low-Cost Speed Training Gear

Improve Your Batting Average With a One-Handed Bat

Training Tool: SKLZ Recoil 360

Fitbit Force: They Got it Right

6 Ways to a Better High School Weight Room

Common Lifting Accessories and What They Do For You

17 Insanely Expensive College Athletic Training Facilities

A Simple Home Gym Setup and Workout

Mayfield Wildcats Get a New Training Home

Spend Less, Get Stronger

3 Specialty Barbells That Build Strength and Size

Previewing the Armour39

VertiMax CEO Mike Wehrell on Life After Football