Calling all Catchers and Pitchers! Baseball Season is Here. Try These 3 Baseball Exercises
Pitchers and catchers are now reporting to Spring Training and baseball season is upon us! And keeping shoulders, elbows, and backs healthy is important for any baseball player. So if you throw the baseball around, make sure to incorporate these three exercises into your workout plan to prevent injury.
90/90 External Rotation: This exercise will prevent rotator cuff injuries (such as impingement). It is meant to strengthen the muscles in the back of the shoulder. To do this exercise, attach an exercise band at eye height. Neck bend the shoulder and elbow to 90/90, with the palm facing downward. While holding the exercise band, slowly lift and rotate the arm up, bringing the arm in to an :L" position. Use the back of the shoulder to perform the exercise. Slowly lower back down and repeat two sets of 15 reps.
Lower Trap Lift Off: This exercise will strengthen the lower trapezium, a muscle of the shoulder blade. Its function is to facilitate upright rotation of the shoulder blade, allowing the shoulder to have clearance for the rotator cuff tendons. This will prevent injury of the muscle and maintain normal mechanics of the throwing arm. To do this exercise, stand in front of a wall with arms up in a "Y" position. Next, squeeze the shoulder blades back and down. Then lift the arms off the wall while using the shoulder blades. To increase the challenge, place an exercise loop around the wrist and press out as you lift off. Repeat two sets of 15 reps.
Doorframe Pec Stretch: It is also important to maintain flexibility in the upper body. Keeping the chest muscles flexible and mobile, will allow the shoulder to have better motion, especially in the throwing arm. This will prevent repetitive stress on the tendons. To do this exercise, stand in a doorframe with the elbow, forearm and hand supported. Next take a small step forward, keeping the arm supported on the doorframe. A stretch should be felt across the chest and the front of the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.
For more stretches for the throwing athlete, make sure to follow our blog at www.saramikulsky.com
Dr. Sara Mikulsky, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with over 20 years of practice in orthopedic medicine. She is the founder of Sara Mikulsky Wellness Physical Therapy, and practices in New York City and the Hudson Valley located in NY state..