Strength training is extremely important for baseball players when it comes to working on things like shoulder stability, injury prevention and maintaining strength throughout the season. Now that baseball season is in full swing, we at Therapydia wanted to provide some great exercises for overhead athletes.
Many of the exercises below are focused on the backside of the shoulder because when an athlete throws forward, all of the deceleration components (everything that slows the arm down) is on that backside. The posterior rotator cuff is one of the main stabilizers of the shoulder and it needs to be really strong in order to protect your arm during a throwing motion. These exercises are designed to increase strength and support during that overhead movement as well as to help increase the compressive forces of the arm bone into its socket to avoid excess strain from the torque when you throw.
Exercise 1: Internal Rotation at 90/90
• Close the resistance band in a door and hold your arm out to the side, as if you’re getting ready to throw.
• Rotate your arm forward until your forearm is parallel with the floor. Hold and return to the upright position. Repeat.
Exercise 2: External Rotation at 90/90
• Face the door and hold your arm out to the side, elbow bent to 90 degrees and your palm facing forward.
• Rotate your hand up and away from the door. Briefly hold the position and then bring your arm back down. Repeat.
Exercise 3: D2 Flexion
• Start from your opposite hip, arm held down across your body.
• Keep your left arm stationary and move your right arm diagonally through the midline while you rotate your shoulder up and away from your body.
Exercise 4: Band-Resisted Overhead Throw
• Perform the throwing motion with a resistance band.
Exercise 5: Sidelying External Rotation
• Lie on the side of your non-throwing arm, place a rolled-up towel under your throwing arm to maintain a neutral shoulder.
• Keep your arm at a 90 degree angle and lift your hand without rotating your trunk or bringing your shoulder blade back too far.
Exercise 6: Sidelying Shoulder Flexion
• Lie on the side of your non-throwing side. Keep your free arm straight.
• Holding a small dumbbell, follow a horizontal plane and lift your arm up (there shouldn’t be any pain with this movement).
The combination of some of these exercises and making sure that you have appropriate mechanics and mobility through your shoulder can help to prevent injury and avoid wear and tear throughout your season.