With baseball season coming up soon, I wanted to go over a couple stretches you can perform before and after throwing as a warm-up and cool down to improve your range of motion and decrease the risk of injury. The research shows the back of the shoulder joint becomes tight with overhead athletes such as pitchers and due to this tightness, it can alter the mechanics and range of motion of your shoulder. To help improve and maintain the amount of range of motion you have you can perform specific stretches to target the back of the shoulder and keep it loose. Here are some stretches you can perform for before and after throwing.
While lying on your side with your throwing arm on the floor, have your shoulder at a 90-degree angle and your elbow so your fingers are pointing up toward the ceiling. With your other hand, push down your hand as though you are trying to put your palm to the floor. Push down until you feel a comfortable stretch on the back of your shoulder. Hold for at least 60 seconds or more. Repeat stretch for 2-3 repetitions.
Cross Body Stretch
Perform in either standing or sitting. Pull your throwing arm across your body using your non-throwing arm around shoulder height. Pull your arm across your body until you feel a stretch on the back of your shoulder on your throwing arm. Hold for at least 60 seconds or more. Repeat stretch for 2-3 repetitions.
Doorframe Chest Stretch
Stand next to a door frame with your throwing arm raised to shoulder height and elbow bent to 90 degrees. Either position your body slightly in front of the doorway so your body is ahead of your throwing arm or turn your body away from your throwing arm until you will a gentle stretch in front of your chest. Hold for at least 60 seconds or more. Repeat stretch for 2-3 repetitions.
For more information on injury prevention and performance enhancement, contact one of our throwing specialists.