Exercises For Throwing Injury Prevention
Written by Jake Munns PTA
With baseball and softball season coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about your off-season workout routine. Whether you are playing fall baseball/softball, or gearing up for a different fall sport, it is always important to have a generalized exercise program to keep your body in top shape for the demands of a throwing sport, as well as one that requires so much trunk and hip strength. Having a specific set of exercises to maintain strength and power of the throwing arm is very important, and should be implemented in the off-season, but making sure the core and hips are strong and stable will take a lot of the stress off the shoulder and will even increase your throwing power.
Here is a short list of exercises that are geared toward core strength and hip stability to optimize performance whether it be collecting 10 strike outs on the mound, throwing out the runner at home on a pop fly, or hitting the walk off home run to win the game.
Plank. The plank is a great core stabilizer. Perform the plank for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat two to three times.
Superman. This exercise improves scapular stabilization, which is critical for relieving pressure on the rotator cuff during throwing. Perform supermans for 10 seconds on each side and repeat 10 to 15 times.
Single-leg bridge. The single-leg bridge helps fire the glutes and the core, so they are activated during exercises. Perform the bridge for 10 to 15 seconds on each side and repeat 10 to 15 times.
Walking dumbbell lunges. The walking lunge (with or without dumbbells) is another excellent exercise to build leg and core strength while shifting weight from one leg to another. Because all your weight is on one leg at a given moment, you engage the core and build balance and proprioception.
Lateral band walking. The lateral band walk is a great way to improve hip stability, increase hip abductor strength and improve the stability of the knee joint.
Lunge with medicine ball twists. The lunge and twist are ideal for building leg strength and balance. The weighted rotational motion provided by holding a medicine ball (or a dumbbell or weight plate) forces the deep, often overlooked stabilizer muscles to activate.
Medicine ball rebounds. Begin by standing perpendicular to a solid wall. Use a strong rebound throw into the wall by rotating from the hips through the shoulders. Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each side.
Distance throws. Finish your workout with several long-distance throws to engage and activate the muscles you've just primed during your training. This completes your workout by reinforcing the proper movement patterns for throwing. If you still have life in your arm and shoulder, add a few short power throws for accuracy and speed.