Baseball season is upon us! It’s that time of the year when everyone in Arizona gets excited to get outside, get active, and throw the baseball around with friends or family in the desert heat. Because we can’t all play like the pro’s, it’s important to engage in some simple stretches and exercises in order to reduce the risk of sustaining any elbow or shoulder pain. Remember to stretch before any increase in activity or before any competitive sport, such as baseball, in order to reduce your risk of injury and improve your muscle performance.
These five easy stretches can be done at home or in the gym to improve your flexibility and muscle performance:
1. Stretch your upper trap, or levator scapulae, in order to reduce stress on the neck
2. Stretch the posterior capsule of your shoulder by utilizing corner stretching
3. Increase internal rotation utilizing the elephant stretch
4. Stretch your wrist flexors and extensors by biasing wrist extension and flexion with elbow extension
5. While using a foam roll, perform bilateral pec stretches in addition to elephants or thoracic extensions to improve thoracic mobility and overall upper extremity flexibility.
Focus on upper extremity strength training, but remember that the shoulder is an endurance muscle, so make sure to devote time to overall postural muscle endurance and scapulae stability.
To help increase overall rotator cuff and postural muscle strength while improving muscular endurance in order to reduce stresses on the glenohumeral joint, try these five exercises:
1. Standing rows with a Thera-Band or cable cross machine
2. Thoracic liberators with a Thera-Band or cable cross machine
3. Shoulder archers with a Thera-Band or cable cross machine
4. Three-way shoulder with a Thera-Band
5. Shoulder extensions with a Thera-Band or cable cross machine
If you are suffering from elbow or shoulder pain, don’t hesitate to seek out physical therapy. Request an appointment and free consultation at your local Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy facility.