Over the course of a long season, it's important to maintain proper shoulder mobility. The repetitiveness of throwing tightens the shoulder and chest, typically resulting in loss of throwing velocity and an increased chance of injury. These mobility exercises for baseball players will help to ensure proper range of motion and reduce the likelihood of injury to the throwing arm over the course of the long season.
- Don't lean your head too far forward. A forward head posture is simply a substitution for not pulling down through the scapulae.
- It's a gentle stretch, so don't crank down on the shoulder.
- Focus on pulling the shoulder blades down and back as the elbows are lowered.
- This is a stretch for those with limited external rotation and shouldn't be used by athletes (particularly overhead athletes) who already have increased external rotation.
Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion
- Start with your feet 6-8 inches away from base of the wall (as ROM increases, move your feet closer). Your butt, shoulders and head should be touching the wall. Try to decrease arch in the lower back as much as possible.
- Bring your thumbs above your head. Raise your arms as straight as physically possible. If impingement occurs in the shoulder, slack the arms a bit. The range of motion will come.
- Big exhale at the top to reset the ribs, then lower the arms.
135-Degree Forearm Slides
- Stagger stance with right foot forward. Tighten the core to prevent arching of the back.
- Shoot the arms up at 135 degrees from the body
- Initiate the movement of pulling off the wall by pinching your shoulder blades together. Do not use your arms to come off the wall.
Supine LAX Ball Alternating Shoulder Flexion
- Place the double ball on the upper back and sit back.
- Go into one-arm shoulder flexion, raising the arm above your head.
- Deep exhale at the top to bring the ribs down, then bring the arm back down and raise the other.
Bench T-Spine Mobilization
- Set up behind a bench making a straight line from your hips to your head. Sit your elbow out in front of the head.
- Rock back, taking your butt to your heels. Maintain core positioning throughout the movement.
- Deep exhale at the bottom position then work your way back up.
We like to use these baseball mobility exercises right after our foam rolling circuit and just before getting into our dynamic warm-up. Usually it consists of doing just one set of 8-12 reps, depending on how tight the athletes feel that day. It's good to do these exercises before going into any direct work on the shoulders or rotator cuff, but often for the sake of time we implement them as a sort of active rest, allowing us to kill two birds with one stone.
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