As basketball season comes to an end, we leave the hardwood for the fresh cut grass of the baseball diamond. Yes, this means we get to bust open the bags of sunflower seeds. And yes, this also means we get to shout a slur of words no one really understands. But for athletic trainers, this means sore shoulders.
While proper mechanics, following a structured pitch count, and icing after every practice are all important factors to staying healthy, a lot has to be said about a shoulder strengthening and mobility program. With every throw of the ball, you place stress on the muscles and ligaments that hold your shoulder in place. You stretch and compress these structures, causing damaging strain and inflammation. These symptoms are exacerbated even more when you arm is loose due to lack of strength and control. Strong, conditioned muscles hold all structures in the shoulder together and tight, which limits the amount of stress placed on them, and therefore reducing the chance of injury.
As we are just shy of tryouts, we are going to assume you have already put in the work to develop strength in the off-season. Now, as early season hits, the focus turns from developing strength to maintaining strength. It is important to maintain flexibility and strength in all muscles groups (legs, back, abdominals, shoulders, arms), but today we will focus on the shoulder, as it seems to provide us with the most problems during season.
In the these two videos, you will learn how to give your shoulders a quick burn before practice and competition. These simple strengthening exercises are vital to maintaining a healthy shoulder throughout the entirety of your season. You will also find a video displaying some very important mobility and stability activities that will give you the proper range of motion to complete your desired upper extremity movements.
If you have any questions about the following strength routine, please see your therapist for clarification.