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The shoulder is one of the most important parts of the body when it comes to baseball. Whether a baseball player is pitching, hitting, running down baseballs in the outfield, or diving for an infield ground ball, it is vitally important to build, maintain and protect the shoulder. If a baseball player's shoulder is unhealthy then they will not be able to perform to their potential and could cause career ending injuries.
Baseball is different from other sports in the aspect of one body part or limb experiencing intense wear and tear. Baseball players must work hard to strengthen their rotator cuff to withstand the stresses of throwing and overuse. Utlize KB Powerbands and all four levels of resistance to build shoulder strength today.
The shoulder joint is a weak joint held together by muscles, ligaments, tendons, and surrounding fascia, more specifically, the rotator cuff. It has a greater range of motion than any other joint, and this greater range of motion increases the chances of injury and places an extreme amount of stress on the shoulder joint and connecting tissues. Proper shoulder warm-up exercises are extremely important for baseball players before they begin their specific baseball activity.
The rotator cuff muscles are weaker and smaller than other muscles in the arm and must be strengthened to prevent injury. Overuse and use without a proper warm up will cause the rotator cut to wear out faster because they are involved in extremely straining activities. Whether playing long toss or painting a corner with a well thrown fastball, shoulder exercises will increase throwing velocity and help prevent unnecessary injury.
The strenuous movements and high velocity that is placed on the shoulder, rotator cuff, is the reason for pitch counts and the injury list. Baseball player's want to make sure they use the proper arm exercises in order to prevent compromising the function of their joints. Over use may cause tendonitis, or worse, a career ending injury.
Limits are set for baseball player's own good. A proper resistance program is a great way to keep the shoulders healthy. This will create arm strength for a very demanding baseball season. Don't forget that maintaining arm strength includes a recovery system that includes ice treatment to keep inflammation down, rest to rebuild the broken down muscle tissue from use, stretching to gain range of motion, strengthening exercises to prevent future injuries, and a throwing program to build velocity and throwing durability.
45 degree Raises: One of the greatest exercises to do is called Jobe's. This exercise is for the shoulder, specifically the rotator cuff, giving resistance to build strength and prevent injury. Use 5 pound dumbbells for every rotator cuff exercise. Going over 5 pounds will cause larger muscles like the deltoids, to begin firing.
Firing the deltoids will deplete the effectiveness of a true rotator cuff workout. Stand with arms at your side and point thumbs up. Keep elbows straight and raise your arms to shoulder height at a 45 degree angle. Lower the arms with a three second count. It is more important to maintain the three second count on the way down then to raise the arms quickly.
When a baseball player throws, the shoulder rotates and most injuries happen on the slow down portion of the throw. By decelerating with dumbbells with a three second count, the same muscles are worked to decelerate the shoulder as are used when throwing. If baseball players only take their arms up and down quickly during this exercise they will never work on the decelerators. Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase. For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.
Lateral Plain/Shoulder Abduction: Begin this exercise with arms by sides, palms down to the ground, and a 5 pound dumbbell in each hand. With elbows straight, raise arms to shoulder height parallel to the ground. Lower the arms slowly to the standing position with a three second count and repeat. Keep good posture with a big chest. Do not roll shoulders forward because it will cause improper shoulder alignment during the exercise.
We want to strengthen the rotator cuff to hold the should securely in place. If baseball players work their shoulders with their shoulder joint forward, out of a natural arm position, then it will defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. All of these rotator cuff exercises should be performed smoothly and controlled. Remember that these exercises are for the benefit of one of the most vulnerable muscles. Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase. For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.
Internal 45 Degree Raises: Continue with a 5 pound dumbbell in each hand. Stand with arms down by the side of the body and roll the arms inward so that the thumbs are pointing down towards the ground. With the elbows straight, raise arms to shoulder height at a 45 degree angle. Lower the arms back to the starting position with a three second count. Baseball players will have the tendency to bend their elbows. Keep the elbows so the pressure stays at the rotator cuff.
Also, be sure to watch shoulder and chest position. With the arms internally rotated the body will want to roll out of proper alignment. Shoulders will shift forward out of the natural arm slot position and the chest will cave in. Be sure to keep a big chest with the shoulders in a natural position. It will feel funny, but improper form will cause more harm than good. Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase. For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.
External Rotation: Lay down on the ground on the right side and place the right hand or a towel or opposite hand under the left armpit for shoulder support. Do not let the left elbow sink into an unnatural arm position. Place the left arm at a 90 degree angle while holding a 5 pound or less dumbbell. Externally rotate the arm from the hand to the shoulder upwards and then bring the arm back down with a three second count. This exercise is great for external rotators. Do not forget about the three second count. Every lazy rep will give no benefit to the muscles that decelerate the arm
from throwing. After finishing the dominate arm move on to the other side. Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase. For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.
The exercises in the above video are great for pitchers, catchers, infielders, outfielders and can also benefit hitters. Swinging the bat with tight weak shoulders can strain the rotator cuff just as much as throwing a baseball and maximal effort. The flexibility of the shoulder provides a wide range of motion. This wide range of motion is a benefit for baseball players, but it also increases the vulnerability of the rotator cuff because of the intense stress due to baseball throwing.
The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulders for a complete range of motion. Choosing the right rotator cuff exercises for baseball specific training is extremely important in order to increase performance and prevent injury. Baseball players must never underestimate the importance of building, maintaining, and protecting the shoulder. Weak shoulders cause weak throwing and hitting.
Kbands are a great way for baseball players to improve their game. We offer a variety of baseball videos that will help baseball players train in a sport specific fashion. If a baseball player has a sore shoulder then most of the time range of motion is an issue. At Kbands Training we have a great shoulder stretch video that is beneficial for catchers, pitchers, outfielders, and infielders. Sometimes shoulder pain is caused by a weak core that causes poor throwing mechanics.
Kbands Training has a great Baseball Player Core Strength video that offers detailed instruction that will help baseball players improve balance, body control, movement efficiency, stability and reduce the chance of injury. Our training is FREE so work hard and become a more explosive baseball player today.
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