Baseball And Softball Drills | Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury
The two best ways to prevent a rotator cuff injury are stretching and strengthening. Stretching the four muscles of the rotator cuff will ensure they can go through a proper range of motion when performing movements with the arms and shoulders. Stretches which incorporate the Recovery Foam Roller are also vital when stretching to avoid a rotator cuff injury. Fascial release techniques used with the Recovery Foam Roller will aid the body in reducing any inflammation in the muscles of the rotator cuff or the surrounding muscles. Inflammation can lead to altered movement patterns and can be exceptionally damaging when performing repeated movements like pitching or throwing. This altered movement places extra strain on the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can result in a rotator cuff injury if not addressed. This is why proper pitching mechanics for both baseball and softball players should be practiced from a young age. Stretches like the Shoulder Stretches To Relieve Pain, Trap Stretches And Neck Stretches With The Recovery Foam Roller, and the Full Body Foam Roller Workout all will help reduce inflammation and reduce the chances of a rotator cuff injury.
Best Ways To Avoid A Rotator Cuff Injury: Strengthening
The KB Powerbands Shoulder Progression is an excellent strengthening exercise to help athletes avoid rotator cuff injuries. This shoulder strengthening resistance bands workout allows baseball and softball players to use the KB Powerbands to individually strengthen the four muscles of the rotator cuff: the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, And Subscapularis. By individually strengthening these muscles athletes will gain more control, mobility, and strength in their shoulders and upper back, allowing for harder throws and decreased chance of a rotator cuff injury. Using KB Powerbands instead of dumbbells or some other form of constant weight allows the muscles to use a larger amount of resistance through a longer range of motion. If an athlete is using a dumbbell and they lack the strength to take the arm or leg through an entire range of motion they will only be enhancing a small amount of their targeted muscle mass. When using KB Powerbands athletes will be able to continually enhance strength by creating more tension as they work deeper into their range of motion and using increased resistance. This not only helps to prevent a rotator cuff injury by strengthening a larger amount of the targeted muscle mass but also helps to create more mobility and stability in the targeted areas.
Using The Kbands Training Stability Exercise Ball To Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries
Before performing the Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury Exercise athletes should properly warm up with the Recovery Foam Roller and the Resisted KB Powerbands Partner Externals. The Recovery Foam Roller will reduce any inflammation already in the muscles and the Resisted KB Powerbands Partner Externals will allow the athlete to practice the motion of the Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury Exercise and warmup the muscles in the shoulders, neck, arms, and the abs as well. Warming up the abs aid in the completion of the Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury by increasing stability in the abdomen and trunk.
After a proper warmup athletes will need a Kbands Training Stability Ball and a sturdy wall. After ensuring the Kbands Training Stability Ball is properly inflated athletes will face the wall, standing about 2 feet from the wall. This distance will vary based on the size of the athlete. Athletes will position their elbow so it is pointing straight out to the side of the athlete, the elbow is parallel to the ground, and their fingers are pointing straight up in the air, creating a 90 degree angle at the elbow and the arm pit. Athletes will begin the Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury Exercise by maintaining this position with their arm, while bouncing the Kbands Training Stability Ball off the wall with their hand. Athletes will want to position their body so it mimics their throwing motion. If they are bouncing with their right arm they will have their left foot forward and vice versa. As athletes bounce the Kbands Training Stability Ball off the wall they will want to maintain a static position with their elbow and upper arm, only allowing the forearm to rotate forward and backward. As athletes maintain this position with their arm they need to maintain their shoulders and hips squared up to the wall in front of them and a back and downward squeeze with the shoulder blades. Coaches and athletes should watch to ensure athletes are not raising or bringing the shoulders to their ears. This tightening of the traps can result in loss of mobility and a costly rotator cuff injury.
This quick movement with the arm mimics throwing and pitching mechanics while allowing the athlete to isolate and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Shoulder strengthening and rotator cuff injury preventative drills like the KB Powerbands Shoulder Progression will strengthen baseball and softball players muscles through increasing resistance. The Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury drill challenges these same muscles using a quicker tempo and different kind of muscle activation.
Athletes will want to position themselves at a distance from the wall where they can quickly bounce the Kbands Training Stability Ball off the wall 15-25 times every 15 seconds. This number is an average and will be less when performed with the none dominate hand. Athletes should perform 2-4 sets of 35-40 second sets on each arm. Athletes should allow 60-90 seconds between sets of the Prevent And Rehab A Rotator Cuff Injury Exercise.
Using Proper Throwing And Pitching Mechanics To Avoid A Rotator Cuff Injury
As was stated previously stretching and strengthening are two excellent ways to protect your shoulders and prevent a rotator cuff injury. However, proper throwing and pitching mechanics will play a large role in overall shoulder and rotator cuff health. Use the baseball and softball drills like: How To Throw Baseball, Throwing C’s, the 5 Step Pitching Build Up, and the Windup Mechanics Drill to help develop great throwing techniques.