It’s beginning to look a lot like baseball season as teams across the country start spring training and take the mound to prepare for a new season. After the winter hiatus, however, it’s essential to properly train shoulder muscles for the long season ahead.
Overhead throwing can place tremendous demands on the shoulder; in fact, muscle fatigue can lead to poor performance and even injury. To combat this, baseball players and other overhand athletes turn to elastic resistance exercises for pre-season training and in-season maintenance. In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, researchers looked at the effectiveness of twelve elastic resistance exercises commonly used by throwers in activating the shoulder muscles important for throwing. Seven exercises resulted in the highest level of muscle activation of all muscles tested:
- External rotation at 90° of abduction
- Throwing deceleration
- Shoulder flexion
- Shoulder extension
- Low scapular rows
- Throwing acceleration
- Scapular punch
The results suggest that these exercises, paired with elastic resistance, are most effective in activating the muscles important to the throwing motion and may be beneficial for throwers during their pre-throwing warm-up routine.
Find more research on TheraBand exercises for baseball here.
Stay tuned throughout the spring and summer for more baseball prehab and rehab techniques, exercises and more!