With the arrival of the New Year, baseball season is just around the corner. I know that 30 degrees does not make many think of baseball, but players know that tryouts and the spring season is only 6-8 weeks away. In order to prepare for the season, it is vital that players, and pitchers in particular, perform a proper long toss program and develop appropriate shoulder strength. A well designed throwing and shoulder strengthening program has been shown not only to increase performance but reduce the liklihood of injury. The fear of any throwing athlete is to hear the words “rotator cuff tear”, “torn labrum” (cuff of cartilage in shoulder joint) or even to just suffer from tendonitis in the shoulder or elbow. A proper throwing program should consist of the following:
Your arm strength and strength-endurance can only be built slowly over a period of time in the off-season. Focus should be on strengthening the scapula, rotator cuff, grip and forearm muscles while maintaining full range of motion and flexibility of the shoulder, elbow and wrist.