Are you prepared for baseball & softball?
Injury prevention starts now!
Spring in Maine means many things and the start of baseball & softball season is just one of them. Tucked away in batting cages, weight racks in gyms, and treadmills, and on the field our athletes are gearing up for the short, intense season which can wreak havoc on shoulders and backs alike.
What problems do our therapists most commonly see?
The biggest problem we see with most throwing young athletes is lack of preseason strengthening and injury prevention, coupled with rapid overuse in the start of the season. Consequentially, the largest rate of incidence is seen in the preseason and exhibition games in April and May, affecting the shoulder and elbow across all positions in the field (not surprisingly).
Strength + Speed + Finesse = Success
What is important to recognize is that baseball & softball are a game of strength, speed, and finesse; utilizing our smaller controlling muscles to accelerate and decelerate the shoulder in rapid fashion. Young athletes often are very strong in our large muscle groups and contrastingly very weak in the supporting (accessory) muscles of the shoulder; the points of breakdown when compounded over hundreds and hundreds of throws down the mound. As well, strength and flexibility need to go hand in hand for full range of motion, producing the greatest amount of force (=speed!).
What does this all mean?
Well, if you’re looking to increase in your performance while reducing the risk of injury and lost time on the bench, we must take a magnifying glass and address both small and large muscles of the shoulder. We must address this early and often. Prevention happens during preseason prep, throughout the season, and should even happen at the end of the season.
So, what can you do?
Below we’ve outlined examples of effective and specific exercises to target the most important aspects of the shoulder to keep you on the mound and off the bench. Doing these 3 times a week with mild to moderate weight will be quite effective, and you may notice challenge with as little as 1-5 lbs. That’s okay! Keep with it! The effects may not be immediate and evident, but injury prevention is often a silent endeavor.
90/90 External Rotation
90/90 Internal Rotation
Half Kneeling Y’s
Core Rotation Bands
Not sure what these exercises are or how to do them? Give us a shout and we’ll help you out!