ZAMST Presents: Injury Prevention for Baseball Players

 

It’s that time of year again, and it’s my favorite time of year at that! It’s baseball season and for the next few months the boys of summer will be playing approximately 162 games this year.

 

With the high number of games, repetition of movements, and the little rest players receive, it is important for all overhead athletes to follow a strict ‘pre-hab’ shoulder strengthening program. As an Athletic Trainer for several baseball teams, I’ve implemented a number of shoulder ‘pre-hab’ protocols that was required for all of my pitchers and highly recommended to my position players.

 

When I say ‘pre-hab’, I am talking about injury prevention. I would have my athletes conduct rehab type exercises even though that player might not necessarily have an injury. I do however, use a lot of the same exercises for my injured players rehabs as well. These exercises primarily focus on the scapular muscles of the shoulder to help stabilize and strengthen those muscles so that their shoulder can work optimally throughout it’s range of motion. In addition to this protocol, I would work closely with the pitching coach to insure all of the pitchers were using proper mechanics for a reduced injury rate as well as communicate properly with the team orthopedic physician throughout the season.

The following is just a snapshot of the protocol that I would use:

 

1.     Theraband External Rotation w/ Theraband

          -    Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 1

 

 

 

2.     Theraband Arm Extension w/Theraband

          -    Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15

 

 

 

3.     Sidle lying External Rotation w/ light weight

          -    lie on the uninvolved side and keep the elbow of the involved arm fixed on the side in an L shape and raise the arm (externally rotate).

          -   Slowly lower to starting position

          -   Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 x 15

 

4.     Prone Extension w/ light weight (Palm facing up/thumb out)

          -    Lay face down on a table or bench, allow involved arm to hang over the table and be perpendicular to the floor
          -    Holding the weight with thumb facing (hand supinated), list the arm backward until it is level with the hip. 

          -    Slowly lower arm back down to perpendicular & repeat

          -    Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15

 

5.     Y's, T's and W's with light or no weight

           -   Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 25 on table or physioball

 

 

 

6.     Serratus Punch

 

 

 

7.     Sleeper Stretch & Cross Arm Stretch

           -   3 rounds of 30 seconds each

 

References:

British Journal of Sports Medicine: Rehabilitation of shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cuff injuries: an evidence-based review Or PDF version

Muscle Imbalance Syndromes: Shoulder Impingement Exercises for Muscle Balance

 

Please visit Zamst.com for more information on injury prevention articles and to check out their state-of-the-art braces supports for the elite athlete.

 

 

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