Lifting Considerations for Athletes in “Overhead Sports” | STACK

Lifting Considerations for Athletes in “Overhead Sports”

December 28, 2010

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Every year, coaches tell me one of their top concerns is making sure their athletes stay injury-free. Athletes who compete in “overhead sports”—those that use overhead movements during gameplay, like baseball, softball, volleyball and tennis—must work particularly hard to prevent injury in the vulnerable shoulder region.

As a sports performance professional at the collegiate level, I have my athletes perform prehab as opposed to rehab work. By performing prehab exercises, we try to prevent lower- and upper-body injuries and thus the need for rehab.

With my softball and tennis teams, I begin each workout with prehab shoulder exercises that are both multi-directional and multi-planar, meaning they work all surrounding musculature. These exercises use minimal weight, and the athletes can move with ease.

When training these “overhead sports,” I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. It’s important for my athletes to realize that even though they play an overhead sport, their power and strength are still generated from the ground up. Lower body and core strength give athletes the necessary tools to execute overhead movements. We do many single-leg and -arm exercises, which develop needed strength and stability, but also help prevent injury.

For tennis and softball, some of my recommended exercises are:

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Single-Leg DB Lunges: Keep foot on bench, chest up and knee facing ground

Single-Leg Box Squat: With one leg lifted off ground, sit back to box, then drive up with single leg

One-Arm DB Walk and Press: Walk the length of the weight room pressing DBs with every other step

One-Arm DB Bench with Feet in Air: Keep feet in air and place free hand on hip, not on bench

Ben Fleming
- Ben Fleming is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Central Florida. In addition to assisting with the Knights’ football program, he...
Ben Fleming
- Ben Fleming is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Central Florida. In addition to assisting with the Knights’ football program, he...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries It's one thing to train hard but another to train hard while focusing on the right stuff. The past 20...

Maintaining Your Lower-Body Strength After Tommy John Surgery

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

Why Your Shin Splints Aren't Really Shin Splints

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Keys to Preventing Groin Injuries in Hockey

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Tommy John Surgery 10 Times More Common Than a Decade Ago

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

How to Train With Shin Splints

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

4 Exercises to Fix Bad Posture and Help You Move Better

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

The Best Exercises for Preventing a Groin Pull

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries?

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Should Pitchers Ice After Throwing to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

The New Rules for Cryotherapy: Why You're Icing Wrong

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain