Rotator Cuff Exercises (and More) for Pitchers

Pitchers can work to prevent shoulder and elbow injuries with seven band exercises from STACK Expert Daniel Stein.

Exercises for pitchers

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Many pitchers report shoulder or elbow pain at some point in their careers, limiting participation. But many of these injuries may be preventable by keeping a safe pitch count, ensuring proper throwing mechanics, maintaining range of motion and flexibility, working on strength and endurance, and performing a proper warm-up. It's important to include rotator cuff exercises in the routine.

These seven warm-up exercises incorporate anchored tubing. Perform one set of 30 repetitions of each:

1. External Rotation at 90 Degrees

  • Stand facing the anchored tubing.
  • Keeping your elbow bent at shoulder level, rotate your hand back into a throwing position.
  • Return to the starting position.

External Rotation

2. Shoulder Flexion

  • Stand facing away from the anchored tubing.
  • Extend your shoulder and elbow.
  • Raise your arm as you maintain that position.
  • Return to the start position.

Shoulder Flexion

3. Shoulder Extension

  • Stand facing the anchored tubing.
  • Flex your shoulder to a 90-degree position with your elbow straight and thumb facing up.
  • Pull the band down to a fully extended position while keeping your elbow straight.
  • Return to the starting position.

Shoulder Extension

4. Scapular Punches

  • Stand facing away from the anchored tubing.
  • Start with your elbow bent and your shoulder blade back.
  • Punch at an upward angle, straightening your elbow and bringing your shoulder blade forward.
  • Return to the starting position.

Scapular Punches

5. Low Rows

  • Stand facing the anchored tubing.
  • Start with your arms straight and your shoulder blades forward.
  • Move your arms back while bending your elbows and pinching your shoulder blades together.
  • Return to the starting position.

Low Rows

6. Throwing Acceleration  

  • Stand facing away from the anchored tubing.
  • Start with your arm at shoulder height, elbow bent and hand rotated back.
  • Move your arm across your body, similar to a throwing motion.
  • Return to the starting position.

Throwing Acceleration

7. Throwing Deceleration

  • Stand facing the anchored tubing.
  • Start with your arm slightly forward.
  • Move your arm and shoulder blade back.
  • Bring your elbow to shoulder level with your elbow bent and hand rotated back.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Throwing Deceleration

References:

Meyers, J.B., Pasquale, M.R., Laudner, K.G., et al. "On-the-field resistance-tubing exercises for throwers: an electromyographic analysis." Journal of Athletic Training. 2005; 40 (1): 15–22.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASEBALL | PITCHING DRILLS AND WORKOUTS | ROTATOR CUFF | SHOULDER BLADE | TUBING