Shoulder Rehab with the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Baseball, softball and volleyball players frequently suffer shoulder injuries, according to Erwin Valencia, rehabilitation coordinator and physical therapist for the Pittsburgh Pirates. To prevent injuries commonly caused by overuse, Valencia created the Terminators, a prevention exercise that "concentrates on the shoulder and the integration of the shoulder into the core and lower body."

"I try to develop exercises that encompass everything," Valencia says. "In every sport—whether baseball, football or volleyball—there's always kinetic movement from the foot that gets translated to the core, which then gets translated to the shoulder."

To work the kinetic chain, Valencia has his guys knock out Terminator supersets at the end of their regular shoulder routine, one to two times a week. "I compound the exercises, because you build increased muscle endurance with constant weight resistance," he says. "You're battling muscle fatigue of the specific fiber that's being activated," which helps over the course of a long, grueling season.

Terminators

For: Baseball, softball, volleyball and football players
Works: Shoulders, rotator cuff, core, hamstrings, quads

• Place physioball between mid to low back and wall
• Place med ball between legs, just above knees, and hold dumbbells at sides
• Assume squat position, making sure knees and hips are 90 degrees. Retract scaps, draw in core, and squeeze med ball using adductors and pelvic floor muscles
• While in squat, lift arms forward about three-quarters; repeat 10 times
• Maintaining squat, make "V" with arms by lifting them three-quarters; arms should be parallel to floor.
• Repeat 10 times
• While in squat, raise arms to sides, about three-quarters; repeat 10 times

Set/Reps/Rest: 2-3 sets of 10 with no rest between each variation; 45-60 seconds rest between sets

Coaching Points: Use six-pound or lighter weights // Keep body weight on your heels, not on the balls of your feet, as this misplaces the direction of your weight, increasing the risk of knee injuries // Maintain proper squat position to avoid back injuries // If the exercise is too hard to perform without a break between changes in lifts, start with no weight, because technique is more important


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock