Want to know what the weakest joint in the body is?
The shoulder joint.
I can’t tell you how many athletes I have seen who have had to experience shoulder surgery. At one point during my college wrestling career, all three of my roommates had shoulder surgery in the same week.
Why does it happen? I see so many athletes overuse their shoulders as they play game after game or pitch inning after inning. At the same time, they fail to focus on how to improve shoulder strength and flexibility to prevent injury.
High-performance coach Eric Cressey said it best: “Pitching more than 100 innings per year is associated with a 350 percent increase of risk of a serious arm injury in youth athletes. If you can count, you can help prevent injuries.”
To keep your shoulders safe, you have to focus on how to improve shoulder strength and flexibility. Here are four movements to help you get started. Practice these two or three times per week, and you will begin to notice less pain in your shoulders. Check out the video player above for a demonstration of each exercise.
1. Lacrosse Ball Posterior Shoulder Roll
How to do it:
- Lean against a wall or solid surface with a lacrosse ball between your spine and your shoulder blades.
- Put some pressure on the ball. Roll up and down until you find a tender spot
- Gently apply pressure to the tender spot, rolling back and forth for about 3-5 minutes per side.
2. Lacrosse Ball Anterior Shoulder Roll