A good baseball stretching routine typically includes jogging or progressive running, static stretching and Lunges that combine trunk rotation and shoulder patterns. It should then move forward into more explosive movements like High Knees, Butt Kicks, Carioca and Bounds.
During these movements, it’s important to remember your throwing shoulder. If you don’t stretch your shoulder, you increase your risk of injury and decrease the range of motion in other parts of your body. For example, right-handed pitchers typically have decreased internal rotation of their right shoulder and decreased external rotation of their right hip. Your body can adjust, but adjustments can only go on for so long before your performance suffers and your risk of injury rises.
The stretching routine below consists of two simple movements, each affecting your “best” side. I’ve tried these with my athletes and found that they improve shoulder, trunk and hip rotation compared to a normal baseball warm-up.
Keep in mind these movements are not meant to replace an entire warm-up.
- Stand with your feet together and arms crossed.
- Bend your knees and lean forward slightly.
- Twist as far as you can to the left and repeat to the right.
- Using the better of the two sides, twist as far as you can.
- Once your body stops, take a deep breath in and twist a little further as you exhale.
- Sets/Duration: 3×30 seconds
Front Arm Raise
- Stand with your feet together.
- Lift your left arm up past your ear as far as possible while keeping your elbow straight.
- Repeat with your right arm.
- Using the better of the two sides, continue to reach “up, up, up and back, back” while keeping your elbow straight.
- Every time you hit a barrier, take a deep breath in and reach a bit farther as you exhale.
- Sets/Duration: 2×30 seconds