Shoulder injuries and pitchers go together (unfortunately). The very nature of pitching is detrimental to shoulder health. It’s important to be mindful of preserving a balance between rest and use. And the best thing you can do to prevent shoulder injuries happens in the weight room.
The number one protector of your shoulder are the muscles that act on and support the joint. Engaging these small muscles keeps the shoulder stable and balanced. Shoulder work with light weight and tension should be part of every pitcher’s routine.
Many athletes, trainers and coaches are familiar with banded warm-up routines. We have found that the use of kettlebells complements a band routine, and in many case does a better job of preventing injury.
Watch the video below to see our kettlebell exercises for pitchers in action:
[youtube video=”kru10PhnAoU” /]
To avoid overworking your shoulders, do these exercises every three days. Use light weight and perform a moderate to high number of reps (10-15).
Overuse, whether on the field or in the weight room, is unproductive for the shoulders. Don’t use the “if a little is good, a lot must be better” approach when working your shoulders. That is not how it works.
Our prevention program also goes beyond the shoulders. Pitchers need to fire their lower half to generate power, and doing so helps them get the velocity they need without overworking their shoulder. We emphasize building strong hips, glutes and core muscles, and work each leg independently.