Arm care is essential for any baseball or softball player on the diamond. Here are some tips below to keep your arm and shoulder in tip-top shape this season.
Pre- Season Preparation
Preparing for the amount of stress and abuse your arm will receive during the season is essential for how your arm and shoulder will respond. Incorporating a pre-season throwing program designed to gradually prepare your arm for throwing activities is essential in the months and weeks before the season begins.
Throwing cold or going into a game with your arm cold is skating on thin ice with your shoulder health. It’s important to have an ample amount of time before game and practices to incorporate proper stretching and long toss to warm up your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
After games and long practices, it is important to incorporate post stretching and proper icing to prevent inflammation and soreness. Immediately after practice incorporate static stretching and then ice for about 20 minutes. You can also incorporate foam rolling to areas that are prone to tightening up, including the lats, rear shoulder, etc. You can also use a tennis ball against a wall to lightly massage and release tension in your shoulder, back and lats.
Proper rest periods in between games and practice is essential for arm health. Take time in between games and practices to let your arm rest and recover.
Strengthen your arm
To have a healthy and injury free arm, it is essential to strengthen all muscles of your arm and shoulder for the season. Here are a few exercises that can help stabilize your shoulder.
Side Plank Retraction Row
- Assume a side plank position facing a cable machine with your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder.
- Grasp the cable handle with your top hand with your arm fully extended in front of your chest.
- Pull your shoulder blade back and row the cable handle to your armpit. Hold for specified duration.
Maintain a straight line from your head to your toes. Keep your shoulder blade retracted without letting it drift up towards your ear
Kneeling Iso-Rear Delt
- Secure two bands to a railing or fence, or use an independent cable system.
- Kneel down facing the attachment point and hold the bands with an underhand grip.
- Pull one arm back so your elbow is at 90 degrees, and keep it pinched to your side.
- Perform rows with your opposite arm for specified reps.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Keep your core and glutes engaged. Finish the row with your palms up. Do not let your elbows go past your torso.
- Assume a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Pull your shoulder blades back fully without bending your elbows or letting your hips sag.
- Push your shoulders forward as far as possible.
- Repeat for specified reps.
Keep your body in a straight line. Plant your palms firmly on the ground and drive your weight through the balls of your feet.