Arm Care for Spring Sports

Adrian Guyer CSCS, RSCC, USAW 2, CSAC


Spring means throwing sports such as baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track and field. These sports take their toll on the shoulders and arms as well as the hips and trunk. A sudden increase in throwing movements at very high velocities can lead to pain and discomfort or even injury if proper preparation to the start of the season is not implemented. For throwers it’s vital that athletes also implement a long toss

program to lead them up to the start of the season allow ample time to condition the muscles and joints involved in throwing motions. For multi sport athletes this can be tough as sports like basketball, hockey, or skiing will have seasons that run right up to the start of spring sports. Do not neglect a long toss program or a throwing ramp up to the season! You can do all the band work in the world but it won’t fully prepare the arm if you are not actually throwing at similar velocities as you find in your sport. You don’t have to get fancy in your throwing programs, start close and each day increase distances and volumes. Here are some great movements that can be implemented as a supplement to a throwing ramp up prior to the season and help with maintenance throughout the season and during your off season training. You can pick exercises from each category to do as a superset twice a week. To start keep resistance low and reps high, 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.


Cuff Stability

X-Over Cuff Rotation

Great movement for training strength and durability in the rotator cuff muscles involved in external rotation of the shoulder.


Dynamic Cuff External Rotation

Great movement for training strength and durability in the rotator cuff muscles involved in external rotation of the shoulder. The dynamic nature and speed of the movement challenges these muscles to provide a more reactive deceleration of the humerus as needed in the throwing motion.




Upper Back and Posterior Shoulder

Band Ys

Band Y’s aid in over head stability and scapular control. The scapula acts as a base between that humorous and the trunk of the body, aiding and supporting the shoulder joint during high speed motions. The ability of the scapula to synchronize with the movements of the arm in these overhead or “unstable” positions helps to prevent injury and may increase sport performance.

Band Ts

Band T’s target the posterior delts and major muscles of the upper back including the trapezius and rhomboids. These muscles aid in postural strength and scapular retraction. The scapula acts as a base between that humorous and the trunk of the body, aiding and supporting the shoulder joint during high speed motions such as throwing. The ability of the scapula to synchronize with the movements of the arm helps to prevent injury and may increase sport performance.

Band As

This movement will help with developing strength in muscles of the back such as the posterior delts, rhomboids, lats, and traps. This can help with the scapula’s ability to glide down and back in the loading or cocking phase of throwing type movements.



Delts

Weighted Arm Circles

Great movement for training strength and endurance in the deltoid muscles while resisting the rotational forces of an external load in an extended and abducted position.

Open Can DB Raises

This movement can be a great way for developing strength in deltoids needed for abduction and lateral rotation of the humerus. The deltoid muscle group also helps to protect the shoulder from impact forces found in contact sports, acting as a buffer between the acromion and the force from contact.



Rhythmic Shoulder Stabilization

MB SA Wall Dribble

Here’s a good exercise to help with dynamic shoulder stability, timing and control in the overhead position. Keep the movement fast with a light MB that will bounce back quickly and force the stabilizers of the shoulder, including the back and trunk, to create stability and control quickly as you go through internal and external rotation in the joint.

Bodyblade

The body blade is a good exercise to help with dynamic shoulder stability, timing and control in the overhead position. Keep the movement fast with a light MB that will bounce back quickly and force the stabilizers of the shoulder, including the back and trunk, to create stability and control quickly as you go through internal and external rotation at the joint. The weigthed ends require the athlete not just create and accept force and momentum to and from the blade but also to have effective timing and control throughout the movement in order to keep it going.





Pecs and Chest

Band Chest Flys

This is a good movement to train the accelerators on the front side of the body such as the pecs to effectively adduct a flexed arm and help it to rotate medially or inward to the frontside of the body. These frontside muscles also act as brakes for the arm and anterior shoulder capsule when being put into a loaded or stretched position both overhead and behind our body.

Band Monkey Claps

This is a good movement to train the accelerators on the front side of the body such as the pecs to effectively adduct a flexed arm and help it to rotate medially or inward to the frontside of the body. These frontside muscles also act as brakes for the arm and anterior shoulder capsule when being put into a loaded or stretched position both overhead and behind our body as found in throwing or landing with arms outstretched such as sliding into a base or diving outstretched for a ball.


Good luck this season!

Coach Guyer



Xtra Innings Performance

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