Shoulder Mobility for Baseball Players
Upper crossed syndrome is one of the most common, performance-killing, ailments facing modern baseball players. Upper crossed syndrome is defined by tonic muscles in the upper body, particularly the neck, shoulders, pecs and back, that create imbalances in the body.
These imbalances take away from an athletes power and strength, putting them in suboptimal positions, and limiting their range of motion.
This makes it critical that baseball players engage in upper body mobility on a regular basis.
Today, I want to share a shoulder mobility routine for baseball players that I do with my professional baseball athletes, in hopes that you’ll use it and experience some changes in your performance.
The first part of this mobility routine is about stretching the tonic muscles. As I said before, many athletes experience tightness in the pecs, shoulders, neck, and back, and those are the areas we’re going to attack.
The first stretch you’ll perform is a lat stretch. Tonic lats limit a baseball player’s overhead range of motion, which will inhibit their ability to throw.
To perform this stretch, you’ll stand with one hand on the wall with a staggered stance (whatever hand is on the wall, that foot is back). With your arm straight, you’ll try to push your armpit down towards the ground without letting the hand on the wall slide.
The next stretch is a pec/shoulder stretch. Tonic pecs and shoulder muscles create
You can perform this multiple ways, but my favorite is on the ground. To perform this, you’ll lie on the ground, and bend one elbow at 90 degrees. Level this elbow with your shoulder and shift your weight onto that pec/shoulder while driving that shoulder into the ground.
Third stretch is for the biceps. If you didn’t know, the biceps connect to the shoulders, and can play a role in lack of shoulder mobility.
To perform this simple stretch, you place your palm on a wall with your finger tips facing the ground. Then, you straighten your arm and turn away from the wall.
Fourth stretch is for the internal and external rotators, which get tight from throwing.
To perform the shoulder Apley, grab a dow rod and place it behind your back. Then, place one hand on the rod by throwing the arm over shoulder level. Place the other hand on the rod by throwing the arm under the shoulder. Pull both ways.
The muscles are open to manipulation after you stretch. In your case, you’re going to use this opportunity to increase strong range of motion, and activate dormant muscles. To do this, you’ll use a variety of exercises.
The first is a lying pass-through.
To perform this movement, you’ll grab a dowel rod, and lay flat on the ground. Grab the two far ends of the dowel rod and, keeping the arms straight, bring it from in front of you, over your body to your butt.
Next mobility movement is a blackburn.
To perform this movement, get on your stomach, grab that dowel rod, and place your hands shoulder width apart on it. Then, lift it off the ground, pin the shoulders down and back, and perform a behind the neck press.
Third mobility movement is a thoracic rotation.
Again, grab your dowel rod, and place your hands on the opposite ends. Push one end of the dowel rod in the ground, and open up the opposite side of your body. Repeat on each side.
The last mobility exercise is a Y-Cuff.
For this one, you’ll be on your stomach with your arms straight out. Lift your chest off the ground, and lift your arms, rotate them, and flip the hands over the butt.
This mobility routine is a supplement to your workouts. That being the case, you should do it after games/practices.
Do each stretch in this mobility routine for 60-90 seconds, and perform each mobility exercise for 10 reps for a total of 3 sets.
Baseball puts a lot of stress on the joints, and players are subject to overuse injuries. With this mobility routine for baseball players, you can help to prevent, and maybe even eliminate, those injuries. This will create longevity in your career, and increased performance…
As long as you do it.
Let me know how it goes – reach out to me on Instagram @overtimeathletes
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