Determining Individual Stability Needs for the Baseball Player

I was having a conversation with one of my players the other day about his body. He’s been having trouble with his front shoulder “popping out” whenever he finishes a swing, and it’s happened multiple times throughout his high school season. He continued to tell me that his school trainer and the orthopedic said that he shouldn’t be stretching at all because that is only going to hurt him. I continued to say, “I couldn’t agree more”.

I then get looked at like I have 2 heads. So, rather than writing the dialogue of this conversation I was having, it gave me the idea to write a post on this concept of mobility and stability needs in the baseball population.


The Laxity Test

The Laxity Test is a great tool to use to determine if someone is loose-jointed or not. The only other tool you need is your eyes, making it super simple to administer.

More specifically, it is commonly known as the “Beighton Hypermobility Score”. The only disadvantage of using this test is that the “scores” are not quantifiable. It is either a yes or no.

The tests are used bilaterally (both sides of the body) totaling for a score out of 9. Let’s go over them one by one with pictures of all the tests listed below from


Passive hyperextension of the 5th MCP joint beyond 90 degrees

In other words, this is when the pinky can reach vertical when the palm is flat on the ground.


Passive opposition of the thumb to the forearm

In other words, this is when the thumb can be pulled towards the inner aspect of the forearm.


Passive hyperextension of the elbow beyond 10 degrees

In other words, this is when the elbow extends outward from the body and the hand is slightly below the line of the elbow.


Passive hyperextension of the knee beyond 10 degrees

In other words, this is when the knee extends behind the body and is behind the line of the hip.


Active Forward Flexion of the Trunk

This is performed with the knees fully extended so that the palms rest flat on the ground


Previous researchers have determined that a score between 4-9 shows that the individual has ligamentous laxity within the joints, while other researchers determined a 3/9 to be the case, and other researchers determined a 6/9 to be the case (


Applying the Beighton Score

Basically, no one can agree on anything! Use your own judgment here. Ask a lot of questions with the athlete. When I perform evaluations with my athletes at Infiniti Sports Performance, I assess laxity in their joints. Then I ask these questions:

  1. Do you find that you don’t need to stretch a lot before a game?
  2. Are both of your parents flexible? Mother? Father?
  3. Do you mostly feel “tight” or “loose” before a game?

Believe it or not, general ligamentous laxity (GLL) can be genetic!

In a study investigating the relationship of GLL with acute and chronic shoulder injuries with athletes, the results showed that those with GLL had higher incidences of shoulder pain, chronic shoulder injuries, and shoulder instability in comparison to those who did not have GLL (1).

To keep the individual athlete healthy and on the field, it’s important to determine where they fit on this mobility vs stability spectrum.

For those with GLL, you must be EXTRA strict on keeping your shoulder healthy and stable. Adding more shoulder stability exercises into your arsenal and performing some band work before a game might be the missing piece that keeps you on the field longer!



Saremi, H., Yavarikia, A., and Jafari, N. (2016). Generalized Ligamentous Laxity: An Important Predisposing Factor for Shoulder Injuries in Athletes. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.

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Jarad Vollkommer

Jarad is the Assistant Director of Performance at Infiniti Sports Performance (Long Island, NY) that has experience in training athletes of all ages and abilities, as well as research in reactive and visual training for baseball players. His main goal is to bridge the gap between scientific research and application that will give his athletes a competitive edge in enhancing their on-field performance.
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