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Download our Free Arm Care Program for Baseball Players

One of the foundational pillars of any program for baseball players is an arm care program. Yet, this is often one of the most neglected areas I’ve seen. Many collegiate baseball players, let alone high school and youth baseball players, have never performed an appropriate arm care program.

Here’s a simple fact… If you are a baseball player, you must be performing an arm care program. All the big leaguers do, why aren’t you?

More importantly, if you are performing a strength training program, getting pitching lessons, or participating in a long toss or weighted ball program and do NOT perform an arm care program, your priorities are reversed.

I always say, you are focusing on the frosting before you’ve baked your cake.

But I get it, some people have never heard of an arm care program and some people do not have access to a good one.

Well, I want to change that.

Our mission here at Elite Baseball Performance is to advance the game of baseball through trustworthy and scientifically proven information and programs.

Download the the EBP Arm Care Program for FREE

EBP Reinold Throwers Arm Care ProgramI want every baseball player in the world to perform an appropriate arm care program, that’s why I am giving mine away for free here at EBP.

I’ve developed this program over the course of two decades based on the science of throwing a baseball and the science behind exercise selection. This is the foundational program that we have used at Champion PT and Performance on everyone from Little League pitchers to Cy Young winners. Sure, the programs we do with our athletes in person are far more comprehensive, but I consider this to be the mandatory foundational program you should be performing.

In exchange, I only ask for your help spreading the word. Please share this page with all your friends, teammates, coaches, parents, and anyone else that wants to help baseball players enhance their performance while reducing their chance for injury!

Start performing this today and you will be well ahead of the curve. Countless big leaguers perform this exact program, get it here for free today!

 

 

3 Shoulder Stability Drills for Throwers

As previously discussed in my article on Elite Baseball Performance’s website, scapular stability and the establishment of Glenohumeral rhythm are critical to the health of our athletes.

There is, however, a broader point that needs to be made. Most of the time when our throwers have shoulder injuries it is due to lack of stability in the joint.

There is a plethora of information (some good, some not so much) on the Internet about mobility drills but lets not forget that we need to be stable before we can be mobile. With other joints I think that mobility is extremely important but the shoulder is the most freely movable join in the entire body. Stabilization of the joint, in most situations, should be a top priority. Especially as we see an increasing number of youth athletes who are able to generate significant velocity with their arm action.

In real time it is difficult to appreciate the tremendous external forces weighing on the arm and shoulder during the act of pitching a baseball.

Check out this video of a slow motion pitch.

As observed in the video, pitchers must generate a significant amount of force to overcome gravity and hurl a ball 60 feet, 6 inches towards the plate. However, once the ball is released, the work has just begun.

Without stability of the Glenohumeral joint, the pitchers arm would not be able to decelerate the forces and would be very susceptible to injury. The rotator cuff muscles are responsible for keeping the head of the humerus in the glenoid socket and decelerating the forces generated in the acceleration phase of the movement.

In simpler terms, keeping the pitchers arm from flying off with the pitch. The rotator cuff is a common injury site for individuals who are unable to maintain Glenohumeral congruency and adequately decelerate their arms post-ball release.

Though rotator cuff injuries are certainly a common injury for throwers, we often hear athletes report pain in their elbows. With the shoulder being the most proximal, or closest to the body, arm joint, instability will likely lead to injury further down the chain. The elbow joint often falls victim to poor shoulder stability, as it is located more distally and is exposed to greater external forces when throwing.

There are plenty of drills available to develop the muscles of the rotator cuff to aid the maintenance of Glenohumeral congruency and overall shoulder stability throughout the throwing motion.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Manual Rotator Cuff Work

Manual exercises allow the coach to adjust the resistance based on the athlete’s strength and/or in tailor the resistance to the strength curve.

Band Cuff Work

Unfortunately, athletes may not always have a coach or teammate to perform manuals with so using bands and tubing is a good alternative.

Rhythmic Stabilization Drills

Programming our rotator cuff drills in combination with our scapular stability drills will help reduce risk of injury and improve your overall throwing performance.

Try these 3 drills to work on rotator cuff strength and stability and I know you’ll feel a difference during the season.

Is Rotator Cuff Strength the Key to Preventing Tommy John Injuries?

I like simple studies that answer complex answers.  A recent report in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy has shown the baseball pitchers with Tommy John injuries have weaker rotator cuff strength than healthy players.

This has long been studied and shown previously but the I really liked how the authors conducted this study.  Two things stand out to me from these results that have considerable implications.  Baseball players with Tommy John injuries had:

  1.  7% deficit in ER rotator cuff strength compared to their non-throwing arm.  Healthy players had no deficit between their shoulders.
  2. 30% deficit in ER rotator cuff strength compared to the throwing arm of healthy players.

So, players with Tommy John injuries were weaker in general and showed specific throwing arm weakness.  I’ve always said that shoulder strength and mobility is the key to reducing these Tommy John injuries, these results completely support the need for rotator cuff strength.

 

EBP Reinold Throwers Arm Care ProgramDownload Our Free Throwers Arm Care Program

So it’s pretty obvious that we should be performing a shoulder program.  I’ve recently put together a free arm care program for EBP that you can perform to get your shoulder and forearm strong, and hopefully prevent some of these Tommy John injuries.

 

 


Baseball Players With Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears Demonstrate Decreased Rotator Cuff Strength Compared To Healthy Controls

Background: Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) tears are common in baseball players. Alterations in rotator cuff strength are believed to be associated with injury to the shoulder and/or elbow in baseball players.

Hypothesis/Purpose: Baseball players diagnosed with a UCL tear will demonstrate decreased internal (IR) and external rotation (ER) force as an indication of isometric muscular strength in the throwing arm compared to IR and ER force of the throwing arm in healthy baseball players. The purpose of this study was to examine isometric IR and ER strength of the shoulder in baseball players with UCL tears at the time of injury compared to healthy baseball players.

Study Design: Case‐control study design

Methods: Thirty‐three of the participants were diagnosed with a UCL tear and thirty‐three were healthy, age‐ and positioned‐matched controls. All of the participants played baseball at either the high school or collegiate level and volunteered for the study. Isometric rotator cuff strength measurements for internal (IR) and external rotation (ER) were performed with the arm held to the side at 0 ° of shoulder abduction. All measurements were taken bilaterally and the means of the throwing and non‐throwing arms for IR and ER in the UCL group were compared to the means of the throwing and non‐throwing arms in the healthy group. One‐way ANOVAs were used to calculate differences between groups (p < 0.05).

Results: Baseball players with UCL tears demonstrated significant rotator cuff strength deficits on their throwing arm IR (p < .001) and ER (p < .001) compared to throwing arm IR and ER in the Healthy (UCL IR = 131.3 ± 31.6 N; Healthy IR = 174.9 ± 20.7 N) (UCL ER = 86.4 ± 18.3 N; Healthy ER = 122.3 ± 18.3 N). On the non‐throwing arm, the UCL group was weaker in both IR (135.0 ± 31.1 N; p < .001) and ER (93.4 ± 22.8 N; p < .001) than IR (172.1 ± 24.1 N) and ER (122.3 ± 19.1 N) in the Healthy group.

Conclusion: Participants with a UCL tear exhibit lower force values as an indication of isometric rotator cuff strength in both the throwing and non‐throwing arms than a healthy cohort.

Int J Sports Phys Ther . 2015 Aug; 10(4): 476–481. BASEBALL PLAYERS WITH ULNAR COLLATERAL LIGAMENT TEARS DEMONSTRATE DECREASED ROTATOR CUFF STRENGTH COMPARED TO HEALTHY CONTROLS Copyright © 2015 by the Sports Physical Therapy Section Abstract Background Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) tears are common in baseball players.

Source: Baseball Players With Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears Demonstrate Decreased Rotator Cuff Strength Compared To Healthy Controls