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Shoulder Moves Keep Pitchers Throwing Strong

August 19, 2015  /  11:31 AM

A pitchers’ windup and throw might get all the attention. But it’s the moment immediately after releasing the ball that actually poses the greatest risk of injury.

Picture it: The shoulder tends to follow the ball. Meanwhile, the rest of the body remains on the mound. These opposing, powerful forces threaten to tear muscles and ligaments in this critical area.

Strong rotator cuff muscles—especially in the back of the shoulder—stabilize the joint against unhealthy rotation. You can build them up with resistance bands like the TheraBand CLX, research shows. Pitchers who completed a six-week strengthening program increased their muscles’ ability to withstand force, potentially protecting them from injury.

The study used moves that worked the shoulder in a diagonal pattern. Incorporate exercises like the one below into your routine to decrease your odds of landing on the disabled list this season.

Goals:

Increase endurance; Increase strength; Prevent rotator cuff injury

Activity:

Throwing

  • step 1

    Assume a hands-and-knees position. Place one hand in the last Easy Grip Loop.

  • step 2

    Place your other hand in another Easy Grip Loop 2 or 3 loops away and then place that hand on the ground below your shoulder.

    <p>Place your other hand in another Easy Grip Loop 2 or 3 loops away and then place that hand on the ground below your shoulder.</p>
  • step 3

    Lift your hand up and outward against the CLX with your thumb facing upward until your arm is parallel with the ground. Hold and slowly return.

    <p>Lift your hand up and outward against the CLX with your thumb facing upward until your arm is parallel with the ground. Hold and slowly return.</p>

Dr. Phil Page

PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM

Phil Page PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, LAT is a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He graduated from LSU in physical therapy and received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from Mississippi State University, as well as a doctorate in Kinesiology from LSU. He has been involved in rehabilitation and sports medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Page was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is currently the Global Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health, manufacturer of TheraBand, Biofreeze & Cramer products. His duties include maintaining the Thera-Band Academy website, directing the international educational programs and managing product research around the world. Dr. Page is also an instructor in the Athletic Training curriculum at Louisiana State University and a Clinical Instructor of Orthopedics for Tulane Medical School in New Orleans.

 

Dr. Page’s clinical and research interests include the role of muscle imbalance in musculoskeletal pain, and promoting physical activity for health-related physical fitness, particularly for chronic disease management. He is a member of educational committee for the “Exericse is Medicine” initiative for the ACSM. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and serves as a member of several national advisory boards. Dr. Page is on the scientific review committees for the APTA and ACSM. He regularly reviews grants and article submissions for several professional journals.

 

Dr. Page lectures extensively and provides workshops on a variety of topics around the world, including the Janda Approach to Muscle Imbalance. He was  awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Education Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. He has presented over 100 international lectures and workshops on exercise and rehabilitation topics, and has over 50 publications including 3 books; most recently publishing Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach. He has worked with the athletic programs at LSU, Tulane, the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, as well as the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials. He lives with his wife and 4 children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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