Author: Bryan Lang, PT, DPT, MHA, CSCS, Cert.DN: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions, helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and interprets difficult theories in healthcare rehabilitation. Committed to life-long learning and education. Learn more about Bryan on Google+.
To be an good overhead athlete, there are two things that matter most: shoulder strength and shoulder flexibility. Below are exercises to strengthen and stretch your shoulder in order to keep it operating at its maximum potential.
For shoulder strength:
What's the purpose of these exercises? The first two videos are different views of the same exercise designed to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. These muscles are important for shoulder stability and slowing down the speed of your arm once you've released a ball. If these muscles are weak, you can develop shoulder pain, or even tear your rotator cuff muscles.
The last video focuses on strengthening your serratus anterior muscle (among other things). The serratus anterior is crucial for proper movement patterns of your shoulder blade. If your shoulder blade isn't strong enough to control the arm speed of a thrower, it leads to higher chances of muscle strains and injury.
FOr shoulder flexibility
What is the purpose of these exercises? The common trend among throwers is that they have excessive amounts of shoulder external rotation range of motion and not enough shoulder internal rotation range of motion. The first two videos show different views of the same stretch. The last video shows a modification to the standard cross arm stretch. Both stretches are focusing on improving the flexibility of your shoulder into internal rotation.