Post Throwing Stretches and Mobility Drills – Part 1 (Upper Body)

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

Post Throwing Part 1 - TopI often get asked about stretches guys can do after throwing to help keep their arm and shoulder up to snuff. Here are a few stretching and mobility drills we give our guys at RPP. I’ve divided them into two separate blogs, with Part 1 being the upper body and Part 2 covering the lower body. Remember, taking care of the lower half has just as much impact on arm health as the upper half. These drills should take a combined total time of about 10 minutes to perform, a small amount of time for such a big payback.

1. Side Lying Cross Body Stretch – There is approximately a 10 degree loss of internal rotation after throwing due to the eccentric forces (deceleration) placed on the arm. This stretch is much less provocative than the common “sleeper stretch” because it offers more stabilization of the scapula allowing just the posterior shoulder to be stretched. Keep shoulder blades down and locked – (30 sec on the throwing shoulder only). 

 Side Lying Cross Body – (30 sec on the throwing shoulder only)

2. Elbow/Wrist Stretches – In a nutshell, there is a lot of stuff crammed into a small amount of space at the elbow joint (roughly 16 muscles crossing the elbow). Soft tissue restrictions commonly occur where muscles, tendons and bone all come together so the elbow is a location where a lot can go wrong. During transition from the cocking to the acceleration phase, the flexors and pronators are holding on for dear life in order to keep it all together at the elbow joint.  After a bout of throwing they can get a bit tight and cranky. 

Supinated – (30 sec/side)

 

Pronated – (30 sec/side)

3. Levator Scapula Stretch – The levator scap is a key player in scapular upward rotation. Be careful not to over reach with the arm that is behind the back, you should feel this stretch from just below the ear down and into the upper trapezius not the front or side of the shoulder – (15 sec/side ) opposite arm reaches under and behind to help stabilize the scapula down against the ribcage. 

Levator Scapula Stretch – (15 sec/side)

4. Quadruped T-Spine Mobility – T-spine mobility is key for so many things, including hip & shoulder separation, assisting in layback during the cocking phase and helping the arm decelerate across the body relieving much stress on the anterior portion of the shoulder. Good thoracic mobility should not only be done after throwing but prior to throwing as well.

Quadruped T-Spine Mobility

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will be covering the Lower Body.

See you at the gym.

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