I was having a conversation about big league ball with RPP pitching coach Robbie Aviles a while back and he mentioned that many times as a relief pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, he barely got a chance to warm-up before throwing. As a matter of fact, he sometimes got just about enough time to take off his jacket and throw a few pitches. This made me think back on an article I remember reading by Mike Reinold where he talked about a baseball warm-up protocol that includes exercises to increase shoulder ROM, Mobility, Activation, and Dynamic Movement all done in a circuit that takes less than 5 minutes to perform!!
I thought it would be a great addition to our thrower’s repertoire during the season. This can be done in-between innings in about 5 minutes (for a complete pre- and post-game routine click here). It also hits most of the major spots as far as tightness an activation goes. I hope you find it helpful.
- Side Lying Cross Body Stretch
- Wrist Flexion / Extension
- Arm Circles
- Cross Body Hugs
- Int./Ext. Rotations
- Trunk Rotations
Here we go…
1. Side Lying Cross Body Stretch
This is what I believe to be a better alternative to the standing version done by most teams. This stretch helps improve IR in the shoulder without the “pulling” of the scap around on the rib cage that is associated with old school version (5×5 sec holds).
(Old School – Standing)
(Side Lying x-Body Stretch)
2. Wrist Flexion / Extension
Stretching out the flexor/pronator group is key to help alleviate the tightness many pitchers complain about due to coming in “cold”. This can go a long way in alleviating stress on the elbow as well (3×10 sec / ea way).
The following two exercises are great for helping to increase shoulder ROM while also activating the triceps, posterior delt and upper trapezius.
3. Arm Circles – (x10 fwd /10 back)
4. Cross Body Hugs – (x10)
5. Int./Ext. Rotations (x5/side)
6. Trunk Rotations (Straight Arms, x10/side)
Sitting on the bench waiting to be called in to pitch can do a number on thoracic mobility. This is a great drill to get some of that movement back .
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)
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