A comprehensive arm care program for pitchers should be a part of every athlete’s routine. Although most pitchers think of the warm-up when it comes to arm care, a post pitching arm care and recovery protocol is just as important. We often get asked about arm care after a throwing session. Basically, it should involve 6 exercises that can easily done in less than 25 minutes and its primary purpose is to help restore lost mobility during an outing. Here’s a quick summary:
- Rebounders (x10)
- Half Kneeling Shoulder CARS (x10)
- Band Pull Aparts (x10 /ea way)
- Band No Money (x10)
- Hip Flow Circuit (2-3 ea way)
- Side Lying Cross Body Stretch (x :5 -10 sec holds)
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1. Rebounders (x10)
The Rebounder is a part of our post pitching arm care routine. It is designed to help develop the elbow/shoulder’s ability to absorb force efficiently and protect the elbow from rapid extension forces during decel. This is particularly important during elbow extension when large amounts of force need to be decelerated quickly.
2. Half Kneeling Shoulder CARS (x10)
Many times the best recovery for our joints is accomplished by moving them. This exercise, post pitching, allows cartilage to maintain it’s composure while increasing blood flow to the shoulders , bringing in a plethora of nutrients. These movements should be taken to the full end range of motion throughout.
3. Band Pull Aparts (x10 /ea way)
The purpose of band pull aparts during post-pitching arm care is to help restore movement back into the scapula after throwing.
Band Pull Aparts
4. Band No Money (x10)
External rotation is something that all pitchers need in order to throw gas. Keep the elbows pinned against your sides to make sure you’re not using your delt instead of your scap. Also, avoid bringing the arms too far back to keep the lower lumbar out of extension.
Band No Money
5. Hip Flow Circuit (2-3 ea way)
It might seem odd that a hip exercise is part of a post-pitching arm care routine. However, taking care of your arm is much more than taking care of your shoulders, elbows, etc.
Due to repetitive deceleration during the lead leg block as well as through the finish, the lead hip can take quite a beating after even one outing on the mound. Maintaining adequate mobility in your hips is a significant part of your success and this requires great hip IR. Performing the Hip Flow Circuit post pitching can help restore lost mobility due to this constant pounding while coming down the mound.
Hip Flow Circuit
6. Side Lying Cross Body Stretch (x :5 -10 sec holds)
There is approximately a 10-degree loss of internal rotation post pitching 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. Keep shoulder blades down and locked.
Side Lying Cross Body Stretch
There you have it, an easy post pitching arm care routine that can help you with recovery and get your ready for your next outing (for a pre-throwing routine click here).
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)
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