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Injury Prevention for Baseball

by Zamst

It’s that time of year again, and it’s my favorite time of year at that! It’s baseball season and for the next few months the boys of summer will be playing approximately 162 games this year.

With the high number of games, repetition of movements, and the little rest players receive, it is important for all overhead athletes to follow a strict ‘pre-hab’ shoulder strengthening program. As an Athletic Trainer for several baseball teams, I’ve implemented a number of shoulder ‘pre-hab’ protocols that was required for all of my pitchers and highly recommended to my position players.

When I say ‘pre-hab’, I am talking about injury prevention. I would have my athletes conduct rehab type exercises even though that player might not necessarily have an injury. I do however, use a lot of the same exercises for my injured players rehabs as well. These exercises primarily focus on the scapular muscles of the shoulder to help stabilize and strengthen those muscles so that their shoulder can work optimally throughout it’s range of motion. In addition to this protocol, I would work closely with the pitching coach to insure all of the pitchers were using proper mechanics for a reduced injury rate as well as communicate properly with the team orthopedic physician throughout the season.

The following is just a snapshot of the protocol that I would use:

  1. Theraband External Rotation w/ TherabandScreenshot 2016-07-29 08.29.43

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6XcNrDb200
    • (External rotation is needed much more than
      internal rotation)Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15


  1. Theraband Arm Extension w/Theraband
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzycM6gpd-o
  • Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15
  1. Sidelying External Rotation w/ light weight
  • lie on the uninvolved side and keep the elbow of the involved arm fixed on the side in an L shape and raise the arm (externally rotate).
  • slowly lower to starting position
  • Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15
  1. Prone Extension w/ light weight (Palm facing up/thumb out)
  • Lay face down on a table or bench, allow involved arm to hang over the table and be perpendicular to the floor
  • Holding the weight with thumb facing out (hand supinated), list the arm backward until it is level with the hip. Keep your elbow straight and close to the body.
  • Slowly lower arm back down to perpendicular & repeat
  • Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15
  1. Y’s, T’s and W’s with light or no weight
  • Sets x Reps: 3 x 10 or 2 x 15 on table or physioball
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awZ-xUTyL0k
  1. Serratus Punch
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbP0tfa-S6k
  1. Sleeper Stretch & Cross Arm Stretch
    • 3 rounds of 30 seconds each













Jessica M. Thomas MS, ATC, CHC





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