How can you prevent shoulder injuries in overhead athletes?

Spring is here and so are numerous overhead sports such as baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, etc. The most common overhead sport injuries occur to the rotator cuff due to improper warm up, over use, or imbalances in the rotator cuff muscles.

One of the easiest ways to strengthen and warm up the rotator cuff before athletic performance is with elastic resistance training. Elastic resistance training during warm ups helps activate all muscles in the rotator cuff. Activation before performance is essential in injury prevention. Activation of the rotator cuff prepares the shoulder for more intense activity. Elastic resistance bands allow you to activate the rotator cuff at a low-intensity, essentially allowing the muscles to warm up to activities they assist in. If you throw too hard, too fast without activation, you are more prone to injuries such as tears.

Looking at an article published in 2005 on resistance tubing exercises, Myers et al highlighted 7 exercises that should be a baseline for all coaches and athletes when assessing which resistance tubing exercises should be included in warm ups before overhead throwing. “Performance of 7 exercises (external rotation at 90° of abduction, throwing deceleration, humeral flexion, humeral extension, low scapular rows, throwing acceleration, and scapular punch) resulted in the highest level of muscle activation of all muscles tested.”

Activation of all muscles in warm ups before higher intensity performance needs to be remembered and practiced to help in the prevention of injuries. The younger an athlete is, the more important it is to help them develop strong understanding and a good routine for warming up before an event. To read the full study and results from Myers et al click below.

Stay tuned for a video of the 7 shoulder exercises next week.

Best In Health!

Your OrthoWell family

P.S. Any pain? Come on in for some some TLC. Our manual therapy only session is just $50. We can Graston, Cup, and Stretch out the tight and get you feelin’ right! ha

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