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2 Shoulder Weaknesses Identified That Increase Injury Risk
August 17, 2010

"Specifically, baseball pitchers need a period of "active rest" after their season ends and before the next preseason begins. During active rest a pitcher is encouraged to participate in physical activities that do not include a great amount of overhand throwing."


A 2010 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine:

Byram IR. Preseason Shoulder Strength Measurements in Professional Baseball Pitchers: Identifying Players at Risk for Injury. Amer Jou Sports Med 2010; 38: 1375-1382

found 2 specific areas to focus on:

"Preseason weakness of external rotation and [supraspinatus muscle] strength is associated with in-season throwing-related injury resulting in surgical intervention in professional baseball pitchers."

How Do I Strengthen My External Rotators?

While the most commonly recommended exercise is either laying down with a 5-lb weight or standing with rubber tubing:

Laying 20ERStanding 20ER

I much prefer weighted jumping rope 3 minutes per day (in 3 1-minute sets) for 8 weeks as it's MUCH more functional and can increase your rotator cuff external rotation strength by as much as 55! (click here for the study or you can click here for the newsletter).

How Do I Strengthen My Supraspinatus Muscle?

The supraspinatus plays a very important role in slowing the arm down after ball release (called "deceleration"). As a result, it's one of the most stressed rotator cuff muscles.

A study published in 2007:

Reinold MR. Electromyographic Analysis of the Supraspinatus and Deltoid Muscles During 3 Common Rehabilitation Exercises. Athl Train. 2007; 42(4): 464-469

Found that:

"...the full-can exercise may be best to maximize the amount of supraspinatus activity with the least amount of deltoid muscle activity."

Here is how to do the full-can exercise, with the thump UP:

Thumbs 20Up 20Raises

Have a Question About this Newsletter?

Call (631-352-7654) or email ([email protected]) Dr. Arnold!