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5 Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

5 Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

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Do you want to reduce your risk of injury while playing baseball? You might think you need to focus on strengthening your rotator cuff. But unless you are exercising your whole body, there is still a risk.

Prevent injury, increase your throwing velocity, and improve your batting performance by following these suggested exercises. And because seeing exercises in action makes them easier to understand, follow along with these videos featuring André Labbé, PT, MOMT!

André has consulted with Olympic athletes and a number of NFL and golf professional athletes. He served as the team physical therapist for the New Orleans Saints. Plus, André is an international instructor for the TheraBand Academy and the owner of A&K Physical Therapy.

“The key to all of this is the throwing athlete must be trained from the ground up with an emphasis on balance, hip activation, core activation, and equal and opposite arm training. We feel that typical arm care programs spend too much time on shoulder and elbow strength and miss the origin of poor mechanics and power, which usually begins far away from the area of pain and injury.” - André Labbé, PT, MOMT

Andre Labbe

1. Hip Activation: Monster Walks and Wind-Up Practice

Hip and core strength are the key to both a healthy arm and increasing your velocity when throwing. These two hip activation exercises are a great way to improve your throwing speed.

Hip Activation Monster Walks and Wind up Practice

What you need: TheraBand Resistance Band Tubing with Cuffs

  1. Attach one cuff around each ankle
  2. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  3. Step out with your left foot, then step with your right foot, keeping your feet at least shoulder-width apart the whole time
  4. Complete five steps then reverse direction and monster walk starting with your right foot
Hip Activation Monster Walks and Wind Up Practice

What you need: TheraBand Resistance Band Tubing with Cuffs

  1. Attach one cuff around each ankle
  2. Bring your leg up as if beginning a windup and then step out with that same leg, separating your hand with your arms extended at the same time, repeat a few times
  3. Follow step two but lean first and then step, repeating a few times
  4. Follow step three but lean forward when bringing your leg up at the beginning, repeat a few times
  5. Complete a windup motion, exactly like if you were pitching, start slow and increase your intensity as your repetitions increase
  6. Follow the exact same steps #2-5, but as if pitching with your non-dominant hand

2. Weighted Ball Drops

Work your throwing arm and your front hip using a stability trainer and soft weight. This exercise helps improve your balance, an important part of your throw.

Weighted Ball Drops

What you need: TheraBand Stability Trainer and TheraBand Soft Weight

  1. Hold the ball in your right hand (palm down) with that arm extended at shoulder height and your left hand resting on your left shoulder
  2. Stand with your right leg extended backward and your left foot on the stability trainer with that knee bent, in a full stride position
  3. Perform a weighted ball drop, letting go of the ball and immediately catching it
  4. For an added challenge, close your eyes or keep your eyes open and turn your head to the left and right
  5. Do the same exercise with your left arm
  6. If you are left handed, follow the same exercise, but start with your left hand and then your right

3. Medicine Ball Slams

Increase the stability in your hips using this exercise. This prepares you for the forces that will be on your hips when you’re throwing.

Medicine Ball Slams

What you need: Medicine Ball and TheraBand Stability Trainer

  1. Stand on the stability trainer in the same stance as exercise three (one foot on the stability trainer with the same knee bent, the other leg extended behind you)
  2. Hold the medicine ball with both hands
  3. Throw the ball onto the ground and catch it when it bounces back up
  4. You should alternate throwing on the lateral and medial side (to the right and left of the forward leg)
  5. Switch your leg positioning and repeat

4. FlexBar Oscillation

This simple tool is an easy way to exercise your shoulder, arm, hand, and hip. You can also use this exercise between innings to warm-up your rotator cuff and arm without doing more throws.

Flexbar Oscillation

What you need: TheraBand FlexBar and TheraBand Stability Trainer

  1. Hold the FlexBar in one hand (perpendicular to the floor) with your arm extended at your side, then bend your elbow at a ninety degree angle
  2. Shake the bar side to side, the top of the bar should be moving more than the bottom
  3. Repeat with the opposite arm
  4. Next, stand on the stability trainer in the same position as in exercise two
  5. Hold your left hand against your left shoulder and your right arm extended at shoulder height, with your right hand holding the FlexBar parallel to the floor
  6. Oscillate (shake) the bar up and down

5. Hitting Torque Progression

Hitting and pitching both use explosive power and torque. While the other exercises focused more on throwing, this progression improves your batting. It accelerates your hitting and helps you stay in the proper batting position.

Hitting Torque Progression

What you need: TheraBand CLX Resistance Band with Loops and TheraBand Resistance Band Tubing with Cuffs

  1. Start in a batting stance with one tubing cuff around each ankle
  2. Step forward with your right leg, bringing your arms back as if batting
  3. Then take a small step with your left leg and bring your hands back to your midline
  4. Repeat then switch to your opposite leg
  5. Place the end loop of the CLX band around arch of your right foot
  6. Count up to the fourth or fifth loop and put it around both wrists
  7. Repeat steps 1-4 (you should still be wearing the tubing cuffs)
  8. Remove the CLX and pick up a bat
  9. Take some swings using a ball on a tee
  10. Amp it up by putting the CLX back on, like before and then hitting the ball off the tee

Baseball players are at risk for both trauma injuries and overuse injuries. Some of these injuries can be remedied with rest, cold packs, and Biofreeze. Other injuries can be more severe, and require serious interventions, such as Tommy John surgery.

Thankfully, many baseball injuries can be prevented. Improve your physical abilities and reduce your risk of injury by following these five easy exercises. Then improve your performance on the field with the top 7 exercises for baseball players!

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.