/ by Walker Terhune, MS
As high school baseball and softball teams are starting their pre-season workouts, coaches, players and parents need to be aware of shoulder injuries.
A myriad of shoulder programs are sold as a way to strengthen the shoulder of the throwing athlete. Although these plans may work for some age groups, they might actually hinder high school athletes. Some shoulder or pitcher’s strengthening programs are not well-suited for adolescent athletes. The high school athlete is working to build muscle and does not yet have a fully matured body. Using a shoulder strengthening program suited for college or professional athletes will put an adolescent athlete at risk for injuries.
Adolescent athletes are going through so many physical and biological changes, so it’s important that coaches and athletic trainers focus on well-rounded and proven ways to strengthen the shoulder as well as the supporting musculature. The best strengthening program for the shoulder is called the Thrower’s Ten. The muscles of the shoulder that control the throwing motion are actually quite small and do not require large weights for a workout. Any throwing athlete, including pitchers and quarterbacks, will find this exercise regimen to be beneficial.
The Thrower’s Ten only requires the following items:
- Two-pound weight.
- Table to support your body.
- One light resistance band tube (can be purchased at a sporting goods store for less than $10).
As athletes continue to build overall strength, they can add the Thrower’s Ten workout to their routine three days per week and complete two to three sets of 10 for each exercise. Athletes should do the exercises on both sides. Read a more detailed explanation of how to complete the Thrower’s Ten.
The movements should not be painful and should feel like a normal workout. If athletes feel pain while completing any of the exercises, they should tell their athletic trainer or doctor immediately. During the season, it’s important to continue to maintain strength gains by completing the Thrower’s Ten routine once a week with one to two sets of 10 for each exercise.
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