Shoulder Strengthening Program
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baseball_glove.gif (14975 bytes) This shoulder strengthening program is intended for current and prospective VSU baseball pitchers and catchers to use as a maintenance strengthening tool. It should be implemeted year round at least 3 times a week.  Current players should have a hard copy of this program, but may need to refer to this for a refresher.   Prospective or signed players can begin this program prior to arrival at VSU.   Please contact me at lchoward@valdosta.edu if you have any questions.   

Strengthening Program

Written by: Cindy Brantley, Lori Howard, and  Jay Thompson

Hughston exercises #1-6
Rotator Cuff Exercises
Positioning and technique:

Lay prone (on your stomach) on a table or the floor

#1-Raise your arm so it is parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body, thumb pointing forward (towards your head), bring your arm up and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position. Be sure to go to the starting position and not allow the arm to drop below parallel.

#2-Same exercise as #1, but with the thumb pointing up (towards the ceiling).

#3-Bring the arm towards the head to 45 degrees (thumb is at approximately eye level), thumb pointing forward (towards head). Bring your arm up as far as possible. Return to the starting position.

#4-Same exercise as #3, but with the thumb pointing up (towards the ceiling).

#5-Bring your arm to your side, thumb pointing away from your body (palm towards floor). Bring the arm up as far as possible. Return to the starting position.

#6-Bring the arm back to the position of #1, bend the elbow. Externally rotate (like cocking to throw a ball). Return to the starting position. You may need to move over on the table, so a portion of your upper arm is supported.

How many and when to progress:
bulletStart with 10 repetitions and no weight
bulletEach week, increase repetitions by 10
bulletOnce the athlete can perform 60 continuous repetitions with no weight, a one pound weight may be added. The athlete should then decrease repetitions to 10.  When you can perform 60 reps with 1 pound, decrease to 10 reps and add another pound of resistance.   Two to three pounds is the most resistance you should be using. 
bullet***THESE EXERCISES ARE DONE CONTINUOUSLY.  You do not progress to 6 sets of 10 reps.  You progress to 60 reps.  You can rest between each position.

Punches
Positioning and Technique
Can be performed standing using tubing or supine on table while holding a medicine ball or cuff weight. (** Can also be performed prone with arm off edge of table to really emphasize retraction)

Protract and retract the shoulder keeping wrist and elbow extended.

How many and when to progress:
Start with 30 repetitions
When comfortable increase to 3 sets of 30.

Push-ups with a plus
Positioning and Technique
Perform a regular push up, and at the top round the back.

Return to the starting position (until body is parallel with the ground).

How many and when to progress:
bulletStart with 15 repetitions
bulletWhen comfortable, add a second set of 5 to the first set of 15 (one set of 15, one set of 5). Increase according to ability level by adding 5 repetitions to the second set (one set of 15, one set of 10). At two sets of 15, begin a third set of 5, and so on. Once three sets of 15 have been reached, add 10 repetitions to each set (three sets of 25, etc).
bulletMay begin push-ups on knees if necessary, and progress to full push-up position.

PNF D1 and D2 with tubing
Positioning and Technique
Set up-Shut tubing in a door, over your head.

D1-  PNF Exercises have 2 parts.  PART 1: Grasp end of tubing in pitching hand.  Start with pitching arm raised across body and above opposite shoulder (bicep should be angled in front of your mouth).  Slowly and with control bring your arm diagonally down across your body to your side.  Your palm should be facing forward with your thumb away from your body.  PART 2:  Slowly and with control return to the starting position of PART 1.

D2- PART 1:  Start with tubing in the pitching hand,  pitching arm raised in position similar to cocking position. Be sure elbow is level with your ear.  Keep elbow slightly bent and move arm down across your body to your opposite hip. Palm against your body.  PART 2:  Slowly and with control raise your arm back to starting position of PART 1 (should be like pulling a sword out of the sheath.

How many and when to progress:
Begin with one set of 5 After one week, increase to one set of 10 Each week, increase by one set of 10 After three sets of 10, increase to three sets of 12, and then three sets of 15.

When the athlete is comfortable with three sets of 15, add resistance by increasing the tension on the tubing and start the cycle over (one set of 5, after one week increase to one set of 10, each week increase by one set of 10, when three sets of 10 are reached, increase to three sets of 12, until three sets of 15 are reached.)

OTHER TUBING EXERCISES
1.  Flexion/abduction/empty can

Positioning and Technique :

Set up-stand on the tubing (on throwing arm side).

Flexion-Starting with the arm at the side, bring the arm straight out in front of you until arm is parallel with the floor. Hold for a five count.  Slowly return to side.

Abduction-Starting with the arm at the side, bring the arm up until it is parallel with the floor. Hold for a five count.  Slowly return to side.

Empty can-Starting with the arm at the side and the thumb pointing down, bring the arm up at a 45 degree angle, until the arm is parallel with the floor. Hold for a five count.   Slowly return to side.

How many and when to progress:
bulletBegin with three sets of 10
bulletEach week, increase repetitions by 5
bulletOnce three sets of 20 are reached, increase tension on the tubing to add resistance
bulletRepeat cycle (three sets of 10, increase repetitions by 5 each week, add resistance after three sets of 20)

2.  Internal rotation/external rotation

Set up-tie the tubing to a doorknob or shut the tubing in the door. Place a towel between your arm and side.

Internal rotation-Starting with the arm at the side of the body bend the elbow, and bring the hand in towards the body.

External rotation-Starting with the arm at the side of the body, bend the elbow and bring the hand out away from the body.

How many and when to progress:

SAME AS PREVIOUS TUBING EXERCISES

3.  Punches

Set up-Shut tubing in a door at shoulder height.

Grasp tubing in pitching hand.  Starting with the arm beside the body, bring the arm straight out in front of you until the arm is parallel with the floor. Keep elbow straight.  Push shoulder forward.

PRONATION with BAT
Positioning and Technique:

Set up- Athlete is seated with elbow bent to 90 degrees resting on table or like surface. Start palm up grasping bat at mid barrel.  Slowly turn hand palm down.   Make sure you start with palm completely up and finish with palm completely down.  

How many and when to progress:
bulletStart with 3 sets of 15 reps
bulletAs 3 x 15 becomes easy progress to 3 x 20
bulletNext move hand down to mid handle of the bat and decrease reps to 15.  Progress back to 3 x 20.
bulletMove hand down to regular grip position on handle of the bat.  Start at 3 x 15 and progress to 3 x 20.

WRIST FLEXION or WRIST ROLLS are also advised.

PRECAUTIONS

Never compromise technique to get added repetitions

Increase according to the timeline, unless the athlete is unable to perform the previous number of repetitions

Once the maximum weight/tension has been reached, continue exercises at the maximum number of sets and repetitions for maintenance and endurance.

The athlete may use a mirror to help assure correct technique.