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Stretches For The Throwing Athlete

tennis-elbow-matthew-boesMaintaining flexibility and range of motion are crucial for avoiding shoulder problems in overhead athletes. Whether you’re used to throwing a football or baseball, or if you regularly play sports like tennis or volleyball, stretching the muscles and ligaments in your shoulder helps to maintain healthy mechanics in the shoulder joint and can prevent injury from overuse. Try the following stretches if you’re looking to avoid lost innings or weekend pick up games.

  • Stand straight and place the back of your hand in the middle of your back. Your elbow should be pointing straight out at your side. Reaching around with your opposite hand, gently pull your elbow towards the front of your body. This will stretch the muscles of your shoulder.
  • Place the side of your hand in the middle of your back and push it upwards till it is between your shoulder blades. Try to get it as high as you can up your back without it causing pain.
  • Lift your arm so that it is forming a 90 degree angle at your side, bent at the elbow, palm facing forward. Hold the handle of a broomstick with your lifted hand, behind your elbow. Wrap your other arm over the front of your body and grab the bottom of the broomstick with the opposite hand. Pull the broom forward. You should feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your shoulder.
  • Stand next a wall and completely extend one arm behind you, parallel with the floor, palm flat on the wall. Gently twist your body away from the hand on the wall and feel a stretch in your chest and shoulder.

Remember, throwing and other overhead sports place repetitive and excessive stress on your shoulder. The stretches listed above are meant to be done as a preventative measure to help avoid problems and allow you to continue to enjoy these kinds of sports activities pain-free over time. Call orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Matthew T. Boes today for more information and learn how we can help you.

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