Every baseball player wants to be on the field, competing at the highest level, and enjoying the game that they love. To play at a high level each game requires the player to be ready physically and mentally.
This is why it is important that a player warms up properly and goes through the proper pregame routine to make sure that they are ready to play when it is game time.
Injuries can be prevented oftentimes in warm-ups and there are many instances where we have seen pitchers have arm issues when they have not stretched properly before the game or when going to throw the ball in later innings without getting warmed up before entering the game.
Pitchers are throwing the ball repetitively at a high force, putting a lot of stress and strain on the arm, so the more you throw the more your arm is pushed to perform at a maximum level. That is why it is very difficult for the body and why when you are done throwing you take the proper steps in rest and recovery.
That being said, every pitcher needs to do a proper pregame warmup and stretches in order to maximize performance. This can mean the difference between success and failure on the mound. A good warmup helps reduce the risk of injury and improve your ability to throw with greater velocity, accuracy, and control.
It’s important for pitchers to understand the importance of warming up properly before each game – not only for their physical health but also mentally.
A proper warmup routine should include dynamic stretching exercises such as arm circles, leg swings, high knee jogs, and other light movements that raise your core temperature and activate muscles all over the body. This gets the body ready for taking on the workload it is about to endure during the game.
Here are a handful of tips that you can implement into your pregame to help you compete at the highest level and should help you prevent injury.
The Pitcher Pregame Routine Must-Dos to Help Prevent Injury
Before you begin pitching, do some light running and warm-up stretches.
Take off any items of clothing that won’t be used during the throwing session to prevent getting caught on something when winding up for a pitch.
Start at a distance of 40-45 feet away from your target, but use full natural motion as if you were actually on the mound.
As you become more comfortable with throwing, slowly move the catcher back towards regular pitching distances until you have reached the rubber.
First concentrate on fastballs to get warmed up before attempting breaking or off speed pitches; focus all efforts over the plate and work to hit different spots in order to control movement, break and accuracy along with each pitch thrown.
To start, you can begin throwing 8-10 pitches from the mound at around 70-80%. This allows for the body to get into the rhythm of throwing the ball and getting comfortable with the movements of your legs, hips, core and upper body. It also allows for you to get a feel for the mechanics in your throw, how the mound is playing, and anything different about the playing surface that you’ll want to take into consideration when throwing.
Then you can begin to throw the ball at 100%. The body will be ready for the amount of stress and torque you need to get the ball over the plate.
As you do get to the age of throwing off-speed pitches, start to mix them in between fastballs to get the arm used to the different grips and torque used for those pitches.
Throwing 15-20 warm up pitches before the game is recommended, and usually a pitcher will start to understand the body and when you are loose enough to take the mound.
If, at any time, you feel pain in your throwing arm it is better to stop and not risk further injury. While pitching is a lot of force and stress on the arm, it should not cause you pain. Soreness is different than pain.
When done pitching make sure that the player is getting proper rest and recovery, which will usually include compression and ice. This is critical to keeping the muscles and arm healthy, allowing you to stay on the mound as much as possible this season.
Would You Like Physical Therapy to Help Get Answers About Your Shoulder Pain While on the Mound
Zone Physical Therapy would love to help answer your questions about your shoulder pain or pain associated with baseball. As baseball season is just around the corner, we want your player as healthy as possible and ready to go for opening day. The $54 Pitcher Assessment is a fantastic way to identify the issues you might have in your mechanics, and give you answers to any pain you might be feeling when throwing the ball.
In our clinic, we are able to assess any issues that you or the player might be having that are keeping them from enjoying the game they love, with as little to no pain as possible.
Our team have helped so many patients with shoulder pain, and we would love to help you stay on the field this spring and summer!
To arrange a visit to our office and talk about your shoulder pain- Request An Appointment or call us on (864) 351-7254.
Other Resources For Runners:
Read our blog – 6 Tips for Pitchers to Help Prevent and Treat Shoulder Pain
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