I work with a lot of baseball players in my clinic. In many cases, I see similar issues and recurring problems in them, especially pitchers. Some of these issues include:
- Scapular dyskinesia
- Limited thoracic spine mobility (extension and/or rotation)
- Soft tissue tightness (lats, post shoulder, pec major/minor)
- Poor muscular strength/endurance in the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers
- Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD)
I integrate routine mobility exercises for my throwers, as well as other overhead athletes (tennis, swimming, volleyball, etc) to better prepare them for training and their sport, as well as prevent poor mechanics and compensatory motion that may lead to aberrant stress on the rotator cuff and labrum.
The following video reveals five of my preferred exercises using a foam roller to improve thoracic spine mobility, decrease latissimus tightness, and stretch the pec major/minor while facilitating lower trapezius activation.
In order you will see:
- Lat rolling
- T-spine extension in supine
- T-spine extension coupled with lat stretch
- T-spine rotation
- Retraction and downward rotation
I advise performing 5-10 repetitions of each prior to training and sport. These will help improve performance, optimize overhead mechanics and reduce injury risk associated with overhead sports.