As a baseball player, you should stretch your arms daily to maintain or increase the range of motion in your shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. This helps you perform better and may decrease your risk for injury. Since throwing requires continual arm motion, perform dynamic stretches along with static stretches before every practice and game, and even on off days, to gain the maximum benefits.
Video of the Day
Arm circles dynamically stretch the muscles attached to your shoulder joints. Make them a staple in your daily stretching routine because they closely mimic the baseball throwing motion. To perform arm circles, stand upright with your arms extended sideways, away from your shoulders, and circle them forward for 30 seconds and backward for 30 seconds. Start with small circles and gradually increase the range of motion.
The pectoralis major, the most prominent muscle of your chest, lengthens as you swing the ball away from the target during the throwing motion. To stretch this muscle, raise your arms sideways away from your body to shoulder height and turn your palms to face forward. Have a partner stand behind you, hold your wrists, and pull both arms back at the same time. Tell him to stop and hold for 10 seconds when you feel a gentle stretch in your chest. To avoid injury, do not push the stretch too far.
The forearm muscles play an important role in throwing a baseball. As you release the ball, they contract to powerfully flex your wrist and pronate your forearm, turning your thumb downward. Stretch your forearms by holding dumbbells slightly away from your hips with your palms facing inward. Repeatedly twirl the weights in both directions for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, hold weighted buckets by their handles instead of dumbbells.
This exercise alternately stretches the back of your shoulder, which helps decelerate your throwing arm after you release the ball, and your chest. Stand upright with your arms extended away from your shoulders. Keeping them at shoulder-height, continuously move your arms inward, cross them in front of your chest as far as possible, and open them back up for 10 to 20 seconds.
Side bends stretch the back of your shoulder and the latissimus dorsi, which spans your upper back, crosses your shoulder joint, and attaches on the front part of your shoulder. If you throw correctly, the latissimus dorsi plays an important role in the acceleration phase of the throwing motion because it helps extend and inwardly rotate your upper arm. To perform the exercise, simply raise your hands above your head and repeatedly lean from side-to-side until your arms form a 45-degree angle to the ground.
The triceps of your throwing arm plays an important role just before you release the ball during the throwing motion because it is the primary elbow extensor. To stretch your triceps, bend you arm as much as possible, place your hand on the back of your neck, and reach down your back until you feel a light stretch. Pull your elbow with your opposite hand to deepen the stretch if desired, but do not overstretch; only gentle tension is necessary.