Throwing a baseball with an overhand motion is tough on your arm and shoulder. If you take a baseball and throw it overhand and then underhand, the underhand toss seems to be a more natural motion. Baseball players in general and pitchers in particular are prone to arm and shoulder difficulties. To keep your arm strong, do exercises that help with function and flexibility.
This exercise builds strength and flexibility in your throwing shoulder. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe came up with this exercise for patients after surgery and perfected many of the techniques used on athletes. Hold your arms straight out so your body resembles the letter “T.” Slowly make small circles–back to front–with your arms. Do this for about 30 seconds. Put your arms down and shake them out. Now do reverse circles for 30 seconds. After shaking your arms out again, take a 30-second break and repeat the set.
Exercise Band Movements
Take an exercise band and attach it to a heavy piece of furniture or secure it around a doorknob. Take the other end of the band in your dominant hand and step back from the door until there is no slack in the band. Pull the band down until your arm is by your side. Return to the starting position. Do this 15 times, take a 30-second break, then repeat the set.
While throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion, the best way to build strength in your arm is to throw regularly. Playing long toss in the outfield will build strength in your arm and shoulder. Start out throwing from a distance of about 50 feet and work your way until you are 90 to 100 feet away. Play catch with a teammate for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times per week to strengthen your arm.
About this Author
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who’s Better, Who’s Best in Football — The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.