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The Importance of Shoulder Stretching For Athletes

  • Nov 14 2014

Post by Dr. Salvatore J. Corso

In sports, the shoulder plays a major role for pitchers, quarterbacks and basketball shooters. During sport play, a lot can go wrong in the shoulder.  Shoulder tightness is the most common symptom that these athletes experience in the back or posterior shoulder.

Also known as glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GRID), this tightness is found in sports such as baseball, swimming and tennis and contributes to rotator cuff strains, tears and shoulder impingement. Because these sports require certain should positions that require mobility and stability of the shoulder, proper stretching is important to maintain a balance between them. With proper stretching exercises, GRID and other shoulder conditions can be prevented.

Here are a few shoulder exercises you can do that will increase strength and mobility in that area:

  • Shoulder Blade Squeezes – Sit or stand tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel a mild to moderate stretch. Hold the position for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times, as long as you’re not feeling any pain.
  • Pendular Exercises – Lean forward with your forearm supported on a table or a bench.  Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed and gently swing your arm forward and backward until you feel a mild to moderate stretch. If you’re not feeling any sort of discomfort, repeat the exercise ten times.
  • The Wall Crawl – Stand against a wall and place your hand on the wall’s surface. Slowly use your fingers so that they are crawling up the wall until you feel a mild to moderate stretch. Repeat this exercise ten times until you feel a mild to moderate stretch.

If you start to feel pain during any of these stretches, stop immediately. An improper stretch could lead to more severe issues such as muscular tears. Your coach can recommend other stretches that better apply to your position during the game. If you’ve recently injured the area, it’s also important to check in with your doctor first.

Working out shoulders before game time can make a big difference and help you play successfully for the rest of the Season. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic doctors so that we can create a treatment plan to assist with your current shoulder pain.


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Posted in: Neck/Back & Shoulder, Sports Medicine