Shoulder Range of Motion and Exercises on How to Improve It

Shoulder Range of Motion and Exercises on How to Improve It

The summer months are finally here, and baseball season is in full swing! For all the baseball players out there and for those who enjoy playing catch outside in the warm summer weather, today’s post will feature how to test your shoulder range of motion to determine if you have tightness in your throwing shoulder as well as offer a few exercises on how to improve it!

In our PTtip Video Dr. Nick Bertsch, PT, DPT, demonstrates with the help of Dr. Alex Tan, DPT, PT, how to test your internal and external range of motion in your shoulder:

Shoulder Range of Motion Test (see video at 27seconds!)

After testing your range of motion, Dr. Bertsch, PT, DPT, suggests the below stretches (see video at 1:20min!) on how to improve your internal and external rotation to help prevent injury and pain while throwing:

Internal Rotation Stretch*

  • Lay on your side with your throwing shoulder underneath.
  • Start in a neutral range of motion position, with your elbow sticking straight out away from your body (with forearm raised upward toward the ceiling)
  • Using your other hand, gently press down on your forearm to bring your arm downward toward the floor or table you are laying on, until you feel a comfortable stretch in your shoulder.
  • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for 3-4 repetitions.

External Rotation Stretch*:

  • Lay on your side with your throwing shoulder underneath.
  • Starting in a neutral range of motion position, with your elbow sticking straight out away from your body (with forearm raised upward toward the ceiling)
  • Using your other hand, gently press down on your forearm to bring your arm the opposite way, upward, until you feel a comfortable stretch in your shoulder.
  • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for 3-4 repetitions.

*Remember to never stretch too far to the point that you feel sharp pain during the stretch.

Once your shoulder is well stretched, Dr. Bertsch, PT, DPT, recommends two simple strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff that simply require the use of a thera-band and towel:

Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises (see video at 2:23minutes!)

With his recommended guidelines:

  • For these exercises, use a thera-band that is at a medium resistance level.
  • Complete 15-20 repetitions.
  • Perform 3 sets of each exercise.

It seems like we were just featuring in-season produce for the springtime months and now it’s already time to highlight in-season summer produce! With the temperatures on the rise, it’s even more important to remember to stay hydrated. A few examples of produce that contain a high water content and, when consumed may count toward your hydration needs, include watermelon and tomatoes! Both watermelon and tomatoes supply a hefty amount of vitamin A and C and can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. Watermelon can, of course, be enjoyed simply on its own, made into a delicious salad, or blended into a smoothie, for example. Some ways to enjoy tomatoes are on top of sandwiches/wraps, mixed into salads, made into salsa, or even homemade tomato sauce!

Make sure you watch the PTtip video to learn how to properly perform the above stretches and exercises, and if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give us a call today at 1-855-PT-FIRST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.

References

Produce for Better Health Foundation. (n.d.). Watermelon: Nutrition. selection. storage. Retrieved from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/watermelon

Produce for Better Health Foundation. (n.d.). Tomato: Nutrition. Selection. Storage. Retrieved from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/tomato