Summary: Pitchers are at a high risk of developing elbow injuries due to the repetitive and forceful throwing motion during games. Fortunately, certain stretches can help prevent pitcher’s elbow and reduce any discomfort. In this article, we will discuss five effective stretches for pitcher’s elbow.
1. Triceps Stretch
The triceps stretch is an excellent way to alleviate the tension in the muscles in the back of your arm, promoting better flexibility and range of motion.
To do the triceps stretch, stand upright and raise your pitching arm straight up towards the sky. Bend your elbow behind your head with the hand of the opposite side supporting the elbow of your pitching arm. Use your other hand to gently apply pressure to your elbow until you feel the stretch in your triceps. Hold it for approximately twenty seconds. Repeat on the opposite arm to balance the stretching effect.
One should take extra caution while doing this particular stretch as there is a chance of overextending. Hence, maintain proper form and avoid any abrupt movements.
2. Wrist Flexor Stretch
Performing the wrist flexor stretch can help relieve muscle tightness in the inner forearm region. This stretch targets the muscles and tendons responsible for flexing the palm and fingers towards the palm.
To perform this stretch, hold your pitching arm out straight in front of you, pointing it towards the ground. Keep the elbow straight and use your other hand to pull the fingers of your pitcher’s side hand upwards and backward gently. You should feel a stretch in your forearm; hold for twenty seconds and release. Repeat two times on each side and several times in a day.
This stretch helps in expanding a pitcher’s range of motion and gets the forearm and wrist ready for the stresses involved in throwing pitches.
3. Reverse Wrist Curl Stretch
The reverse wrist curl stretch can help relieve muscle tightness in the outer forearm area. Strong muscles in this region of your arm help you grip and throw a ball more effectively.
To do the reverse wrist curl stretch, hold one-pound weights in both hands. Keep your arms extended in front of you, pointing down towards the ground. Turn your palms so that they are facing downwards. Slowly raise your wrists until they are bent back as far as possible. Your face should be looking forward. Bring your wrists back to starting position and repeat ten times to create tension in the muscles, strengthen them, and develop your pitching mechanism.
4. Towel Stretch
A towel stretch is highly effective in reducing stiffness and pain in the joint. For pitchers, frequent use may help prevent elbow damage.
To perform this stretch: stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart, and elevate the affected elbow in a vertical position. Take a small towel and gently wrap it around your hand’s backside, holding the towel’s other loose end. Use your other hand to hold on to the towel’s lower part and start pulling downward while straightening your elbow slowly. Hold the position for around 30 seconds and then release the towel. Repeat the towel stretch two or three times a day.
The towels’ grip requires specific attention to give the elbow joint an extensive range of motion, thereby improving the pitch’s overall composition.
5. Elbow Flexion With Rotation Stretch
This stretch involves rotating the affected elbow while performing repetitive flexions. It helps alleviate pain and tightness in the joint’s internal area and enhances the pitching process’ efficiency.
To do the elbow flexion with rotation stretch: sit down and keep your elbow flexed to a 90-degree angle. Rotate your arm so that your thumb faces outwards. With your other hand, slowly press down on the affected forearm until you feel a stretch. Hold it for around twenty seconds and then repeat ten times.
This stretch allows proper joint motion and enhanced mobility, assuring an extended wellness period in pitcher’s elbow.
Pitchers are susceptible to elbow injuries due to the repetitive and forceful throwing involved in the game. Engaging in exercises and specific stretches can help alleviate pain, discomfort, and reduce the possibility of injury. The five mentioned stretches: triceps stretch, wrist flexor stretch, reverse wrist curl stretch, towel stretch, and elbow flexion with rotation stretch, can help keep a pitcher’s elbow healthy, enhancing their pitching potential.
Performing these exercises and stretches should be done regularly and with caution to promote maximum efficiency. It is still essential to consult a medical professional before starting any exercise or stretching routine, especially if there are already signs of an existing elbow injury. If executed correctly, these stretches can help pitchers maintain optimal performance levels throughout every game.