In light of practice with the Philadelphia Bandits AAU squad this weekend, I figured this would be a good topic to get into again. Our team is an 18U summer travel team that plays up and down the east coast. Many of our players are very talented, but have much more ability in them. The biggest topic we’ve covered the last 4 weeks has been mobility. (If you play baseball at any level, PAY ATTENTION!) I remember being a freshman in high school and working out at a local gym. I was fortunate enough to work in a group setting with a trainer, but looking back on it, I wasn’t getting to the demands of my sport when I was working with a female middle school soccer player, a Division 1 running back, and a varsity senior basketball player. Many things stick out, but the most glaring thing I missed out on was my mobility work. On top of lifting in constant sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps, we were never taught about getting to our problem areas in our sport. Being that the four of us played different sports, I suppose I can see how it got lost (or completely omitted) in the shuffle, but I digress. For a lot of the baseball players I work with, they tend to be tight in a few areas: Shoulder, T-Spine, and Hips/Groin. If you’re a baseball player and you’re working within a training protocol, add a consistent combination of these stretches to your program. It will make a world of difference come spring time, when combined with the strength gains you’ll make over the next 12 weeks.
1) Sleeper Stretch
Things to remember: Start by laying on your right side, right elbow in front of your right shoulder, right arm at a 90 degree angle. Let your right arm relax and fall to the floor towards your shoes. Take your left hand, place it on your right wrist, and push gently until you feel a good stretch on the back side of your shoulder. Once you get to a comfortable stretch, cross your chin over your right shoulder. Perform 3 sets of :20 on each arm.
2) Thoracic Spine Mobility
Things to Remember: Start by laying on your back, arms extended straight out from your shoulders, both legs flat. Pull your left knee up to a 90 degree angle and cross over your right hip until your left knee is on the floor. Take your right knee and cross it over your left ankle. Bring your left palm to your right palm. Flip left palm to the ceiling, keeping the hand touching the floor. Drag your left hand in a circle above your head, keep your eyes on your hand, and keep the arm extended. Once you get to the starting position, fold your left hand into your chest, slide it across your chest and back to your right hand. Repeat for 2 sets of 5 on each side.
3) Hip Flexor Stretch
Things to Remember: Assuming you’re stretching your right side, set padding under right knee. Make sure your right foot is elevated to hip height. Left foot at 90 degrees in front. Push your hips forward while squeezing your right glute. Hold for a 5-10 second count and relax. Perform 2 sets x 5 rep holds of 5-10 seconds on each side.