How to strengthen the shoulder while maintaining flexibility
There are two primary categories of athletes that use this system. The first are baseball players looking to refine or alter mechanics purely for performance purposes. The second are baseball players coming off an injury or still in the rehab process and need guidance regarding their throwing mechanics. In this article, we will focus on the latter.
Rehabilitating an injury, especially to a joint as dynamic as the shoulder joint, can be very frustrating. Typically, resting an injury will eventually result in decreased strength around the affected area, and often times decreased mobility. Therefore, it seems logical to gradually strengthen the area through resistance training, but this can be frustrating if that also results in decreased flexibility. Therefore, ideal rehabilitation exercises are ones that can strengthen the affected muscle groups without decreasing flexibility, but of course, this is easier said than done.
One form of training that has become quite popular for regaining strength an flexibility after experiencing an upper body injury is boxing. This may seem very surprising to some, but with the correct resources boxing can be a great training program for baseball players. Boxing, like baseball, involves tons of shoulder work, and upper body work in general. Where the difference lies is that boxing tends to focus on exercises that don’t use additional weights, but rather your own body weight, so you don’t have to worry about bulking up and further decreasing your range of motion. Furthermore, boxers also value shoulder flexibility and flexibility in general, so this will also be addressed in a boxing training regime.
As a baseball player who already spends a lot on equipment, and unfortunately, physiotherapy, the most underrated aspect of boxing that I found was the affordability. The last thing I wanted to do was continue dropping large sums of money on recreation (I do still have to eat after all). However, boxing gym memberships tend to be very cheap especially if you will not be competing, and the only equipment you really need are boxing gloves. If you want to eliminate membership fees, you can also buy cheap equipment for your own home, like speed bag swivels to hang your own bags or other similar equipment.
The only thing you need to watch out for as a baseball player participating in boxing is the explosiveness that is valued in boxing. By explosiveness, we primarily mean hand speed. If you’re rehabilitating an injury, certain types of impacts on a punching bag, or certain types of punches, may aggravate the injury. Therefore, we highly suggest that prior to commencing a boxing training program, you discuss the details with both your baseball coach or trainer and the boxing trainer at the same time. This will help ensure a speedy recovery to the diamond without further risking your health.
In summary, boxing is a surprisingly great way to help come back from a baseball injury, particularly if it is an upper body injury. After all, we’ve seen the results first-hand with our XVI Baseball Analysis system!