Movement: Walking 3-Way Shoulder Raises
Range of Motion: Straight Arm Front Raise, Side/Lateral Raise, Back/Rear Raises
Equipment: 1-5 Lb. Dumbbell or Hand Weights. I prefer improvising with sand filled in tennis ball holders… do more with less 🙂
Rep/Time Methodic: 5-60 Minutes, Continuous Walking
Coaching Cues: Keep arms straight on Front/Side Raises; Palms up, raise elbows up and back for Back Raises; Don’t compensate with body weight to raise weights; Don’t shrug to lift weight (using traps);
Warnings: Never go to joint pain!
Benefits: Shoulder and grip strength endurance; Great for overhead athletes, throwers, baseball pitchers
How I Use This in Programs: 3x/week for 10 minutes during Movement Prep of Beginner Foundation B
Anecdotes: Via Dr. Tommy John, I heard the story of his father (lefty pitching great Tommy John, the namesake of a UCL surgery at epidemic levels for baseball pitchers) rehabbing from his famous throwing arm injury. His program was simple – there was no protocol for the surgery at the time, so he simply listened to his body. His plan? Never throw past 60 feet, 6 inches (distance from pitcher’s mound to plate), and walk the warning track in the outfield every day during batting practice while doing Walking 3-Way Shoulder Raises for 45-60 minutes with 5 lb. hand weights.
“But wasn’t it an elbow injury?” Sure was, but injuries can and often end somewhere that they didn’t begin (i.e. shoulder dysfunction –> elbow injury). The body is a system, and it has to be treated as such. All injuries stem from the body’s inability to absorb force, and an insane amount of strength-endurance (especially in the rotator cuff) is necessary to withstand the forces of throwing 100+ pitches at max effort every 4-5 days… Even more so to recover from such a traumatic injury.
Keep it simple, folks.