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All Gas, No Brakes: Why Posterior Shoulder Strength is Important for Throwing

atlanta baseball decatur dr. caleb physical therapy pitching power shoulder softball strength training throwing Jul 13, 2023

Baseball and softball players listen up: How many times has this happened? You do a lot of throwing and the back of your shoulder is super sore or even painful the next day. The reason for this is most likely weakness or excessive strain on the posterior side of the shoulder, most notably teres minor, posterior deltoid, and lower trapezius. These muscles are absolutely vital in the throwing motion but not for the reason you think: They work eccentrically to slow your arm down after you’ve thrown the ball.


Why is this important? 

  • Injury prevention
    • You can throw as hard as you’d like but if you don’t have the necessary strength to decelerate the arm you’re asking for an injury 
  • Greater potential for increased velocity 
    • If you have a stable shoulder and can effectively decelerate the arm after the ball is released, you can throw as hard as you’d like without fear of hurting yourself 


How to improve it? 

  • Concentric AND eccentric strength training
    • Teres minor: shoulder external rotation in 90 degrees of shoulder abduction and 90 degrees of elbow flexion 
    • Posterior deltoid: shoulder horizontal abduction
    • Lower trapezius: depression and retraction of scapula


Give this posterior shoulder strengthening a try and watch your throwing improve! Also, if you’re someone looking to get into training but don’t know where to start, or you’re dealing with any sort of injury limiting you from doing the things you love, give Athletes' Potential a call at 470-355-2106 or fill out a contact request form at the link below and we will reach out to you. 


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All the best, 

Dr. Caleb 

Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today! 

 Remember, Movement is Medicine! 

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