“” A Few Scapular Exercises for Pitchers

A Few Scapular Exercises for Pitchers

| Pitching Mechanics
Reading Time: 2 minutes

What are good “scapular” exercises for pitchers that will help to increase scapular upwards rotation as well as just strengthening the upper back and muscles that attach to the scapula in general?

There’s an excellent paper titled “Differences in Scapular Upwards Rotation Between Baseball Pitchers and Position Players” that is well worth reading. For those who want the short version, here’s what the excerpt says:

Conclusion: Baseball pitchers have less scapular upward rotation than do position players, specifically at humeral elevation angles of 60° and 90°.

Clinical Relevance: This decrease in scapular upward rotation may compromise the integrity of the glenohumeral joint and place pitchers at an increased risk of developing shoulder injuries compared with position players. As such, pitchers may benefit from periscapular stretching and strengthening exercises to assist with increasing scapular upward rotation.

The periscapular muscles are:

  • Trapezius
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Rhomboids (minor/major)

Here are some examples of stretches and band-assisted exercises that we have our clients do to strengthen and increase the flexibility/mobility of the “scapula”:

Band Pull-Aparts 

Levator Scapulae and Upper Trapezius Stretch

Face Pulls 

Scapula Push-Ups (the Perfect Pushup is useful for this exercise)

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Comment section

  1. phil -

    My physio told me not to do scapular pushups for slight winged scapular. First is she wrong and secondly what reasons would she have for saying this.

    • Michele -

      Hey Phil, just discovered Driveline recently and this article today. I’m a Physio who might be able to provide a response, if you get this.

  2. oldguy -

    I love the band pull-apart to loosen the shoulders prior to tennis, golf, swimming, and biking. It is especially good for tennis serve.

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