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Pitchers and Throwers Exercise Program

This exercise program is designed to work out the major muscles necessary for pitching and throwing. Each movement is designed to improve strength, power, and endurance of the shoulder and arm muscles. The program’s goal is to provide an organized and concise exercise regimen specifically for pitchers and throwers. 

Joe Micca, DPT, a sports physical therapist with UPMC Sports Medicine specializing in baseball injuries and rehab, demonstrates 18 easy exercises based on the “Thrower’s Ten” workout model.

External Rotation at 0° Abduction

Stand with involved elbow at 90°, fixed at side, and involved arm across front of body. Grip stretch band handle while the other end is fixed to a fence or other stationary object. Pull out arm, keeping elbow at side. Return stretch band slowly and controlled.

Joe Micca demonstrates extrenal rotation at 0 degrees abduction Joe Micca demonstrates extrenal rotation at 0 degrees abduction

Internal Rotation at 0° Abduction

Stand with elbow at your side; fixed at 90° and shoulder rotated out. Grip stretch band handle while other end is fixed to a fence or other stationary object. Pull arm across body keeping elbow at side. Return stretch band slowly and controlled.

Joe Micca demonstrates internal rotation at 0 degrees abduction Joe Micca demonstrates internal rotation at 0 degrees abduction

External Rotation at 90° Abduction

Stand with shoulder away from the body (abducted). Grip stretch band handle while the other end is fixed straight ahead, slightly lower than the shoulder. Keeping shoulder abducted, rotate shoulder backward while keeping elbow at 90°. Return stretch band to starting position.

Joe Micca demonstrates exernal rotation at 90 degrees abduction Joe Micca demonstrates exernal rotation at 90 degrees abduction

Internal Rotation at 90° Abduction

Stand with shoulder abducted to 90°, externally rotated 90° and elbow bent to 90°. Keeping shoulder abducted, rotate shoulder forward, keeping elbow bent at 90°. Return stretch band start position.

Joe Micca demonstrates internal rotation at 90 degrees abduction Joe Micca demonstrates internal rotation at 90 degrees abduction

Scaption “Full Can”

With a dumbbell or hand weight, stand with elbow straight and thumbs up. Raise arm to shoulder level at 30° angle in front of body. Do not go above shoulder height. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates scaption full can Joe Micca demonstrates scaption full can

Shoulder Abduction to 90°

Stand with arm at side, elbow straight, and palm against side. Raise arm to the side, palm down, until arm reaches 90° (shoulder level). Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.  

Joe Micca demonstrates shoulder abduction to 90 degrees Joe Micca demonstrates shoulder abduction to 90 degrees

Sidelying External Rotation

Lie on uninvolved side, with involved arm at side of body and elbow bent to 90°. Keeping the elbow of involved arm fixed to side, raise your arm. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates side lying external rotation Joe Micca demonstrates side lying external rotation

Prone Horizontal Abduction (Neutral)

Lie on table, face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor and palm facing down. Raise arm out to the side, parallel to the floor. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates prone horizontal abduction - neutral Joe Micca demonstrates prone horizontal abduction - neutral

Prone Horizontal Abduction (Full 100°)

Lie on table face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor and thumb rotated upwards. Raise arm out to the side with arm slightly in front of shoulder, but parallel to the floor. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates prone horizontal abduction - full 100 degrees Joe Micca demonstrates prone horizontal abduction - full 100 degrees

Prone Rowing

Lie on your stomach with your involved arm hanging over the side of the table, dumbbell in hand and elbow straight. Slowly raise arm, bending elbow, and bring dumbbell as high as possible. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower.

Joe Micca demonstrates prone rowing Joe Micca demonstrates prone rowing

Prone Rowing into External Rotation

Lie on your stomach with your involved arm hanging over the side of the table, dumbbell in hand and elbow straight. Slowly raise arm, bending elbow, up to the level of the table. Pause one second. Then rotate shoulder upward until dumbbell is even with the table, keeping elbow at 90°. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then slowly lower taking 2 to 3 seconds.

Joe Micca demonstrates into external rotation Joe Micca demonstrates into external rotation

Rows into External Rotation at 90° Abduction

Seated on stability ball, with both arms straight ahead, grasp stretch band. Keeping arms at shoulder height bend elbows and pull tubing towards the body until elbows are at shoulder level and directly out to both sides (90° Abduction). Hold for a second then rotate shoulder upward until arm is at 90°. Hold at the top for 2 seconds then return slowly to starting position.

Joe Micca demonstrates rows into external rotation at 90 degrees abduction Joe Micca demonstrates rows into external rotation at 90 degrees abduction

Lower Trap

Seated on stability ball, with both arms fixed at side and elbows bent to 90°, thumbs facing upwards. Grasp stretch band with both hands and rotate both shoulders outward, rotating thumbs until parallel with floor. Hold for 2 seconds then return to starting position.

Joe Micca demonstrates lower trap Joe Micca demonstrates lower trap

Wrist Extension

Supporting the forearm and with palm facing downward, raise the weight as far as possible. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates wrist extension Joe Micca demonstrates wrist extension

Wrist Flexion

Supporting the forearm and with palm facing upward, lower the weight in hand as far as possible and then curl it up as high as possible. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly.

Joe Micca demonstrates wrist flexion Joe Micca demonstrates wrist flexion

Supination/Pronation

Forearm should be supported on table with wrist in neutral position. Using a weight or hammer, roll your wrist taking palm up. Hold for a 2 count and return to starting position.

Joe Micca demonstrates supination and pronation Joe Micca demonstrates supination and pronation

Sleeper Stretch

Lie on the involved or injured side, with involved arm directly out in front (forward flexed to 90°), elbow bent to 90°. With opposite arm apply force to the top of involved arm’s wrist forcing the arm to internally rotate towards the table. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Joe Micca demonstrates sleeper stretch Joe Micca demonstrates sleeper stretch

Horizontal Adduction Stretch into Internal Adduction

With involved arm across chest and elbow bent to 90°, grasp the involved arm’s elbow and pull involved arm across chest until stretch is felt. With uninvolved arm, apply a force towards the other arm’s wrist forcing it into internal rotation. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Joe Micca demonstrates horizontal adduction into internal adduction Joe Micca demonstrates horizontal adduction into internal adduction

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066


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