A shoulder warm up is extremely important for overhead athletes such as baseball players. Throwing mobility bands are a great tool for helping those athletes by providing light resistance to a variety of exercises intended to warm up the muscles of the shoulder and core.
With the amount of stress that repeated throwing puts on your shoulder, the warm up can’t be overlooked.
Yes, simply starting with a few light tosses before serious throwing is better than nothing and is the current warm up for many novice athletes, but if you really want to take things to the next level, you need something more.
You need a tool that was specifically made for baseball players, a tool that is extremely versatile, easy to use, and that you can take with you wherever you go to workout.
In this article, you’ll learn about who uses throwing mobility bands, also called J Bands or Jaeger Bands, in their workouts, why they’re effective, and a few of the exercises you can start using today in your warm up.
Who Uses Throwing Mobility Bands?
As I mentioned previously, throwing mobility bands are great for baseball players, which is why you’ll see professional baseball pitchers using these types of resistance bands in the warm up portion of their workouts.
And not just any professional pitchers, I’m talking about some of the best pitchers of the last few years. From Clayton Kershaw to Barry Zito, elite MLB pitchers use resistance bands in their training.
Also, one of the smartest strength and conditioning coaches in the world, Eric Cressey, who works with a plethora of top professional baseball players, uses these types of bands with his athletes.
I’ve definitely learned a thing or two over the years from Cressey about training for baseball and you’ll learn about some of those things shortly in this article.
Why Throwing Mobility Bands are Effective
Providing low levels of resistance allows your muscles to get warm through increased blood flow to each muscle you’re using. You simply won’t get this same effect without bands or some other form of resistance.
With throwing mobility bands you are able to go through a full range of motion with light resistance to warm up safely and effectively.
Something thing to keep in mind is that resistance bands are only one part of a proper baseball warm up. Other exercises to further activate your core and muscles of your arms should also be used.
3 Keys to a Proper Throwing Warm Up
First, start slow! A proper warm up takes time and should progressively work you through more and more movements. There is no need to rush through the movements just to “get them done.” Also, while doing different warm up exercises, take your time, using controlled movements and keeping your body in good positions without extreme flexion, extension, or external or internal rotation.
Second, work on a variety of movements in different planes to warm up different muscles and avoid injuries.
Third, don’t overdo it. While a full warm up could take 20-30 minutes, think about how much time you have for your entire workout and adjust accordingly. Keep in mind the goal of the warm up - to prepare you for things to come!
Throwing Mobility Band Exercises
As you can see in the throwing mobility band warm up video, Derrik uses a variety of exercises that hit different muscles at different angles, ensuring a proper warm up.
With the side torso extension, he’s working his core muscles, especially his obliques.
The reverse throwing exercise targets his shoulder and core in more of a complete movement, just as the throwing exercise does. Both of these mimic the actual movement he’ll end up doing after his warm up.
To target the rear-delts, or the back of his shoulder, he performs a reverse fly, while using a regular fly to hit the front of the shoulders and his pectoral muscles.
Two of the most important movements for any pitcher to work on, internal and external rotation, are improved through two types of warm up exercises.
You’ll notice that he keeps his shoulder in a locked position throughout these movements to prevent any injury from additional forward or backward movement of the ball in the socket of his shoulder.
Derrik hits all the important muscles through this warm up and he'll be able to perform at his best because of it.
Avoiding injury is the number one priority for many training programs, especially for baseball pitchers. This is one of the reasons why strength coaches are sure to have their athletes perform some type of warm up before any workout.
Furthermore, a proper warm up allows you to perform better in your actual workout so you can get more out of each and every training session.
While it may be tempting to skip the warmup, I hope by now you realize just how important it is.
Remember, use some type of warm up before every single training session performing a variety of movements so you can perform at your best!