Stretching Guide for Baseball
Physical Therapy in St. Louis West County for Baseball
Welcome to Breakthrough Performance & Wellness’s patient resource about baseball stretching.
Stretching is an essential part of successful baseball. A good stretching routine can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, improve your exercise tolerance and your baseball performance. The following stretching program is designed for baseball players who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs. If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your baseball performance, your Breakthrough Performance & Wellness Physical Therapist can design a stretching program just for you.
When is the Best Time to Stretch?
When your muscles are warm and relaxed! For optimum performance you should stretch after you have done a general body warm up of about 5-10 minutes (light running, or another light aerobic activity such as jumping jacks or skipping.) You should also stretch after your game or practice and between games if you are playing in a baseball tournament. Baseball is a dynamic sport so you’ll need to do both dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretches (quick movements) form part of your pre-game or practice warm-up. They are used to prepare your muscles for the rapid elongation they will incur during the game. Static stretches (long slow holds) on the other hand, are more useful to improve your overall flexibility and are most effectively done at the end of activity as part of your cool down.
Rules for Dynamic Stretching:
- Warm up your body first, then stretch while your muscles are still warm.
- Move through your range of movement, keeping control of the movement with your muscles. Do not allow momentum to control the movement by “flinging” or “throwing” your body parts around.
- You may feel light resistance in your muscles, but you should never feel pain during a stretch.
- Start with slow, low intensity movements, and gradually progress to full-speed movements through range of motion. Complete these motions for several repetitions (10-15 times.)
- Finish with simulated quick baseball moves such as simulated batting, first base sprints, throwing and reaching for a catch. Repeat for several repetitions (8-10 times.)
Rules for Static Stretching:
- Warm up the muscles first.
- Slowly take your muscles to the end of their range. You will feel slight resistance in the muscle, but you should never feel pain during a stretch.
- Hold the stretch in a static position. Do not bounce.
- Maintain each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat each stretch 3-4 times.
Essential Stretches for Baseball:
These muscles are your prime movers for baseball. You’ll need to stretch these muscles each time you train or play. Don’t forget to stretch both sides. The stretch program shown below will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.
Leg Swings forward/backward and side-to-side
Back Rotations (repetitively)
Calf Stretch for Gastrocnemius and Soleus
Back Rotation Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch
Posterior Shoulder Stretch
Anterior Shoulder Stretch