Frogs make the CWS!!!! and the shoulder

It’s a big day for Horned Frog baseball.  Yesterday, we beat Texas in Game 3 of Super-Regional to advance to our first ever College World Series.  It was an incredibly hard fought series with outstanding pitching.  As of now we play the first game of the 2010 CWS against Florida State on Saturday, June 19th at 2 p.m. 

TCU basks in glory of first-ever CWS trip

As far as our training goes, nothing will change in preparation for Omaha.  We will still have our position players get their normal 2 lifts in this week on Tuesday, and Thursday.  Pitchers will lift three times according to their rotation, and throwing schedule.  The only change I have in store is we will deload this week.  Our pitchers will continue their lifting schedule during our trip to Omaha as well. 

One thing that I see often in baseball is training is thrown by the wayside once the season begins.  We put an emphasis on keeping our guys strong and fast.  Of course recovery is always our primary goal during season play, especially with our starters, but we don’t miss or shuffle our training around.  Too often a team might have games on Tuesday, and Wednesday during the week and decide they don’t want to lift all week so their guys aren’t sore.  Then they might travel Thursday for a weekend series and end up going 10 days without a lift.  So the next stimulus they receive makes them sore as hell.  Then, the coach says we gotta cut whats making them sore in the weight room.   It’s a never-ending cycle of de-training. 

I had a question posed to me the other day at strengthperformance.com from a fellow strength coach.  He wanted to know a little bit about the shoulder and whether I utilized overhead work for my baseball guys.  Here was my quick response. 

I don’t do any overhead work with our baseball / throwing athletes.
The way the shoulder is designed to function doesn’t lend itself well too much overhead. Now, many athletes will never have any problems with overhead work and would probably be able to overhead press forever without issues. But at the same time overhead pressing could set in motion a whole host of problems in the future. I could write a book on this topic so bear with me a lil and I’ll try to keep it short.

Baseball athletes throw year round these days. Adding in overhead work where there is an approximation force (pushing the humerus down into the glenoid) can cause bone spurs over time. The bone spurs can form on the acromion process essentially turning into a type 3 (beaked) acromion. Having a type 3 acromion is bad news for a throwing / overhead athlete. I am always trying to increase the sub-acromial space, so performing overhead work is somewhat counterproductive in my opinion. We don’t ever want that gap to be closed or small.

The only overhead work we perform sometimes is light overhead shrugs with a mini band generally. I do these in small blocks with long periods between re-introducing them again. 

I understand what you’re trying to achieve with your exercises in the realm of stability patterns. However, I would recommend performing dynamic stability work without loading them overhead in the form of an approximation force. To give you an example of dynamic stability, the body blade is a form of it, although it really only utilizes one plane at a time.

For shoulder health train the scapula to depress and retract. Also train for upward rotation without using overhead movements. We also do no “deltoid” work so to speak. All of our shoulder work comes from training the scap, rotator cuff, push-ups, pressing, pulling exercises, etc.

The Other Shrug
Protraction and the Bench Press

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