It is often said that if you want something to last, you must take care of it. For example, regularly changing the oil in your car, you do not want to continue running dirty oil through your engine or it won’t last, the same can be said for your tires, rotate them or they wear out! The body is no different. Athletes, mainly pitchers and quarterbacks, need to take care of their arms, so their arms will take care of them. So why do athletes assume it’s best to not take care of their bodies? Good question, for whatever reason, high school athletes have a bevy of reasons as to why they are not consistent in keeping up with the routine maintenance of their body. Time, lack of knowledge and resources to complete the maintenance, or a lack of accountability are a few of the reasons why athletes do not keep up with their body maintenance.
A lot of time and resources has been spent researching and alerting of the dangers of overthrowing for a baseball player. However, it seems that many people neglect the arm of a quarterback. All the hype is on the overuse of arms in baseball players that lead to Tommy John surgery, but there isn’t a lot of talk about overuse of the quarterback arm, which endures large amounts of stress throughout grueling summer camp practices.
In order to limit the excuses or reasons for poor shoulder health of athletes at our high school, we prepare all of our throwers with a routine known as “Thrower’s Ten Exercise Program”. Our baseball program has incorporated this routine into most of their pitchers’ routines, while our football quarterbacks began working through the program during spring practice when shoulder fatigue and tightness became a problem.
The “Thrower’s Ten Exercise Program” is designed to strengthen and stabilize many of the muscles surrounding the shoulder complex, while also serving as a stretching aide to all throwers. The Thrower’s Ten program can be adapted to fit the needs of each athlete in terms of resistance and weight being utilized. We utilize Jaeger Bands, two and a half pound and five pound dumbbells, and Therabands. While the Thrower’s Ten isn’t a new phenomenon in the arm care research, it is an effective time management piece to improving athlete arm care and it is cost effective.
The Thrower’s Ten and other shoulder strengthening plans should be used to help prevent injury and at the direction of someone familiar with arm care. If you or your athlete already have shoulder pain or an injury, it’s best to consult an orthopedic or sports specialized doctor.
What we have noticed at our school is that our throwing athletes have begun to feel better in their shoulders, enhanced their range of motion, increased their arm endurance, and improved their arm strength. Once a routine is established, the athlete needs minimal supervision to ensure the completion of the exercises.