Interval Throwing Program Helps Prevent Shoulder Injury

by Dr. Nathan Hinkeldey on April 25, 2012

Share

Interval Throwing ProgramThe spring baseball and softball seasons have started throughout the area, and as you or your children begin to play there are some things that you can do to assist in preventing shoulder injuries. One of the most important parts of practice, the warm-up is often under stressed. Often times coaches instruct their players to go warm up. Players are left to use their judgement in order to assess when they are ready to play. As a result, the youth tend to discredit the warm-up and spend time chatting instead of properly warming up. It is important that these athletes be instructed on proper warm up stretching and throwing protocols. This is especially important during the early season and spring league games.

Players should begin throwing at least one to two months prior to the start of practice. This will ensure that arm strength and endurance is appropriate and will decrease the occurrence of the injuries caused by fatigue. Just taking the time to get outside or within a facility is important, it would be much better to follow a tiered plan designed to assist in increasing arm strength and endurance. The following is a suggested program designed to have you ready for the season. Remember that soreness may be normal when beginning any program, but taking an extra day off when this occurs is important. It is also suggested that a pitcher be able to complete this program prior to setting foot on the mound.

The Interval throwing Program is a safe program to follow if you have had a shoulder injury or a long layoff from throwing competitively. Throwers who are returning to throwing after injury or getting ready to start the season should follow the interval-throwing program, exactly, on an every-other-day basis. The criteria to progress from step to step are that the throwing session was pain free and there is no residual soreness the next day. For throwers who are free of injury, but returning to throwing after a lay-off period, follow the interval-throwing program, on an every-other-day basis, without the rest periods. You should use the ‘crow-hop’ method for each throw when performing the interval throwing session. The ‘crow-hop’ method consists of first a hop, then a skip, followed by the throw. This method helps simulate the throwing act, allowing emphasis on total body mechanics involved in the act of throwing. The path of the ball should be an arcing trajectory, not on a flat line trajectory. You should avoid throwing flat-footed to avoid placing excess stress on the throwing shoulder in your training program.

Interval Throwing Program

Phase I: Long Toss Program

45-foot Stage

Step 1:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 15 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
Step 2:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
  • 60-foot Stage
Step 3:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 60 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 60 ft. (25 throws)
 Step 4:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 60 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 60 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 60 ft. (25 throws)

90-foot Stage

Step 5:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 90 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 15 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 90 ft. (25 throws)
Step 6:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 90 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • 90 ft. (25 throws)
  • Warm-up throwing
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 90 ft. (25 throws)

120 –foot stage

Step 7:
  • Warm up throwing
  • 120 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 15 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 120 ft. (25 throws)
Step 8:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 120 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 120 ft (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 120 ft. (25 throws

150-ft. Stage

Step 9:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 15 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft. (25 throws)
 Step 10:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 150 ft. (25 throws)
  • 180 ft. stage
Step 11:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft (25 throws)
  • Rest 15 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
Step 12 :
  •  Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
Step 13:
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Warm-up throwing
  • 180 ft. (25 throws)
Step 14:

Begin throwing off the pitcher’s mound (see Interval Throwing Program, Phase II ) or return to practice at your position.

Off-season Throwing Program

Following an off-season throwing program is recommended instead of total rest during the off-season. Continuing to throw at a sub-maximum level will help you avoid the total de-conditioning of your throwing mechanics, muscle timing, and coordination. Continue to throw at a frequency of two times a week, following the following outline:

  • Warm-up throwing
  • 45 ft. (25 throws)
  • 60 ft. (20 throws)
  • 90 ft. (15 throws)
  • 120 ft. (10 throws)

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this program, feel free to give us a call. Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, your Johnston Chiropractor, is here to assist in any way possible.

1. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Volume 32, Number 6, June 2002, pages 293-298.

Share

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: