Monthly Archives: February 2018

Still Using the Sleeper Stretch?

Sleeper stretch?

To do the sleeper stretch or not?? This has become one of the most controversial exercises when dealing with baseball players. Is it safe? When should I do it? Do I do it everyday? These among many other questions have become the topic of conversation especially with baseball season upon us.
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Am I am not an advocate for my athletes to perform this stretch.. in most, if not all cases, this is something I DONT have them doing. What is this stretch trying to achieve.. regaining internal rotation (IR) of the glenohumeral joint. But is it safe to do and are there other ways to achieve this without putting the athlete at risk? Absolutely!
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Why don’t I like the sleeper stretch for many of my athletes is that your stressing the shoulder more than it already is going through. Most baseball players are long tossing and throwing pens or just playing catch as it is, this is stressing the anterior part of the shoulder every time. As you’re performing the sleeper stretch you are jamming the humoral head of he arm straight forward into the joint. In other words you are loosening and already loose anterior shoulder capsule. Wouldn’t you want to protect the anterior part if your already stressing it throwing a baseball.
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What do I do instead of the sleeper stretch to avoid this problem? To regain IR of the shoulder we like to do manual therapy of the internal rotators of the shoulder and activate or strengthen the posterior part of the shoulder to avoid this anterior humoral drive if the GH joint. Also performing wall slides, prone trap raises, diffident variations of rows and strengthening of the anterior core to help keep the scap in the proper position on the rib cage to be able to upward rotate.
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Is there a time and a place for the sleeper stretch… absolutely! Most of the time we will do this when an athlete is coming back from surgery and the shoulder capsule is locked up and there’s a need to help get the joint to open up. But this is about the only time I would recommend the sleeper stretch.

Is your Performance Lacking?

Shoulder pain can be caused by many reasons in throwers. Let’s be honest, throwing a baseball is not the most healthy motion for your body. Three problems we see often that we coaches need to address when working with this population are…
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-biceps tendinitis -scapular dyskinesis
-internal impingement .
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-Bicep tendinitis is inflation of the biceps tendon due to anterior and/or superior humeral gliding. Pain may be felt in the anterior portion of the shoulder or down the long head of the bicep. .
-Abnormal movement of the Scapula is known as scapula dyskinesis. Delayed scap movement, improper positioning, or over dominant muscles can be a cause.
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-internal impingement is primarily only seen in over head athletes. Mostly seen in back of the shoulder in the lay back position. Mostly felt with pinching on the posterior-superior part of the glenoid. .
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All three issues we see can be related and more than likely occur from: -Poor posture, poor dynamic/static posture will result in insufficient movement. Joint placement dictates muscles function. Most of the time it starts with the rib cage. How does the scap sit on the rib cage? The scap can not move freely if the rib cage is altered. The scapulohumeral rhythm may be delayed. Athlete gains external rotation through their lower back vs gaining true ER in GH Joint. .
-Is there structural damage to the joint?
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-Poor tissue quality?
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-lack of mobility creating relative stiffness? .
-Poor exercise choice, programming can either fix an issue or cause an issue. If you can train to get better, you can definitely train to get worse. Yes, you can train to get worse. All movement is not good movement. All exercise prescription is not smart prescription. .
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How can we fix these issues? .
-first, get an initial assessment done by a professional
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-second, get on a program that will address your deficiencies that you may have. No athlete is the same. No shoulder is the same. .
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Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can be caused by many reasons in throwers. Let’s be honest, throwing a baseball is not the most healthy motion for your body. Three problems we see often that we coaches need to address when working with this population are…
.
.
-biceps tendinitis
-scapular dyskinesis
-internal impingement
.
.
-Bicep tendinitis is inflation of the biceps tendon due to anterior and/or superior humeral gliding. Pain may be felt in the anterior portion of the shoulder or down the long head of the bicep.
.
-Abnormal movement of the Scapula is known as scapula dyskinesis. Delayed scap movement, improper positioning, or over dominant muscles can be a cause.
.
-internal impingement is primarily only seen in over head athletes. Mostly seen in back of the shoulder in the lay back position. Mostly felt with pinching on the posterior-superior part of the glenoid.
.
.
All three issues we see can be related and more than likely occur from:

-Poor posture, poor dynamic/static posture will result in insufficient movement. Joint placement dictates muscles function. Most of the time it starts with the rib cage. How does the scap sit on the rib cage? The scap can not move freely if the rib cage is altered. The scapulohumeral rhythm may be delayed. Athlete gains external rotation through their lower back vs gaining true ER in GH Joint.
.
-Is there structural damage to the joint?
.
-Poor tissue quality?
.
-lack of mobility creating relative stiffness?
.
-Poor exercise choice, programming can either fix an issue or cause an issue. If you can train to get better, you can definitely train to get worse. Yes, you can train to get worse. All movement is not good movement. All exercise prescription is not smart prescription.
.
.
How can we fix these issues?
.
-first, get an initial assessment done by a professional
.
-second, get on a program that will address your deficiencies that you may have. No athlete is the same. No shoulder is the same.