15 Stretching Exercises For Baseball Pitchers

  • Updated on Dec. 17, 2016

2017 MLB Tryouts

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ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

Felix Hernandez pitching gif
Felix Hernandez

When you come to practice, do your warm-up jogging (3 laps in Cage, foul line to foul line on field) and your stretching program before you throw or swing a bat.

This series of stretching exercises allows you to warm up the necessary muscle groups and joints to prevent muscle pulls and injuries. The routine will take 9-10 minutes.

  1. Arm Swing - 8-10 reps
  2. Hold hands parallel with shoulders
  3. Swing slowly forward and backward staying shoulder height
  4. Work for more flexion and extension as you work
  5. Arm Rotation - forward (10), backward (10)
    1. Keep hands shoulder height
    2. Use small circular motion, slowly
  6. Bend and Reach - (windmill) 10 reps
    1. Feet wide, arms out, throw hands and arm up over and down outside opposite foot.
    2. Work for trunk rotation and flexion stretching lower back and side muscles.
  7. Trunk Flexion & Extension (5-7 reps)
    1. Both hands over head, locked together
    2. Go back as far as you can (extension), then bend and reach as far as you can forward touching the ground in front. Reach back as far as you can between your feet, then repeat each step.
  8. Trunk Twister (5 reps each direction)
    1. Start in the same hands over head position
    2. Rotate trunk in a circular motion - 10 to right, 10 to left
  9. Trunk Rotation
    1. Standing, feet shoulder width apart - hands behind head
    2. Slowly rotate upper body keeping feet in place.
    3. Work for horizontal rotation of spine from waste up.
  10. Hamstring Stretcher (4-5 reps each position)
    1. Stand upright, place heel in front of toe
    2. Slowly bend over touching ground - do not bounce, stretch slowly hold maximum flexion 4 counts.
    3. Alternate foot position after 2-3 stretches
  11. Groin stretcher (3-4 reps each direction)
    1. Feet wide apart, turn body over right by pointing right toes away. Keep left foot in place, foot facing forward.
    2. Put weight on right thigh bending chest over thigh. Do not bounce, rock slowly to maximum stretch - hold 4 counts
    3. Alternate leg position - face other direction
  12. Achilles tendon - calf muscle stretcher (3-4 reps each direction)
    1. Same position as groin stretcher, except keep the back leg straight, heel on the ground. Both feet will now point in the same direction.
    2. Force back leg back and straight, heel down - hold for 4 counts.
  13. Wrist extension and Flexion (5 reps alternating arms)
    1. Standing, straighten throwing arm out in front with the other arm and hand, pull fingers and hand back, wrist extension to full range of motion.
    2. Then, pull hand down and back, wrist flexion.
  14. Arm Extension - supinate hand 4-5 reps; pronate hand 4-5 reps.
    1. Stand tall- reach as high as possible with the throwing arm.
    2. Stretch entire body-extend up on balls of feet-rally stretch forearm, biceps, shoulder and side .
  15. Hitch-hiker Exercise (4-5 reps)
    1. Standing, place throwing hand on waist.
    2. Slowly lift hand and arm up keeping elbow as high as shoulder.
    3. Extend throwing hand up and back in the cocked position as far as possible; bring hand back slowly to waist.
  16. Rotator cuff Stretcher (8-10 reps)
    1. Standing, place throwing arm up - elbow level with shoulder, elbow flexed at 90 degrees, hand up.
    2. Slowly carefully, keeping the elbow up, work for maximum extension back, then slowly maximum flexion forward - keep elbow at shoulder height.
    3. Do this exercise very slowly.
  17. Lunges (10 reps alternating legs)
    1. Standing, alternating legs, stride out on a flexed lead leg and dip back knee to the ground.
    2. Step back with lead leg and repeat using the other leg as the stride leg.
  18. Thrower’s Stretcher (10 reps)
    1. Standing - lead foot in forward throwing position
    2. Hands together, in front of body.
    3. Go through a 1/2 speed throwing motion - use a full arm circle, work for full extension forward and downward.
    4. Flex at waist - lay the chest on the thigh of the lead leg.
    5. Only roll the pivot foot over, but keep in place.
    6. Finish with the throwing arm outside of the lead leg - with a long arc of deceleration.

You are now ready to throw and practice. If you still feel a lot of arm or shoulder stiffness, you can use medi-balls to continue to loosen the arm.

Get my pitching velocity program

Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

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