Find a League In Your Area
by Jennifer Davies, MSBL Conditioning Editor
Protect Your Joints During Baseball Conditioning
routines focus on strength, speed, and agility. The exercises that you do may
stress your joints -- especially your knees, elbows, and shoulders. Learning
how to protect these joints as you do your conditioning routines will help you
have a healthy, active playing season.
Baseball is a
sport that is centered around power moves and sudden bursts of mighty muscle
exertion. Conditioning might include sprints, medicine ball
circuits, and sled pushes. These workouts train your muscles to drive hard for
short periods of time and then recover before performing again.
As you age,
the cartilage between your bones wears down due to use
over the years. This is especially true in the knees. If you’ve been active
over the years and enjoy running, skiing, and other active sports, you likely
don’t have as much cartilage in your knee joint as you used to. Another change to exercising as you age is that your muscle
mass may decrease. Muscles protect joints, so a decrease in muscle mass might
leave a joint vulnerable to injury.
According to Hanna Mich, an exercise specialist who has her
Master of Education in applied kinesiology, knee injuries can happen due to
under conditioning or overtrain. Baseball is especially demanding on knees
because of the bursts of speed, sudden stops, and changes in direction. If you
know that under conditioning is your problem, spend time building up your leg
muscles. Mich advises single-leg hops and lunges. If overtraining is your
problem, work rest days into your conditioning routine.
A Focus On
Mark Salandra, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist,
says that elbow pain often occurs when "the triceps muscles are not strong
enough to slow down the arm once the ball has been thrown.” This puts pressure
on the elbow joint. Tricep strengthening can eliminate the problem. If you
experience pain, try resting and icing your elbow.
joint is stabilized by muscles in your back and even your hip. As you age,
it is essential to perform resistance training that targets the shoulder
muscles and back muscles so that loss of muscle mass does not occur. Maintain
the stability of your shoulder muscles through moves such as the lat pulldown,
reverse fly, and lateral raise.
Baseball is a
sport that demands a lot from our joints. As we age, the wear and tear on our
joints over the years can start to add up. A reduction in muscle mass may also
make joints vulnerable. When conditioning, it is critical to protecting our
joints by performing the right exercises and resting when necessary.