The shoulder: all sports use them (some more than others), and they tend to be prone to injury. The shoulder is a very mobile joint, and it has the ability to move in multiple directions. While increased mobility is necessary for the shoulder to function, it comes with a higher injury risk. As the season approaches for each sport, we tend to see prehab, including for the shoulder, neglected. When athletes take proper care of their shoulders, fewer injuries will occur, which means more playing time during the season. Here are a few simple tips for shoulder injury prevention:
1. Improve rotator cuff strength
Strengthen the muscles that do internal/external rotation and make sure the shoulder can move easily through its full range (aka being functional), strengthen at all degrees of motion, and you’ll be ready to go!
2. Maintain shoulder mobility
Ensuring that the shoulder can move through its full range of motion will not only reduce injury risk, it will improve your performance.
3. Have a proper warm-up
Yes, you need to warm up, it’s good for you and especially for your shoulder. A simple 5-minute routine can oftentimes do the trick!
4. Have a proper recovery routine
You just did an intense workout, game, practice, etc. but you didn’t do any recovery work afterward. Your body will lock up and won’t move as freely. A little arm care, foam rolling, and stretching can go a long way after doing intense work.
5. Don’t overdo it!
Listen to your body. If you are sore, tired, and feeling miserable all the time when doing any type of exercise or sport, that’s your body sending you a message. You need to back off, recover, and give your body the time it needs to get back to 100%.