Muscle imbalance


#1

I have read that pitcher’s can sometimes be injured by muscle imbalance pulling the spine or shoulder bones/joints as a result of over developed muscles on the throwing side. My first question is, is this true? Secondly, what are the early symptoms of these types of injuries?


#2

There can definitely be problems with imbalanced muscles around a joint. Many times it is the front of the shoulder girdle being stronger than the posterior side. If muscles are imbalanced it can definitely put the shoulder in a bad position. Its important to strengthen both sides of the body in the weight room. Many pitchers posterior shoulder girdle muscles are much weaker than the anterior girdle. You can sometimes see what is called winged scapula. This is when the rhomboid, mid-trap, and serratus anterior muscles are weaker. You will often see the shoulder “rolled” forward instead of being back in good posture. These can both lead to shoulder and elbow injuries.

A physical therapist that I have worked with some and I really trust has a website that describes some of this. I think the website is www.posturalrestoration.com. He traces a lot of problems like this back to the hips being out of balance and then everything from there up has to compensate. I bet that if you would look at your son’s shoulders, his throwing shoulder is lower than his nonthrowing shoulder. There are several things like this. It kinda sounds a little bit out there but I’ve seen him work and I think its pretty amazing. Someone like him might be able to describe more online or in writing, but I only feel comfortable giving very basic information about what he does.

In summary, there can definitely be problems with muscle imbalances. Almost everyone has some types of imbalances but many times they don’t manifest into further problems. Check out that website and he has some pictures on there that show how to check for imbalances and what to look for. I hope this helped you somewhat.


#3

Mike,

This was very helpful. I’ll have to get out a medical dictionary to find most of those muscles you mentioned ;).

Jon doesn’t have these issues as he is only 10. Which leads me to a follow up question. I realize every kid is different, but when is it OK for boys to start weight training. Jon is a big kid (10.5 y/o, 110 lbs, 5.0 ft) and just entering puberty. He is stronger than most kids with an incredible grip and forearm strength.

Thanks!


#4

10 yrs old ??? 30-50 push ups before bedtime …


#5

I thought I had already replied to this message but I don’t see my reply so I guess not.

Kids need to be doing some strength training at his age. His strength training will change as he grows and matures but he will benefit from performing some strength training exercises. You might need a couple ligher dumbells or some tubing. Exercises like lunges, pushups, rows, and shoulder raises can be done with this limited equipment. His nervous system will be the main system that changes first but as his maturity and experience increase, his muscles will begin to change more and more.

Remember that he just needs a basic program that will improve general strength. This isn’t any special baseball only program. Its just to improve general strength. If he decides is a few years that baseball is what he really wants to focus on, then you should look for a more advanced program.