I have heard that swimming laps for pitchers is not a good exercise and that it puts excessive wear and tear on the shoulder. But then again swimming is such a good overall exercise. What’s your take on this?


Swimming is not something I usually tell people to do. It is a great exercise for cardiovascular fitness but it isn’t very baseball specific. Many people see that overhand motion and think it should help overhead throwing athletes but it really isn’t the same. I’m not sure how much of a problem swimming is for the shoulders but I do know that it can tighten your lats and put your shoulder in a bad position to throw.

For young kids I usually suggest a more general strength training program to gain some overall strength and endurance. As a baseball player gets more serious and specific about baseball I would make their training more serious and specific. Ground based activities are best since all major movements in baseball are ground based.

Thank you Mike. What does that mean for lifting exercises like a lat pull? And what exactly do you mean by putting the shoulder in a bad position to throw? It doesn’t allow for the full range of motion maybe?

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work your lats but most people’s lats are plenty strong and should focus on other parts to make sure they stay balanced.

It can put your shoulder in a bad position by rotating them forward. I don’t mean to scare people away from working lats but I just want to make sure they get stretched out and don’t get tight. Its never good to get any muscle group out of balance but I just mention this one because it is a more common problem.