UCL Protection Package (w/ programming)

From: $134.99

This package includes an online program which will be emailed to you after purchase.  You can also access the program in “My Account” under the “Help” tab.  Click here for a sample program view.

Whether it be overuse, limited shoulder rotation, or a poor decel pattern, pitchers are throwing harder than ever and the UCL is taking a pounding. This package and it’s accompanying program can be performed 2x/week on non-throwing days to help stabilize and strengthen the flexor/pronator groups, improve shoulder mobility, and control excessive ROM during the season.  It should be a staple in every pitcher’s programming on non-throwing days.

Plates purchased separately. You can see equipment list in the Description section further below.

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Product Quantity

UCL Protection Program

Whether it be overuse, limited shoulder rotation, or a poor decel pattern, pitchers are throwing harder than ever and the UCL is taking a pounding.  The UCL Protection Program can be done 2x/week to help stabilize and strengthen the Flexor/Pronator groups, improve shoulder mobility, and control excessive ROM during the season.

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Activation Bands (w/ drill guide)

Activation bands (black and red) are designed to be easily transportable to the gym or field. They are primarily used as part of a throwing warm up to target specific muscles and movements. They help activate and balance rotator cuff and surrounding muscles, prepare the arm to accelerate/decelerate and increase blood flow prior to throwing.

Black
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Grip Strengthener

The Grip Strengthener is a highly portable piece of equipment that can help target the flexor-pronator muscle group. It can help build strength around the area and also improve grip strength vital to batters as well. The compact design allows you to fit it in your pocket, or gym bag, making it easy to take anywhere.

In stock

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Club Bell Pronator

The Club Bell has been around for ages and can be used to effectively coach deceleration through pronation as well as helping strengthen the flexor pronator muscles that help protect the UCL ligament. It is an excellent tool for improving grip and forearm strength. It can also help athletes “feel” pronation more effectively.

In stock

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Power Bands

Our power bands are a staple in many of our training programs due to their ability to cover a lot of exercises that may generally require weights. Whether it be assistance or resistance training for upper body work, training lower half power or using it for core/recovery work, they are like having an all in one gym in a bag.

Heavy and Medium
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Sliders

Sliders (pair) are a big bang for the buck and allow athletes to work on their hip hinge, lower body stability, core and many other exercises specific to baseball without adding in the challenge of deceleration. They are great for strength development in new movement patterns. They are also extremely portable.

In stock

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Wrist and Forearm Trainer

The Wrist and Forearm Trainer is a strengthening tool that strengthens the flexor carpi radialis, a relatively thin muscle that assists in abduction of the hand and wrist and is part of the flexor / pronator” group, a group of muscles that help stabilize and protect the elbow, specifically the UCL - especially in the “layback” position.  Plates purchased separately.

In stock

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5.5 lbs Plates (pair)

In stock (can be backordered)

Description

The following is a summary of equipment in the UCL Protection Package meant for elbow and forearm exercises for pitchers and baseball players:

  • Digital Programs (email and online access w/videos)
    • UCL Protection Program
  • Equipment
    • 1 Activation Band
    • 1 Grip Strengthener
    • 1 Club Bell Pronator
    • 1 Power Band – Heavy (Black)
    • 1 Power Band – Medium (Red)
    • 1 Set of Sliders (pair)
    • 1 Wrist and Forearm Trainer
    • Pair of 5.5 lbs. Plates (purchased separately on this site)

The following article is to summarize how we attempt to help stabilize and protect our pitchers and baseball players’  UCL (also known as the Tommy John ligament) with several elbow and forearm exercises we perform here at RPP.

But before we get into it, let’s go over the current situation.  A recent study in The Physician and Sports Medicine showed that 29% of youth baseball players up to the age of 12 reported episodes of shoulder or elbow pain.  Another report in the Journal of Arthroscopy noted 31% of pitchers up to the age of 22 have experienced an arm injury as well.  Over a third of Tommy John procedures performed are on youth pitchers.  Here is a graph showing the rise in Tommy John surgeries performed on youth each year by Dr. James Andrews (American Sports Medical Institute):

elbow exercises baseball

With that said, let’s get into it:

    1. Strengthen the Periscapular Muscles
    2. Strengthen the “Flexor / Pronator” Groups
    3. Strengthen the Rotator Cuff
    4. Strengthen the Core Musculature
    5. Improve Shoulder Mobility
    6. Controlling Excessive ROM During the Season

By following the above protocol, we can help stabilize the injured elbow and prevent injury recurrence both before the initiation of a progressive throwing program as well as after.

1. Strengthen the Periscapular Muscles

The Periscapular muscles serve to anchor the scapula for its role as the main stabilizer of the shoulder. In addition, they guide the scapula through the requisite degrees of freedom. These muscles include and are associated with the following movements:

    • Serratus anterior and Pec Minor (protraction)
    • Trapezius, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae (retraction / elevation)

Exercises to help strengthen the periscapular muscles:

Serratus & Pec Minor


(Push-up to Downward Dog – x8)

Trapezius


(1-Arm Band Row – x10 / side)

Rhomboids


(½ Kneeling Rev. Rows – x10)

2. Strengthen the “Flexor / Pronator” Groups

These are some of the muscles that help stabilize and protect the elbow, especially in the “layback” position:

    • Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
    • Flexor Carpi Radialis
    • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
    • Pronator Teres

The flexor digitorum superficialis is an extrinsic muscle that allows the four medial fingers of the hand to flex. These fingers include the index, middle, ring, and pinkie fingers.

flexor digitorum superficialis

The flexor carpi radialis muscle is a relatively thin muscle located on the anterior part of the forearm. It performs the function of providing flexion of the wrist and assists in abduction of the hand and wrist.

flexor carpi radialis

The flexor carpi ulnaris arises along with the other superficial muscles, from the medial epicondyle of the humerus. These muscles flex the wrist and adduct it (move it laterally in the direction of ulnar).

flexor carpi ulnaris

The pronator teres muscle is located on the palmar side of the forearm, below the elbow. its function is to rotate the forearm palm-down. This is also known as pronation.

pronator teres

Here are a few of the forearm, grip and elbow exercises we perform on non-throwing days to strengthen the flexor/pronator group.

Stretch

(Wrist Flexion / Extension Stretch – x20-30 sec/side)

Strengthening Exercises (1-2 sets ea / 2x per week)

(Wrist and Forearm Trainer – x3/ea way)

(Pronators – x8 reps)

(Pronation/Supination – x10 / side)

(Grip Strengthener – x5, 5 sec holds)

3. Strengthening the Rotator Cuff

When training the cuff musculature, it is important to work on both strength AND firing time of the cuff.

Here are a few great ones.


(Band ER @ 90 degrees – x10)


(Band IR @ 90 degrees – x10)

4. Strengthen the Core Musculature

Extension in the lower back is many times due to a lack of core control. This can cascade into a number of mobility problems up the chain (i.e the shoulder). Such as:

    • Limited Shoulder Flexion
    • Limited upward Rotation
    • Elbow Valgus Torque (getting in and out of layback)

Here are a few staples we use with great sucess.


(Bird Dogs w/ Trap Raise – x8 / side)

This one is great for training stability/firing time of the cuff as well.


(Rev. Alligator Walks – 15-20 yds)

5. Improve Shoulder Mobility

A lack of shoulder flexion has been shown to place stress on the medial elbow. Improving shoulder mobility will go a long way in helping to take extra torque /stress off the UCL.

(Band Standing Shoulder Flexion – x8)

(Side Lying Windmill – x8 / side)

6. Controlling Excessive ROM During the Season

Gains in external rotation (ER) happen naturally for pitchers and baseball players from throwing during the season, but excessive gains in ER can create an unstable shoulder, forcing the elbow to have to take up the slack and placing added stress on the UCL. Monitoring throwing volume, as well as participating in a good in-season strength training program complete with shoulder stabilizations during the season, can be a career saver.