Strength Performance Network

Shoulder Series and the Sleeper - Part II

We'll continue our shoulder series with Part II today. Be sure to read Part I if you haven't already at

So with the athlete in question that we talked about in Part I the overwhelming question is what do we do with him now.

Well the non glamorous answer is that we just have to stretch him. We have to restore that range of motion quickly as our fall ball season is starting in less than 10 days and pitchers are already starting to throw bullpens. I will manually stretch him every other day, and this is only due to our schedule this week. Starting next week I will be able to stretch him everyday. In the mean time he will still stretch himself at least two times a day, everyday, with a variety of different movements, as well as be stretched by our athletic trainer everyday. I would rather have increased frequency when it comes to stretching than a high intensity only once per day. Doing three sessions per day easily is in my opinion much more effective.

Sleeper Stretch

When he stretches himself he will do so with the side lying sleeper stretch as well as the side lying cross body stretch. We teach our athletes to be gentle with these two variations. Depending on the severity of the deficit in the affected arm, we will hold our reps 5-15 seconds with anywhere from 3-7 reps. The below photo is the athlete's first time trying the sleeper stretch with our technique. When we're in the weight room we have the availability to utilize the foam rollers as a head support, which I stole from Eric Cressey. It also gives athletes a cue as to being in the proper position as well. I've had a lot of good feedback from adding in the foam roller for


From here on out we will re-evaluate his motion every week until he has regained that motion.

He will continue with all his all important scapular stabilization work training the lower and middle trap, as well as the serratus anterior.

Alongside of that we have active stretches that will help generate more internal rotation as well. These are tied into our thoracic spine mobility program. Obviously the t-spine is super important when it comes to shoulder health and directly tied into the act of pitching. Here is one of our upper level t-spine progressions.


Our final screen of the fall revealed a case that I find awesome. I'm sure the kid was thrilled when I mentioned I'd never seen anything like that and to get my camera. We took several pictures and videos of him and will be posting in the shoulder series I have going at the moment. In the coming days I'm planning on going over impingement, the different forms of, and the treatment options to relieve the problems. The beauty of having 10 new incoming athletes to our program right now gives me loads of information and I get to see a whole new host of problems and then talk about it fixing them here.

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