More dynamic stretches needed to prevent injury

In addition to a pregame routine that includes the consumption of a significant amount of fluids, as this blog reported last week, baseball athletes need to perform a rigorous warmup routine before starting a game and putting on their baseball equipment.

A common sight at a baseball field before a game is the team gathering around one another and holding static stretches, such as extending the arm across the chest for 30 seconds at a time until all limbs are adequately stretched. This type of warmup brings blood to the muscles that will be used during the game, which keeps them loose. But, some of these exercises may not be sufficient to prevent injuries.

"Baseball is not a slow or 'static' sport. When playing baseball, the playing actions are centered around power, acceleration, explosiveness and movement," Matt Daily writes for Athletes Acceleration. "So, if the game is one that demands so many different types of movement from its players, why do we continue to allow players to stretch in a stagnant, slow or 'static' manner?"

Instead, coaches should insist that athletes run for an extended period of time during warmups. While they normally ask them to run one lap around the field, two laps, perhaps at slightly different speeds, may be more effective. Other exercises can be completed by lining up cones several yards apart and request that the athletes perform different warmups, such as high knees, strides and leaps, for that distance.

These exercises are more commonly seen before a track meet or football game, but they can be just as useful to youth baseball players. Athletes who complete these exercises and use the correct baseball sporting goods, such as youth baseball pants, are more likely to be successful and comfortable out on the diamond.

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