Fastpitch Friday Ep.33 3 Drills to Enhance Thoracic Mobility for Softball Players

Thoracic mobility (upper body) is essential to help rotational athletes such as softball players create controlled hip and shoulder separation primary during hitting, pitching and throwing. When programming thoracic mobility drills for players we have to keep in mind how "loose-jointed" they tend to be. Depending how "loose" they are,  some thoracic drills can be more harmful than good. Here are some tips to help choose which thoracic drill to use in your warm-ups. 

Players can fall anywhere on the loose-stiff spectrum. They can be loose in some joints and stiff in other areas or visa versa. That's why assessing is always a great choice before throwing any old exercise at them. 

1. Adductor Stretch with Extension and Rotation

Great Choice for:

  • athletes who need to gain good adductor length and upper back mobility 
  • need anterior core control 
  • have good body awareness and control 

Poor Choice for: 

  • loose jointed athletes (they rely on passive stiffness) 
  • hypermobile knees 
  • beginners with no body awareness  

 

2. Rockback Quadruped Extension and Rotation

Great Choice for:

  • People who fall more towards the "loose" end of the spectrum 
  • People who could benefit from unloaded Lumbar Flexion (extension based population spend a majority of time in anterior pelvic tilt) 
  • Gain upper back mobility and thoracic flexion

Poor Choice for: 

  • Hypermobile elbows 
  • Recent Knee injuries (ACL,MCL,PCL) 
  • Lack Hip Internal Rotation 

 

3. Rockback Quadruped Extension and Rotation with Internal Rotation

Great Choice for: 

  • Athletes who fall at or near the end of the "loose" jointed spectrum 
  • Beginner lifters who need to control smaller ranges of motion 
  • Shoulder issues (anterior shoulder or biceps pain) 

Poor Choice for 

  • Athletes who fall on the stiffer end of the spectrum 
  • Lack Hip Internal Rotation

 

Thoracic mobility is super important when it comes to rotational sports however, controlled thoracic mobility is the king when it comes to decreasing injury and enhancing performance on the field. If your interested in learning more about how to implement these drills click the short video below. 

 

Seminar Announcement

If your looking to learn more about softball specific training Austin Wasserman and myself will be holding our Elite Softball Performance Seminar on August 20th. Click the link below to learn more details.