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7 Shoulder Stabilization Drills You’re Not Using

I’ve had lots of time to sit down and think about shoulder stabilization. As we move through the periodization calendar, I like to start adding more advanced and complex stabilization drills for my baseball athletes.

I love using stabilization drills as a filler exercise towards the early part of a training session so it won’t interfere with the main lift of the day.

Let’s say were doing isometric reverse lunges as the A1. The A2 could then be a stabilization drill, and the A3 could be a power exercise or a jump exercise if we’re trying to induce PAP.

Since stabilization drills are not too taxing on the nervous system, they can be performed wherever in the program, and can be performed multiple times throughout the week.

Here are the Stabilization 7

TRX T-Snaps

I came up with this drill with Joe Palumbo (LHP, Texas Rangers) at the end of a training session. Not only are the TRX T-Snaps a great shoulder stability drill, but it also gives a chaotic feedback for the trunk.

Ball Release Plate Pushes

I’m a huge fan of glider pushups. If you’re not familiar with this exercise, follow Dr. Josh Heenan, he talks about this exercise a lot.

I figured there has to be a different way at loading this exercise than putting a plate on your back. That’s when it came to me: push a plate instead!

Eyes Closed Physioball March

When a drill is performed with the eyes closed, it immediately makes the drill harder because there is less sensory feedback to the brain. To make this drill even harder, have a partner lightly tap the physioball so you have to stabilize even further.

Bosu Bodyblade Extensions

The body blade itself is a great tool for shoulder stabilization through oscillation. By adding the bosu ball to the front leg, the rest of the body must contract and control to stabilize, which makes the shoulder complex work even harder.

Ball Release Yoga Pushups

Yoga pushups are a great pressing variation, as well as a shoulder stability drill. However, at ball release, one shoulder is working to stabilize and decelerate while the opposing leg is pressed into the ground to increase core demand. That’s when it clicked that the baseball athlete must be able to stiffen the trunk as opposing limbs are grounded to increase stabilization

PVC OH Chaos Marches

This is one of my favorite drills. The shoulder must be the most stable at ball release to prevent shoulder from slipping forward and creating joint discomfort. The added resistance of the bands allows for the weight of the kettle bells to move at a random rate, forcing the shoulders to stabilize even further.

KB 90/90 Separation Lunges

This teaches the thrower how to create front hip and rear shoulder separation, and it also enforces the shoulder to stabilize even further with the weight of the kettle bell.

I would advise checking the athletes training status and age level before implementing a few of these exercises. As always, try them out and let me know what you think so we can create some discussion!

Keep stabilizing,

Jarad Vollkommer, CSCS

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