12 Best Rotator Cuff Exercises For Baseball Pitchers


Just about every MLB pitcher does some form of rotator cuff training to keep their pitching arm strong and healthy.

Jake Arrieta, for example, does rotator cuff exercises religiously.

And it’s no surprise that they’ve helped him become a dominant pitcher in the Big Leagues…

They allow him to stay healthy and make start after start for the Cubs.

Here’s a closer look at Arrieta’s mechanics:

Jake Arrieta pitching mechanics gif

Here’s the 12 best rotator cuff exercises for pitchers using a 3-5 pound dumbbell or a tennis can filled with wet sand.

You’ll want to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise every other day to maintain flexibility, a full range of motion, and to strengthen the throwing muscles.

They are to be done in slow motion. The slower they are performed, the more resistance and energy is expended. The following exercises work the upper arm muscles and the shoulder, particularly the posterior rotator cuff muscles.

  1. Circle swing; clockwise and counter clockwise
  2. Lateral swing; work to full range of motion
  3. Forward lift to back swing, full range of motion.
  4. Hitch-hiker exercise – full internal and external rotation
  5. 45 degree angle shoulder fly – only to shoulder height
  6. Reverse throwing motion – follow-thru to cocked position
  7. Arm raises; 90 degree elbow flexion to full extension; supinate hand; then pronate hand, 5 reps each.
  8. Biceps curl, full range of motion of elbow and wrist
  9. Triceps curl- full range of motion of elbow and wrist
  10. Rotator cuff stretcher- External to internal rotation (pronate hand).
  11. Slow motion pitching motion for fastball (co-ordinate good lead arm action).
  12. Slow motion pitching motion for curveball.

These rotator cuff exercises will not only help to increase throwing velocity and develop arm stamina, but will help to prevent throwing arm injuries.

Get after it!