April 30, 2013 in Club News
Most shoulder injuries happen because of the excessive forces that racquetball creates on the tendons. If the shoulder muscles are weak or tight, or if there are imbalances, the motion in the shoulder does not happen correctly and the constant repetitive forces of racquetball strokes will create problems and injuries over time. Therefore, strengthening of the notoriously weak external rotator cuff is crucial. In addition, you should always stretch the shoulder muscles, chest, and the rotator cuff group.
The chest stretch is very simple and almost everybody is familiar with it: stand sideways by a wall, a tree, or a fence, lift your arm parallel with the ground, and while holding on the wall, turn your body slowly away until you feel a good stretch in your chest. For a different feel in other areas of the chest, change the height of your hand.
Unfortunately, only a few racquetball players are familiar with this simple, yet extremely efficient, rotator cuff stretch. It is easy to perform after your racquetball practice while you are cooling down and reflecting on your game.
Rotator Cuff Stretch - Lie down on the ground on your left side. Stretch your left arm forward 90 degrees from your body and bend it in the elbow with the forearm vertical to the ground. Grab the left wrist with your right hand and start gently pushing on it toward the ground. Maintain 90 degrees in your elbow, which means that your forearm should be parallel with your body. Continue applying a steady pressure, breathe deeply, and keep your left shoulder on the ground. You will feel a nice stretch in your rotator cuff. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, and then switch sides. You will notice that your dominant arm is most probably tighter. Give it more attention, until the both sides will become even.
Remember that stretching is one of the most neglected techniques for improving performance and avoiding injuries. Do not underestimate the power of stretching. Include this rotator cuff stretch into your training regimen on a daily basis and watch your fitness and your racquetball game improve rapidly.
Source: Fitness-Racquetball.com, 2011