Jun 2, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jonny Venters (39) throws in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Talk On Injuries: How To Train Smart And Avoid The Injury Bug

{Editorial Note:  With so much talk surrounding the Braves injuries over the last year/years, I reached out to a good friend at Fact And Fitness to ask a couple questions on the events of avoiding injuries and the best exercises to do while coming back from an injury.  This is a great article to read if you play sports in high school, college, recreational or professional to learn more about the do’s and don’ts in a weight room.  Even if you’re not actively playing a sport and are just active, you should read on!}


With any sport, regardless of it being played professionally, at the intramural level in college or little league, you run the risk of injury.  Most NBA injuries we think of tend to be ankle, knee or leg-related; see Derrick Rose.  He has had two knee surgeries in as many years.

While in the NFL, you run a whole gamut of possibilities due to the high impact collisions that take place on the field every down.  In baseball, we typically think of arm-related injuries; elbow (Tommy John), shoulder, rotator cuff, etc.

Today I want to talk to you about some safe ways for baseball players to strength train in the weight room.  We’ll talk about exercises they should and shouldn’t be doing, along with some “prehab” work they should do to help prevent these common sport-related injuries.


My name is Brian.  I am an online fitness coach over at factandfitness.com.



Before we get into arm-specific work, we need to talk briefly about the importance of balance.  Let’s say I’m a pitcher.

March 26, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jonny Venters (39) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Which side of my body am I going to use more heavily every day?  If I’m a lefty, my left arm / shoulder are going to be used much more frequently and intensely than my right.  Just as my left leg when pushing off the mound is going to be used much more frequently than my right.  So what happens?  I’ve created a muscle imbalance.  This can be a common cause for injury, even just trying to perform everyday tasks.  How do we remedy this?  Unilateral work.  Think (alternating) dumbbell bench press, dumbbell row, split squats, reverse lunge, etc. Practice these exercises to make sure you don’t have one side of your body lagging from the other.


Strengthen your weaker side to increase stability.


Elbow-Joint Recovery

When you say baseball injury, the first thing that comes to mind is Tommy John surgery.  Being that this is an article for a baseball forum, I won’t spend any time talking about the what this entails. Preventative and rehab work for your elbow primarily include exercises that work your lower arm.


What exercises can we do to strengthen the forearm and elbow?

What exercises should we not be doing?

Let’s start with one that you should not be doing, and that’s standard chinups (or pullups).

Everyone has their own methodology when it comes to training programs.  I am on the wagon that says compound movements are the most efficient form of workouts.  Enter: squats, deadlifts, bench, overhead press, chinups, rows and on it goes.  Whether it’s your first day in the gym or you have been training ten years, these moves should be the foundation of any successful training program. While I may prescribe these primary workouts for most clients with solid mobility, no pre-existing ailments and just wants to shed some fat and look sexy, I wouldn’t recommend half of these to a baseball player.


Click here to continue reading why.


Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

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