How To Avoid Elbow Injuries with Proven Pitching Techniques

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Struggling with elbow pain while pitching? You’re not alone. The culprit might be improper shoulder blade engagement. Your shoulder blades are pivotal in stabilizing your shoulder joint and supporting your throwing action.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of shoulder-blade engagement. We’ll use specific exercises and techniques to understand how to activate these muscles effectively. By doing so, you’ll regain control over your pitching motion and say goodbye to elbow pain.

If you’re fed up with feeling sidelined by constant discomfort, this guide is for you! Let’s jump into the exercises.

Resistance Band Exercises for Stronger Shoulder Blades

In the first exercise, we will utilize a resistance band to strengthen key muscles like the posterior cuff and external rotators. By enhancing shoulder stability, it reduces the risk of injury and improves performance, making it a must for aspiring pitchers. Here’s how to do it:

  • Secure a resistance band and relax your shoulder.
  • Start by retracting your shoulder blades, feeling the muscles engage.
  • Elevate your arm while maintaining engaged shoulder blades.
  • Hold briefly, focusing on the tension.
  • Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining tension.

Precision External Rotator Control

This next exercise targets external rotation control, which is essential for pitchers. You can use a small plyo-ball to keep your elbow and shoulder angles correct. This exercise program is essential for improving shoulder stability and avoiding elbow discomfort. Here’s how to do it

  • Lie down then position your elbows and shoulders in a pad at 90 degrees.
  • Hold the plyo-ball with proper alignment.
  • Rotate your arms outward, emphasizing stability.
  • Gradually increase the range of motion.
  • Perform controlled repetitions, focusing on form and muscle engagement.

Weightless Carry for Stability

Now let’s move on to the weightless carry. This exercise will enhance your shoulder and elbow stability simultaneously. It’s essential for pitching mechanics and injury prevention. Here’s how to do it:

  • Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell at 90 degrees, stabilizing your shoulders.
  • Walk with deliberate steps, maintaining posture and shoulder blade engagement.
  • Avoid arching your back, and keep your rib cage down.
  • Perform for 20–30 seconds for 3–4 sets.

Transitioning to Ball Exercises

Next, it’s time to focus on integrating proper mechanics for pitching. By loading the scapula and engaging the hips simultaneously, you can learn to deliver power efficiently while minimizing arm strain. It’s crucial for long-term pitching health and injury prevention. Here’s how to do it:

  • Position yourself in a half-kneeling position. 
  • Practice loading your shoulder blades and hips with a light ball.
  • Rotate your hips, transferring power through your shoulder blades.
  • Follow through with your arm while maintaining scapular tension.
  • Incorporate ball releases once comfortable, emphasizing energy transfer from hips to hand.
  • Perform 10-15 reps or until you are comfortable with the exercise. 

Bonus Exercise: Hip and Scap Loading Fusion

This bonus exercise combines hip and scap loading to refine pitching mechanics. By integrating controlled movements with a kettlebell or dumbbell, you can improve coordination between the hips, scapula, and core. Here’s how to do it:

  • Position a kettlebell or dumbbell at 90 degrees.
  • Descend while externally rotating your arms.
  • Maintain engagement in hips and shoulder blades.
  • Return to the starting position with proper alignment.
  • Perform with a focus on the connection between hip and scapular movements.

If you want to learn more about the details of these exercises, watch this video! 


Mastering shoulder blade engagement and hip loading equips you to excel free from nagging elbow discomfort or even injury. Consistent practice of these exercises not only relieves elbow pain but also enhances pitching performance. Remember to focus on quality repetitions and proper mechanics to build a strong foundation and confidence in your pitching motion. 

If you want to learn more about how to pitch pain-free, we are here for you! At Myokinetix, we specialize in enhancing athletic performance and rehabilitating injuries, including those pesky elbow pains that plague pitchers. Our tailored exercises and cutting-edge facilities are designed to address the root cause of your discomfort, ensuring you can pitch with confidence and without fear of injury. 

Are you ready to say goodbye to elbow pain and hello to peak performance?

Book a call with us today to get started on your journey to pitching pain-free!

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