Best Shoulder Exercises For Young Softball Players

The best shoulder exercises for young baseball and softball players are ones that can be performed with minimal equipment, are still effective even with imperfect technique, are somewhat engaging and are easily “felt.” Let’s explore some of our best exercises for baseball and softball players ages 8–13.

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#1. Blackburns

In my facility, we do it “leader” style, in which one athlete will keep time for the group, telling them when to hold up, and rest down for each position. They’ll have 2:00 for each of the three positions, and they can choose the holds and rest periods they want (could be 6 seconds up and 1 second down, repeated, or 13 seconds up and 1 second down, etc. until time elapses).

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This is a great set of exercises because they are HARD with just bodyweight, they can be performed in the living room, and they recruit the scapula retractors, all the muscles of the upper back and the external rotators of the rotator cuff.

#2. Pull Apart Ys, Ts and No Moneys

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I suggest a looped band, with our favorite being the ribbon-like Theraband CLX.

Pull-Aparts are great because they work the rotator cuff and upper back while being extremely easy to perform. Both hands are on the band, which helps the athlete control his technique much better than, for example, an exercise with a dumbbell in each hand. Pull Aparts are outstanding for young kids, and still great for older ones.

How Much Should You Do?

2–3 sets of 15 reps on each of these is a great start.

#3. Overhead All-Angles Raises

This way, they don’t have to be perfect and get a lot of time under tension. Most young athletes need 0–2 pounds, and it’s HARD by the 12th rep, if they’re going at a nice, slow pace.

How Much Should You Do?

2–3 three sets, 2–3 days per week. This will yield 16–20 reps per set.

Learn More About How to Throw Harder

A Great Starting Point

Just two or three sessions per week will go a long way to not only increasing performance, but undoing poor posture caused by texting and computer use.

Want More Tips and Drills To Improve Your Softball Throwing Technique and Velocity?

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Click here to download my free eBook, 10 Softball Throwing Mistakes.

Originally published at on October 2, 2016.

I'm a former pro pitcher passing on lessons from my baseball career. On social @coachdanblewett and at or

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