Home Baseball Content Forearms/Biceps Soft Tissue Work

Forearms/Biceps Soft Tissue Work

Written on June 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm, by Eric Cressey

I’ve written previously about the many flexibility deficits we see in baseball players (particularly pitchers).  One of the biggest issues we face is a loss of elbow extension range-of-motion.  This adaptive change most likely occurs because of the insane amounts of eccentric muscle action required to decelerate the 2,500 degrees/second of elbow extension that occurs during pitching.  You’ll find some serious shortness/tissue restrictions in biceps brachii, brachioradialis, brachialis, and all the rest of the muscles acting at the elbow and wrist.

Unfortunately, it’s not an area you can really work on with the foam roller or baseball, as it’s in a tough spot.  For that reason, we prefer using The Stick – and hold it in place with the j-hooks in a power rack.  Here is how it works when rolling out the anterior forearm musculature (this same technique can be utilized on the elbow flexors):

Follow that up with some longer duration holds of this stretch, and you’ll get that elbow extension back in no time.


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7 Responses to “Forearms/Biceps Soft Tissue Work”

  1. Ray Bennett Says:

    I’ve used a seated variation of this with good effect. Sit and place the stick vertically with one end between your legs and resting on the bench. Hold the top handle with one arm and place the forearm of the other arm against the stick. Now, rock the stick back and forth while pushing into the affected arm and rotating your forearm to hit different areas. Wedge the bench end of the stick against/under your legs to firm up the amount of pressure you want. Place your foreamr to the inside of the stick and use a pulling motion to hit the lateral forearm. Be careful to stay off the Ulnar nerve…..

  2. ceaze Says:

    Have you ever tried the Armaid?

  3. Gretchen Says:

    I’m curious, do you think this would benefit tennis players as well? I’m thinking of how similar (or maybe not) the pitching and serving motions may be…???

  4. Mike Says:

    Have you tried to quantify the loss in velocity due to extension loss?

    Some simple and possibly wrong math shows negligible velocity losses up to about 10 degrees, over 1 mph at 15 degrees and almost 4 mph at 25 degree.

  5. Srdjan - Bloom to Fit Says:

    Hey Eric. I have a quick question about soft tissue work with foam rollers. Some say it’s OK to use the foam roller on the lower back. Others say it is not and that it can damage the spine. I’ve done it and it works good for me. I just want to hear your thoughts on it.


  6. Eric Cressey Says:

    I tend to stay away from soft tissue work with a foam roller on the lower back. However, if we’re talking about work with a quality manual therapist, that’s a different story. You just need to be more focal in that region, and the foam roller is too diffuse.

  7. Srdjan - Bloom to Fit Says:

    So you would stick with something like a lacrosse ball for the lower back instead?

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