7 Best Tips To Reduce Arm Soreness in Baseball

arm soreness in baseball

Experiencing a sore arm can be a common challenge for baseball players, disrupting the joy of the game. Drawing from my personal experiences in the sport, I’ve gathered valuable insights and tips to guide you in effectively minimizing arm soreness in baseball.

Understanding that each athlete’s body reacts uniquely to soreness, this blog serves as a resource to refine and personalize your recovery routine. Instead of relying on temporary fixes like ibuprofen or icy hot, let’s dive into practical strategies that go beyond surface relief.

Explore these tried-and-tested tips to address and alleviate the discomfort associated with throwing a baseball, allowing you to enjoy the game with greater comfort and performance.

Why Does My Arm Get Sore From Throwing a Baseball?

The throwing motion involved in baseball is not a natural movement, which is why players will experience soreness. Throwing puts stress on muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the forearm, elbow, and shoulder.

As baseball players get older, they are more susceptible to arm soreness. This is because aging muscles and joints tend to recover more slowly, and the intent with which you throw is higher than when you are younger.

Trust me, I would know if there was a magical remedy to avoid arm soreness. I have tried almost everything you can think of to try and fix a sore arm.

While never experiencing arm soreness is almost impossible, I will share information I have learned throughout my professional baseball career to help promote a healthier arm.

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7 Best Tips To Reduce Arm Soreness in Baseball

#1 Proper Warm-Up Routine

This is a common tip most coaches give a baseball player when dealing with a sore arm. The days of being able to wake up and throw without stretching are a thing of the past for maturing baseball players.

A warm-up routine will vary for each athlete, but the objective is still the same. “Do whatever I need to get my body prepared to throw.” This can include soft-tissue preparation, mobility, dynamic stretches, bands, and even weighted balls.

Most baseball players who do not have a warm-up routine are the ones who are always dealing with a sore arm. A warm-up increases blood flow to muscles, improving oxygen delivery and nutrient supply, which prepares the muscle for activity and reduces the risk of injury.

If you want to learn more about developing a warm-up routine, check out my blog, “9 Best Baseball Products for Developing a Routine.” Here are the three most crucial products that are essential for a baseball routine:

My Favorite Warm-Up Tools

 

#2 Improve Throwing Mechanics

Improper throwing mechanics are one of the main contributors to a sore arm. Efficient mechanics ensure that the forces generated during throwing are distributed evenly across the body, minimizing stress on specific muscles or joints.

Proper mechanics also promote a smooth and controlled motion, reducing the risk of overuse injuries and unnecessary strain.

By optimizing the kinetic chain and ensuring proper sequencing of movements, players can achieve a more biomechanically sound throw, leading to improved performance and reduced arm soreness.

Mechanics are fixed by consistent repetition and practice. One tool that helps many baseball players is weighted balls.

My understanding of the science behind weighted balls is: that when throwing a ball heavier than a baseball, your arm will work in a more efficient path to avoid stress on the arm. The goal is to blend these movement patterns with lighter-weighted balls and eventually a baseball.

If you would like to learn more about weighted balls for baseball training, check out my blog, “Best Weighted Balls for Pitching Training.”

Best Weighted Balls for Baseball

 

#3 Monitor Throwing Volume and Intent

Your throwing volume can be a big reason as to why you are experiencing arm fatigue. If you do not have a consistent throwing plan, you are setting yourself up for a sore arm.

If you are constantly throwing at a high intent each day, when will your arm get a chance to recover? Older baseball players will begin to figure this out over time, but youth baseball players need to monitor how often they are throwing.

The saying “less is more” is crucial for baseball players to understand. There are days your arm will benefit from taking it easy and playing light catch or no catch instead of ramping up and trying to blow your partner up.

On the other hand, if your arm is not conditioned for high-intensity throwing, you can expect to have more soreness. Think about a marathon runner, will they be more sore after running a marathon without training or gradually building up for that marathon?

Your throwing plan needs to follow a similar pattern. Gradually increasing intent and volume each week, with rest and light days as needed. Always think about what you have the next day before throwing for that day.

If you would like to gather more information about your throwing, integrate PULSE into your throwing routine. Professional organizations use this baseball gadget to gather deep insights about your throwing fitness, fatigue, and training program.

Pulse Throw: Workload Monitor

#4 Arm Care Exercises

Arm care is essential for baseball players because throwing a baseball places significant stress on the arm muscles and joints, particularly the shoulder, elbow, and forearm.

Over time, this stress can lead to injuries such as tendinitis, rotator cuff tears, and ligament damage. Arm care exercises can help prevent these injuries by strengthening the muscles and promoting proper shoulder and elbow mechanics.

Additionally, these exercises can aid in the recovery process by increasing blood flow to the affected areas and reducing muscle soreness.

Having a consistent arm care routine can help keep your arm in shape to better handle stress from throwing. In professional baseball, we were encouraged to do arm care at least two times a week. Also be mindful, that doing too much arm care can fatigue your muscles and create more soreness.

If you want to learn more about products that can help you keep your throwing arm in shape, check out my blog, “11 Best Arm-Strengthening Products for Baseball Players.”

My Favorite Arm Care Tools

 

#5 Use Recovery Tools

Baseball players need to be familiar with gadgets that can help relieve soreness. Professional baseball players rely on these products to recover quickly and keep their arms feeling fresh.

While most people think icing after throwing is the best way to recover, that is not the best method. In professional baseball, we were only encouraged to ice if we had a serious injury or swelling that needed to go down.

A better alternative is to use recovery products that increase blood circulation. Innovative arm care tools like Marc Pro, cupping, NormaTec, and the Voodoo Floss Band are great examples.

Unlike icing, which can temporarily numb the area and potentially restrict blood flow, these tools actively promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and aid in muscle recovery.

Each tool brings a unique approach, providing more effective and targeted relief compared to conventional icing methods. If you would like to check out more baseball recovery tools, check out my blog, “11 Best Baseball Recovery Products.”

My Favorite Recovery Tools

 

#6 Consistent Sleep Routine

Having a regular sleep schedule is a game-changer for reducing arm soreness. During sleep, the body undergoes essential repair and recovery processes, supporting muscle growth and development.

This is particularly important for the arms, which are actively engaged in throwing activities. It promotes optimal muscle recovery, reducing inflammation and soreness. Moreover, sleep influences hormonal balance, triggering the release of growth hormone for comprehensive tissue repair.

I know how hard it is to stay on top of your sleep at a younger age. The distractions of your cell phone and video games can keep you up later than you anticipate. I get it, but if you are serious about your health as a baseball player, you will pay more attention to your nighttime routine.

I recommend having a device that can track your sleep to help you stay more on top of your goals. A great investment for baseball players is a WHOOP. The WHOOP is highly used by professional baseball players because of the valuable data provided. The WHOOP is a wearable fitness tracker that provides insights into an athlete’s sleep, recovery, and performance.

WHOOP 4.0

#7 Nutrition and Supplements

A well-balanced nutrition plan plays a pivotal role in minimizing soreness for baseball players. Adequate intake of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, supports muscle recovery and reduces inflammation.

Essential vitamins and minerals aid in overall health and injury prevention. Proper hydration ensures optimal cellular function and helps flush out metabolic byproducts that contribute to soreness.

By fueling the body with the right nutrients, baseball players can enhance recovery, decrease muscle soreness, and perform at their best.

Professional baseball players are encouraged to take supplements that are beneficial to their overall health. There is nothing good about a hurt baseball player, so if a supplement can contribute to keeping you on the field, I recommend investing in it.

If you would like to learn more about supplements that professional baseball players take, check out my blog, “13 Best Legal Supplements for Baseball Players.”

Best Supplements for Reducing Arm Soreness

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should you pitch with a sore arm?

If your are is sore to the point that you are altering mechanics, then no you should not pitch. This can cause you to compensate and put stress on other muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which could be more harmful to your arm. On the other hand, if your soreness does not worsen, and you feel as if you can compete without compensating, yes you can pitch. This answer will become more clear to baseball players as they understand their bodies better.

How long should soreness last after pitching?

The length of soreness will be different for every pitcher. Typically, the first two days after your outing will be the most sore days. Pitchers need to be mindful about what they do after their outing, to avoid creating more soreness. This can include monitoring throwing volume, intent, and distance in the days after their outing. If you take care of your body the right way, you can reduce the length of arm soreness.

Is it good to ice your arm for baseball?

The effectiveness of icing for baseball players is a debated topic. While ice has traditionally been used to reduce inflammation and numb pain, some recent studies suggest that it may not be the most beneficial approach for recovery.

In professional baseball, we would ice our arms if we were trying to reduce swelling and inflammation from an injury. Nowadays, using tools or engaging in exercises that promote blood circulation is the better alternative. As always, players need to explore various options and determine what works best for their individual needs.

Is it normal for the elbow to be sore after pitching?

Yes, it’s relatively common for pitchers to experience soreness in the elbow after pitching. The high-intensity and repetitive nature of pitching can place stress on the elbow joint and the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

However, persistent or severe elbow soreness could indicate underlying issues such as overuse, poor mechanics, or an injury. Pitchers must pay attention to their bodies, incorporate proper warm-up and post-throw routines, and seek professional advice if they experience ongoing or intense elbow soreness.

Why does my child’s elbow hurt after pitching?

Elbow pain in a child after pitching is often linked to factors like overuse or poor mechanics. Young athletes are more susceptible to injuries due to their growing bodies. Ensuring proper pitching techniques, allowing for adequate rest, and focusing on strength and conditioning can mitigate these concerns.

If your child experiences persistent elbow pain, consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and tailored guidance on recovery and injury prevention.

Is long toss good for a sore arm?

Some baseball players like to throw long toss to help flush the arm out. If you are a baseball player who thinks you HAVE to long toss to get rid of soreness, you do not. Every baseball player will have different throwing methods to help alleviate soreness.

I have played with players who like to throw far when they are sore and also some throw short distance. There are even players who will not throw at all when they are sore.

The goal is to figure out what your arm responds best to when sore and stick with that. Do not force yourself to throw long distances because other people do it. You will understand your body better than anyone else, so listen to it.

How do you get rid of soreness after pitching?

The best way to get rid of soreness after pitching is to find a recovery routine that works best for your arm. This will take time to accomplish, but a typical routine will involve arm care, recovery tools, proper throwing regiment, and sleep. There are other factors to consider, but every athlete will have a different routine.

The objective should be to learn what makes your arm feel the best and incorporate that into a consistent routine. For younger baseball pitchers, I encourage trying different methods and figuring out what makes sense for your situation.

When I throw a ball my arm hurts?

First, you have to understand, whether are you feeling pain or is it discomfort. There is a big difference between these two feelings and it can be hard for younger baseball players to distinguish between the two.

The biggest red flag to me when determining if I am experiencing pain or discomfort is whether or not I am compensating. This means am I changing how I am throwing to avoid feeling that sensation. If you find yourself altering your throwing motion you should probably take some time off from throwing and let your arm recover.

Also, is this feeling persistent? Do you feel this pain while doing other daily activities, or is it only when throwing? This is another way to gauge if what you are feeling is serious and needs to be evaluated.

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