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Legacy Sporting Tip: Flexibility Training (Myofascial Stretching) needs to be combined with specific reinforcement exercises in athletes

A case regarding a baseball player who had no pain in the throwing-arm elbow, but was lacked 15 degrees range of extension do to adaptation from throwing. ROM exercises, joint mobs, soft tissue work and stretching (not MFS) were used to increase the range at the elbow; it improved more than five degrees…at the expense of performance. The pitcher began to have difficulty locating his pitches, specifically his fastball. Soon, he began to experience pain in the throwing arm. The program was stopped and the ROM of the elbow shortened again and the pain dissipated. Was he better? Not at all… the program was poorly designed. It does not make any sense to work on range of motion in one specific area as the body works in chains of tissues. Secondly, reinforcement exercises are fundamental in working with athletes, used in combination with MFS and ELDOA. Finally, global strength training exercises yield global results. If you want to train a specific part of the body, for example, the distal part of the biceps brachii muscle, a specific exercise is needed to target those fibers. This is sports science at the highest level, but it is not the level currently in practice in today’s major league sports.

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