Saturday, April 9, 2011

"There's no crying in baseball"

Even though Tom Hanks' famous line came in 1992 from the movie A League Of Their Own, it could certainly be put to use here early on in the 2011 Major League season.

Not only does the start of the regular season mean that summer fun is right around the corner, it also means it's time for a lot of big-time-money-making ball players to find themselves in pain and on the disabled list. I don't follow baseball as closely as I do the NFL, but I've noticed a lot of injuries to players this year, specifically to "side" muscles throughout the league. Several well-known players such as Evan Longoria, Jason Bay, and Brian Matusz, among others, have found themselves watching from the dugout due to oblique or intercostal muscle strains.

Oblique muscles and intercostal muscles serve separate yet similar purposes (both assist with breathing while oblique muscles help rotate your torso). They can also be injured the same way. Both injuries are usually common in athletes who are required to rotate their torso quickly with a lot of force. Obviously baseball players, whether it be a pitcher or a batter, need to rotate their torso forcefully in order to throw the ball or swing the bat. However, these injuries can be avoided with proper conditioning and stretching, something I'm wondering if ballplayers are getting enough of.

How does this information relate to the everyday person? Well, with it being spring time you are probably out in your back yard doing some cleaning, right? Perhaps you are lifting something down from a shelf in your shed and putting it on the floor beside you. Or maybe you are throwing some brush up and into the back of a pickup truck. Or maybe you are checking to see if your lawn mower will start by pulling on that frayed old cord. Regardless of which of these or any other movement you might be doing, chances are you are breathing heavier and rotating your torso. The real key to preventing injury is to stretch...

Click here to see some stretches you can do for your obliques. There's no crying in baseball and there shouldn't be any crying (from injury) in your backyard projects!


  1. Yeah, seemingly half of my fantasy baseball team is sidelined by an oblique strain. I am emailing them you post right now so that they will hopefully stretch next time.

  2. Your team came to mind when I was writing this post. You'd better get them on some sort of conditioning program because a 6-7-1 start is not acceptable.