Updated: Feb 21, 2019
We wanted to take a few posts and explore the Thrower’s Ten, a series of PT strengthening and stretching exercises that focus on the shoulder girdle. For aerialists, strength and balance in the shoulder is crucial not only for performing movement but for long-term health of the shoulder. The rotator cuff and shoulder musculature, in general, are an area that has a high risk of injury when performing aerial arts and pole.
What is the Thrower’s Ten?
The Thrower’s Ten in a 10-part series of strengthening moves developed originally to work on rehab and strengthening for baseball pitchers, track and field throwers and really any sport involving repeat movement in the shoulders. The 10 exercises are a combination of stretching and strengthening and work all movement patterns in the shoulder and the connecting muscles. The idea is to build strength, endurance and power.
Why should aerialists use these Exercises?
The exercises can help aerialists identify weak areas in the shoulder muscles and connectors. Adding these exercises into a weekly workout routine will help build strength in the shoulder musculature and stretch out areas of tightness. In aerial arts and pole we tend to repeat movement patterns, this can build up certain muscle groups faster than others, thereby creating imbalances. Muscular imbalances lead to strain and injury. The Thrower’s Ten can help prevent shoulder injuries by working the weaker muscles and building them up to balance the stronger muscles. If you are interested in learning about common muscle imbalances check out our blog post on Why Aerialists and Pole Dancers Should Weight Lift.
How to Use the Thrower’s Ten
1. Start off with light weight. Seriously!
A. Two things happen with heavier weights. You increase the risk of injury by straining small muscles and tendons that might be weak. And using heavier weights may recruit bigger muscle groups that are accustomed to taking on work and not allow the smaller muscles that are targeted to actually work.
2. Begin with 2 sets of 10 -12 reps.
Begin using the Thrower’s Ten once a week and if all goes well do it twice a week. Go slow and methodically, do not rush through reps.
3. Really connect with your body and listen.
Pay attention to the movemeent ask is one movement harder then another? Is it strength or flexibility that is stopping the movement? Focus on what is happening during each exercise and stop if the movement does not feel good. Listening to the body can help you discover where you are lacking in the shoulders. Also note differences from each side of the body.
You will need:
1. A Thera-band or tube band with handles. You can also use an cable pull machine.
2. Free weights
Here are the first four exercises