When I played baseball, we always had a basic warm up exercises for baseball. We would run to the opposite foul pole and play toss at different distances. Over the years I have realized this warm-up program was not beneficial and potentially harmful! We need to educate our players on the proper way to warm-up.

Total Motion Release (TMR) is used to evaluate and treat body motion imbalances. Pain or dysfunction in one area of the body may be affected by movements that take place somewhere else. 

TMR treatment uses six motions: 
1. Arm raise (shoulder flexion)
2. Bent arm wall push (single arm push up)
3. Trunk twist (rotation)
4. Single leg sit to stand
5. Leg raise (hip flexion)
6. Weight bearing toe reach (unilateral bent knee squat). 

These are compared bilaterally and the motion with the greatest imbalance is treated first, providing that both sides are not perceived as dysfunctional (Gamma 2014). Total Motion Release treatment includes repetitions, static holds, or some combination that are performed to the good side (none painful). The TMR is evaluated every two sets of exercises. Based on the results of the treatment, the clinician decides to continue with that motion, modify the motion, or move to the next area of imbalance (Gamma 2014). Treatment then increases to the second highest imbalance score and continues until the six main motions are balanced. A general recommendation is to resolve one upper body, trunk, and lower body imbalance each treatment to maximize treatment effect and retention of gains (Gamma 2014).

Gamma (2014) explored the effects of the Total Motion Release (TMR) Trunk Twist (TT) and Arm Raise (AR) on IR and external rotation (ER) of the dominant shoulder in baseball players compared to a traditional dynamic warm-up. Pitchers (males, n = 10; age, 18.6) recruited from local baseball teams were randomly assigned two one of two groups: TMR treatment group (TMRG; n = 5) or traditional warm‐up group (TWG; n = 5). Baseline IR and ER goniometry range of motion (ROM) measurements were recorded. The TMRG then completed the TMR exercises and post intervention measurements. The TWG completed a traditional static and dynamic warm-up (e.g., lunges, power skips, sprints, sleeper stretch) and then completed post intervention measurements. Following the completion of those measurements, the TWG completed the TMR Trunk Twist and Arm Raise protocol and had post intervention measurements recorded once more. ROM measures for IR and ER of the dominant shoulder. Significant differences were present for IR and ER between the TMRG and the TWG after initial intervention. Significant differences for IR were present in the TWG between baseline and TMR intervention and traditional warm-up and TMR intervention. For the TWG, changes in ER were not statistically significant at baseline, post warm-up, or post TMR intervention. Significant differences were not present for IR or ER between groups once TMR had been completed by both groups.
Total Motion Release seems to be an effective, hands free intervention for increasing dominant shoulder ROM in the overhead throwing athlete when compared to a traditional warm-up protocol. The simplicity of the two Total Motion Release movements utilized during this study made it easy for the participants to identify the “good” side during the TT and AR motions (Gamma 2014). The TMR exercises can be performed anywhere. They do not require another person to apply a stretch, and this requires less time than traditional warm-up/stretching protocols.
COR provides young athletes with basic strength exercises that can improve the imbalances they may have. Having basic strength can help decrease the chances of injuries.
Reference:
  1. Gamma SC, Baker RT, Iorio S, Nasypany A, Seegmiller JG.A total motion release warm-up improves dominant arm shoulder internal and external rotation in baseball players. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Aug;9(4):509-17.

 

Written by Chris Barber, CPT