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3 Throwing Prep Exercises


Throwing athletes use high speed hip, trunk, and shoulder motion as a predominant part of their athletic skill set for their sport of choice. Quarterbacks and pitchers need the ability to efficiently transmit force from the ground up into their arms and tend to do so to one side as opposed to equal motion to both sides.


These three warm up exercises were chosen specifically to target the hips, trunk, and shoulder in preparation for the skill of throwing. They can improve ROM and stabilize common limitations that we have found after many years of working with elite and professional athletes. This blog is limited to 3 basic exercises, but an activation prep from the feet to the neck is recommended to prepare. The accompanying exercise video can be found at the end of this blog.


For additional exercises, please go to www.kiroconcepts.com and check out our Rotational Athlete Warm Up Manual.



What you will need:

  • A band or cable with resistance of 10-15lbs maximum.

  • The Ki-RO Core Trainer

A full video of the exercises can be found at the end of the blog

Note: If an athlete prefers to include stretching as part of their warm up, we recommend that the Ki-RO Warm Up is done after the stretching.


Exercise 1: Single Leg Holds

Target: The Hips

The ability to internally or externally rotate at the hip for rotational athletes is critical for proper mechanics. The forward leg during a throw undergoes rapid internal rotation, adduction, and flexion of the hip. The back leg needs to be able to push off into this motion which uses hip external rotation, extension, and abduction. The chosen exercises will engage these muscles and help open up the ROM and create more stability.


1a: SL Holds: Front Resistance

Resistance is placed on a ring in the front of the body and to the side. If Resistance is on LEFT side then standing on the LEFT leg will target LEFT Hip Internal Rotators. Standing on the RIGHT leg will target RIGHT Hip External Rotators. (Reversed if resistance is on the RIGHT side of the body.)

  • Face the resistance

  • Stand left leg, Hold 6 seconds

  • Stand Right leg. Hold 6 seconds

  • Repeat 5 times each leg

SL Holds: Front Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Hip Rotators, posterior chain

Additional Muscles: Trunk Rotators, hip extensors, knee flexors, plantarflexors, hip stabilizers

Levels of Attachment: 1, 2, 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse, Sagittal


1b: SL Holds - Side Resistance:

Resistance is placed on a ring to the side of the body. If Resistance is on RIGHT side then standing on LEFT leg targets the LEFT Hip ABDuctors. Standing on the RIGHT leg targets the RIGHT Hip ADDductors

  • Face to the side of the resistance

  • Stand left leg, Hold 6 seconds

  • Stand Right leg. Hold 6 seconds

  • Repeat 5 times each leg

SL Holds: Side Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Hip Abductors, Hip Adductors

Additional Muscles: Trunk lateral flexors, evertors, invertors.

Levels of Attachment: 1, 2

Plane of Resistance: Frontal


1c: SL Holds - Back Resistance

Resistance is placed on a ring in the back of the body and to the side. If Resistance is on the LEFT side then standing on LEFT leg targets LEFT Hip External Rotators. Standing on the RIGHT leg targets RIGHT Hip Internal Rotators

  • Face away from the resistance

  • Stand left leg, Hold 6 seconds

  • Stand Right leg. Hold 6 seconds

  • Repeat 5 times each leg

SL Holds: Back Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Hip Rotators, anterior chain

Additional Muscles: Trunk Rotators, hip flexors, knee extensors, dorsiflexors, hip stabilizers

Levels of Attachment: 1, 2, 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse, Sagittal


Exercise 2: Trunk Rotation Iso Holds

Target: The Core


The core transfers power between the lower to upper body as well as acts as an anchor point for limb strength and power generation or movement. If it can not anchor properly, ROM in the hip or the shoulder can be reduced along with a reduction in power and force transference. This is very important for rotational athletes and why more core warm up exercises are recommended


2a: Trunk Rotations - Front Resistance

Resistance is placed on a ring in the front of the body and to the side. If resistance is on the left side, then rotation is to the LEFT. If resistance is on the right side, then rotation is to the RIGHT.

  • Face resistance with same side leg slightly to the front.

  • Rotate against the resistance

  • Hold 6 seconds, Repeat 5x.

  • Switch sides with resistance.

  • Can be done standing, seated, kneeling, or half kneeling.

Trunk Isos: Front Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Back Rotators,

Additional Muscles: Abdominals that rotate, hip stabilizers, back extensors

Levels of Attachment: 1, 2, 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse, Sagittal


2b: Trunk Rotations - Back Resistance

Resistance is placed on a ring in the back of the body and to the side. If resistance is on the left side, then rotation is to the RIGHT. If resistance is on the right side, then rotation is to the LEFT.

  • Face away from resistance with opposite side leg slightly to the front.

  • Rotate against the resistance

  • Hold 6 seconds, Repeat 5 xs.

  • Switch sides with resistance.

  • Can be done standing, seated, kneeling, or half kneeling.



Muscles Emphasized: Abdominal Rotators, Abdominal flexors at neutral ROM

Additional Muscles: Posterior muscles that rotate, hip stabilizers.

Levels of Attachment: 1, 2, 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse, Sagittal


Exercise 3: Elevation/Depression

Target: The Scapula


The scapula is the anchor for the rotator cuff muscles and critical for proper shoulder mechanics. The path to injury of the glenohumeral joint or muscles of the joint can often start with scapular instability. The Ki-RO Core Trainer is one of the few ways which allows the targeting of the scapular muscles without having to engage glenohumeral muscles. This helps directly target the often weak scapular muscles as well as reduce unnecessary loading of the rotator cuff muscles by using weights or bands.


3a: Elevate/Depress - Front Resistance

Resistance is placed on the top ring in the front of the body and to the side.

  • Face the resistance placed on top ring (level 3)

  • Elevate shoulder to a comfortable range and hold 2 seconds

  • Return to neutral.

  • Depress shoulder to a comfortable range and hold 2 seconds

  • Return to neutral.

  • 2-4-2 tempo (2s hold elevated, 4s down to depression, hold 2s in depression, 4s up to elevation)

  • Repeat 5 times for each range

  • Switch sides with resistance.

  • Can be done standing, seated, kneeling, or half. If half kneeling, make sure knee on ground is at neutral hip extension


Scap Elevate/Depress: Front Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Retractors of the shoulder that elevate and depress the scapula

Additional Muscles: Trunk rotators, Hip stabilizers (when standing)

Levels of Attachment: 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse (Plane of motion: Frontal)


3b: Elevate/Depress - Back Resistance

Resistance is placed on the top ring in the back of the body and to the side.

  • Face away from the resistance placed on top ring (level 3)

  • Elevate shoulder to a comfortable range and hold 2 seconds

  • Return to neutral.

  • Depress shoulder to a comfortable range and hold 2 seconds

  • Return to neutral.

  • 2-4-2 tempo (2s hold elevated, 4s down to depression, hold 2s in depression, 4s up to elevation)

  • Repeat 5 times for each range

  • Switch sides with resistance.

  • Can be done standing, seated, kneeling, or half. If half kneeling, make sure knee on ground is at neutral hip extension


Scap Elevate/Depress: Back Resistance

Muscles Emphasized: Protractors of the shoulder that elevate and depress the scapula

Additional Muscles: Trunk rotators, Hip stabilizers (when standing)

Levels of Attachment: 3

Plane of Resistance: Transverse (Plane of motion: Frontal)


Engaging and preparing muscles and motions used during the skill of throwing is important to not just warm up the body but to also assess how it is functioning at that time. These three exercises can address and correct common limitations that affect mechanics. However, it is recommended to rotate through all of the various exercises of the Rotational Warm Up Manual in order to "rotate the tires" of the joints. This will help to ensure stability and strength is trained in all planes of the joint and not just the same movements over and over again.


Please check us out and sign up for our email list to get our latest blog posts that discuss core concepts. Send any questions to info@kiroconcepts.com or DM us @kirocore on Instagram.


Reminder: Always check with your doctor or exercise professional before engaging in an exercise program or adding anything new to your current work out program. Be safe!

I hope you have benefited from this information!

Kika Mela, BSE, LMT, MATCSm

Kika Mela is Co-Owner of Mela Therapeutics, Inc. and the creator of the Ki-RO Core Trainer from Ki-RO Concepts, LLC. She has a degree in Exercise Science, is a Master Level MAT Specialist, MAT Rx Specialist, and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 27+ yrs. She has worked extensively with professional and elite athletes, consults on exercise, and is a contributor to the training processes at Bommarito Performance Systems as part of their medical team.


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