A term like “arm care” is commonly used, and yet it has so many different meanings and directions that it can be taken. We consider arm care as a multimodal, multi-region approach that looks to recover not only the arm but the whole body. By not properly recovering after training you set your body up for increased fatigue and a decrease in optimal movement. Studies show that decreased shoulder range of motion is an early warning sign for future potential injury. (Camp et al., 2017)
We take several approaches to arm care from foam rolling and myofascial release to bands and plyo-balls to meditation and breathing exercises. These methods are all very different but all are reaching towards the same goal. To get stronger we must stress the body, but if we don’t rest/recover we only burn out. It’s a simple equation that’s discussed many times in the book “Peak Performance” that stress + rest = growth. Every time you throw or work out you’re taking resources out of your body (stress). Unless you’re working towards putting those resources back in (recovery) and recharging the body you’re setting up for the resources to be depleted (injury).
The thing that sets one arm care program apart from others is the purpose, intent, and detail behind each action and each repetition. The ones that just rip through a warm up or recovery day are the ones that don’t see the result they think they deserve. Something as simple as loading the shoulder blades appropriately can decide whether your last month of band work was a benefit or a detriment.
To be able to completely maximize your arm care/body care you need to have had some form of movement assessment to determine where your individual needs are. A blanket arm care program will provide a benefit, but working towards fixing your personal deficiencies will take out any of the guess work and put you on the path of optimal health and performance. Individualization is the key factor in any healthy and successful program.
Camp, Christopher L., et al. “Decreased shoulder external rotation and flexion are greater predictors of injury than internal rotation deficits: analysis of 132 pitcher-seasons in professional baseball.” Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery 33.9 (2017): 1629-1636.