Physical Therapy Protocols
After an overhead athlete (i.e., baseball or volleyball player) undergoes surgery to their throwing or dominant arm, they participate in extensive rehabilitation. This rehab process may take a number of months before a player is cleared to begin their sport-specific return to play protocol. The last phase of rehab includes a plyometric program that increases the dynamic and functional capabilities of the upper extremity. This Plyo-Ball program is designed to increase strength and endurance prior to initiation of the return to play protocol (i.e. a throwing program for baseball players or overhead hitting for volleyball players).
What is extremely important for baseball players to understand is that our Plyo-Ball program is not to be confused with a velocity enhancement program. This program is designed to get a player ready to throw again after many months of not being able to throw. The rehab period for any athlete is designed to optimize the entire body, not just throwing arm. These exercises are intended to be instructional and are in no way a guarantee to increase performance alone. Plyo-Ball exercises are to be implemented at the appropriate time and should not be performed until you are given clearance from Team Ahmad. Participating in Plyo-Ball exercises prior to clearance may results in re-injury.
A study recently conducted by our office took a look at all of the published literature regarding Plyo-Ball throwing. The first study focused on weighted ball performance enhancement dates back to 1966 with the most telling article being published in 2018. Up until 2018, the literature has been insightful but has lacked important features such as dosage, frequency and associated injury rates. To date, there has only been one study that has reported on injury rates in under- and over-weighted baseball throwing. For these and other reasons, the videos seen on this page are intended to be used in a rehab setting and not for performance enhancement.