PT Protocols

Non-surgical progressive throwing program For baseball

The Non-Surgical Progressive Throwing Program is designed for minor injuries to the shoulder. It covers a period of three and a half to four weeks.  For more involved injuries and post-surgical shoulders, please refer to the Surgical Progressive Throwing Program.

During warm-up, it is important to use heat prior to stretching (e.g., hot pack, whirlpool, hot shower, etc.). Heat increases circulation and activates some of the natural lubricants of the body. Perform stretching exercises after applying the heat modality and then proceed with the throwing program. Use ice after throwing to reduce cellular damage and decrease the inflammatory response to microtrauma.

  1. Proceed through each step in order, one step per day (DO NOT SKIP STEPS).
  2. Rest one day in between each step.
  3. Proceed to the next step only if you are able to throw without pain or discomfort.
  4. If at any time during any step you experience pain or discomfort, STOP AND REST. If the pain or discomfort is not relived after your day of rest, do not proceed with the next step. Rest an additional day if necessary and repeat the step in which you experienced the discomfort before progressing to a new step.


  • Toss the ball (no wind-up), not more than 20 feet. Tossing should be limited to 2-3 sessions, 10-15 min/session.


  • Increase the tossing distance to 30 - 40 feet. Continue 2-3 sessions, 10-15 min/session.


  • Lob the ball (playing catch with an easy wind-up) not more than 30 feet.
  • Continue 2-3 sessions, 10 -15 min/session.


  • Increase the distance to 40 - 50 feet while still lobbing the ball (easy wind-up).
  • Schedule the throwing program and strengthening program on alternate days.
  • Increase the throwing time to 15-20 min/session, 2-3 sessions.


  • Increase the distance to 60 feet while still lobbing the ball with an occasional straight throw at not more than one-half (1/2) speed. Increase the throwing time to 20 - 25 minutes per session.


  • Perform long, easy throws from the mid-outfield (150 - 200 feet), getting the ball barely back to home plate on 5 - 6 bounces. This is to be performed for 20 - 25 minutes per session.


  • Perform long, easy throws from the deepest portion of the outfield, with the ball barely getting back to home plate on numerous bounces. This is to be performed for 25 - 30 minutes per session.


Execute stronger throws from the mid-outfield, getting the ball back to home plate on 1 - 2 bounces. This should be performed approximately 30 - 35 minutes per session.


  • Perform short, crisp throws with a relatively straight trajectory from the short outfield on one bounce back to home plate. These throws should not be performed for more than 30 minutes.
  • Continue with your body conditioning program (i.e., strength, flexibility, and endurance). Days in which strengthening and throwing programs occur on the same day, schedule the throwing program in the morning and the strengthening program in the afternoon.

STEP 10:

  • Return to throwing from your normal position (e.g., from the mound if you are a pitcher). The throw should be at one-half to three-fourths speed, with emphasis on technique and accuracy. A throwing session should not be more than 25 minutes.

STEP 11:

  • Throw from your normal position at three-fourths to full speed. Throwing sessions should not be more than 30 minutes.

STEP 12:

  • Simulate a game day situation. Warm-up with the appropriate number of pitches and throw your average number of innings. Take the usual rest breaks between innings. Return to the normal pitching regimen or routine based on input from the team doctor, physical therapist, athletic trainer, coach, and most important of all, the athlete.

*If problems arise, contact your therapist, athletic trainer or physician.