Publication Date

Summer 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Ted M. Butryn


collegiate baseball players, shoulder range of motion, Sleeper Stretch

Subject Areas



The purpose of this study was to provide information concerning the effects of a posterior capsule stretching program on the internal range of motion (R–O–M) of overhead athletes as well as to determine if there was any impact on the number of players experiencing shoulder injuries. Thirty–five Division I collegiate baseball players had the degree of shoulder internal rotation (IROT) assessed in both their dominant and nondominant arms (pretest) and were subsequently divided into those who exhibited GIRD (glenohumeral internal rotation deficit; n=27) and those who did not (n=8). Then the Sleeper Stretch was taught to each player and utilized over the course of a 12–week period. Intermittent (every 4 weeks) as well as posttreatment reassessments were performed to determine changes in R–O–M across the length of the study. Parametric and nonparametric analyses indicated a significant gain of 9° of IROT over the course of the study, with the most prominent (6°) gain occurring between weeks 8 and 12. No differences between the GIRD and non–GIRD groups were noted. In addition, no shoulder injuries occurred during the 2010 season, although the comparison to the injury rates of the previous three seasons failed to be statistically significant. Clinically, an increase in R–O–M, coupled with the absence of shoulder injuries, suggests that the Sleeper Stretch could be a promising preventative measure for overhead athletes.