How a game of Cornhole may improve shoulder mobility, standing balance, trunk rotation, and much much more.

The Toss

The relaxed, front to back swinging action of a cornbag toss may be extremely therapeutic for the shoulder joint. A common shoulder exercise taught in most physical therapy clinics is a pendulum or Codman’s exercise. One great attribute of the cornbag toss is the added spin put on the bag before release creates a lateral rotation of the humerus which increases rotator cuff activation and stabilization. By starting with a short toss and gradually increasing the distance we are able to grade the difficulty of the exercise always ensuring a pain free range of motion.

Although awkward, it is recommended to practice the cornbag toss using both your dominant and non-dominant hand.

The Stance

The stance may vary among individuals, but the most common stance for a right handed toss is to position the left foot forward in a stride position. Regardless of whether the player steps while tossing or tosses from the stride (foot forward) position the lumbopelvic rotation required to complete the toss and the contralateral arm and leg swing is very similar to normal human ambulation.

Proprioception and Motor Sequencing

The complexity of aiming, stepping, judging distance, arc of the toss, speed, and acceleration may help to improve proprioception and motor sequencing. These are attributes vital to human movement and are often susceptible to the use it or lose it rule.

The goal of most physical therapy is to improve overall human movement and function. Playing games is an instinctive form of learning how to move.

Keep playing!