Shoulder Strength & Stability for Injury Reduction

December 1, 2017

Rugby is a hard-hitting, high impact sport, which possesses a high the risk of injury, particularly around the shoulder and shoulder girdle, as a result of heavy impacts and collisions. Other than ensuring players are being coached the correct tackling techniques, the work you put in away from the field is also vital to assist injury prevention.

For this very reason, a weekly session focusing on shoulder strength and stability is a fantastic way to increase the areas ability to withstand high levels of stress, maintain structural position, increase stability and reduce the risk of injury. The following exercise performed just once per week for 3-4 sets with a moderate weight (allowing 12-15 reps) will be a great kick-start towards increasing shoulder stability, whilst also being a move which gives a full body workout. 

Overhead Squats

  • Place feet under the bar so it's over the base of the toes and have your feet just slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  • Assume a power clean technique but with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart to bring the bar up to the chest area then press above the head into a full extension of the arms
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold that position - this is your starting point
  • Keep arms fully extended and drop into a squat position, maintaining a stable base and flat back
  • Once at the bottom of the movement drive back upwards into a fully standing position with arms remaining fully extended

To add variety to this exercise try it with a dumbbell or kettlebell as a single or double armed movement.

Muscle groups worked: deltoids, triceps, core, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves

Why not try this as part of a circuit hitting the whole body, especially the shoulders, core, and legs?

Complete a suitable warm-up, followed by:

2 sets of 20 reps dumbbell squat and press (using a light weight to get all the key muscles fired up)

Follow this by alternating between Turkish get-ups (with a dumbbell or kettlebell) and overhead barbell squats for 4-5 sets.

Finish with a light set of barbell snatches for 20 reps.

Trust me from experience, your shoulders will feel amazing and your whole body will be pumped!


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