Ready for Rugby: Exercises for Injury Prevention - Page 3

Rob Nitman

Coach

Strength and Conditioning, Strength Training

Prehabilitation Prevents Rehabilitation

Prehabilitation exercises, often shortened to “prehab”, are movements used to strengthen potential problem areas. In rugby this is most notably the neck, shoulders, hips, and glutes. Prehab is used to limit the likelihood of injury and negate the need for rehab - hence the name. These exercises are worth their weight in gold for any rugby player, but they’re often overlooked because they aren’t very glamorous and won’t get him or her a ton of new followers on Instagram.

 

Injury prevention means preparing your body for some major hits.

Prehabilitation work prepares and strengthens your body to deal with the hard hits.

 

 

My favourite prehab exercises use bands for glute and shoulder activation. The glutes are where rugby players generate much of their power, so keeping them firing with these bands improves power output and avoids some of the issues players can experience in this area. Similarly, we can protect the highly stressed rotator cuff by strengthening its muscles with band work.

 

The Ready For Rugby Prehab Routine

I've given four prehabilitation drills below. Do these movements after your mobility warm-up to avoid injury and keep out of the physio room.

 

The Routine:

 

To be completed after The Ready for Rugby Mobility Warm-Up

 

  • 3 x 20 Glute Band Diagonal Walks
  • 3 x 12 Glute Clock Faces with Band (each side)
  • 3 x 12 Shoulder Clock Faces with Band (each side)
  • 3 x 12 Band External Rotation (each side)

 

Prehabilitation Exercises for Injury Prevention: Glute Band Diagonal Walks

 

  • Take a semi-squat stance with an upright torso.
  • Sweep your leg inwards to outwards, keeping your knees tracking over your toes.
  • Perform 3 sets of 20 steps: 10 forward, and 10 backward.

 

Prehabilitation Exercises for Injury Prevention: Glute Clock Faces with Band

 

  • Take a semi-squat stance with an upright torso.
  • Perform each rep slowly and with control.
  • Push your knees out over your toes – don’t allow them to collapse inward.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 steps each side: 1 forwards, 1 to the side, and 1 backwards.
  • Repeat four times on each side.

 

 

Prehabilitation Exercises for Injury Prevention: Shoulder Clock Faces with Band

 

  • Start on all fours, with your knees and hands on the floor.
  • Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Keep tension on the band throughout the movement.
  • Make sure your weight stays over your grounded hand.
  • 3 sets of 12 hand placements each side: 1 forwards, 1 to the side, and 1 backwards.
  • Repeat four times on each side.

 

Prehabilitation Exercises for Injury Prevention: Band External Rotation

 

  • Keep your elbows bent at a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in close to your lats.
  • Rotate at the shoulder, bringing your hand away from your body.
  • Perform each rep slowly and with control.

 

Injury Prevention Is A Year-Round Commitment

Injury prevention shouldn’t just be addressed toward the end of the year to keep you fit for your last few games. It’s something you should focus on throughout the season and off-season too. Freak injuries can still happen regardless, but you can have more power over their incidence by strengthening your problem areas and keeping your joints and muscles healthy with injury prevention work. The exercises given here are designed to do just that. They'll keep your body mobile, resilient, and fully prepared, right up to the last game of the season.

 

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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

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