According to a recent study, the most common rugby injuries sustained during training, are the hamstring, quadriceps, calf and lumbar disc injuries. However, doing just three things can reduce your likelihood of landing all these injuries.
This is welcome news, as over 80% of players pick up at least one injury per season and this injury will be enough to make them miss at least two games. But these three things are self-explanatory. Players need to ensure, they get enough sleep, get the proper nutrition and engage in mobility drills. But what kind of drills are these?
Prehab before rehab
Prehab has become somewhat of a buzzword in rugby and while it does sound a little gimmicky, studies show it really works. Prehabilitation is a form of strength training for the entire body, regardless of the sport being played. It aims to prevent injuries before they occur and can also increase performance on the field.
Hindu press up
One of the most talked about prehab drills is the Hindu press up. With your feet slightly wider apart than your shoulders, you lean forward to create an inverted ‘V’ shape. Now keep your legs straight and bend your arms until your chin hovers above the floor. Then arch your back, which will shift you forward and lead you to look up towards the ceiling. Complete the move by raising your hips again to make the inverted ‘V’ position again.
Taking inspiration from yoga, this flow can be repeated 10 or 20 times and will work muscles from top to toe with very little risk of injury. This flow works well between field hockey drills too. Take a look at the range of Field Hockey Drills available online for more inspiration.
Ankle alphabet training
This exercise is all about creating a variety of movement with a goal, i.e. completing the alphabet. To begin, stretch out your legs in front of you, lift one leg off the ground and use your pointed toes to draw the letters of the alphabet. Patience and practice are important here. Aim for accuracy to get the most out of this flow.
However, it’s important to remember, no exercise is an absolute guarantee against injury but you can make it less likely with drills and prehab work.