Top 7 Hamstring and Shoulder Injury Recovery Exercises

It's not IF, it's WHEN.


It's inevitable, when it comes to playing sports; it is not IF you get hurt, it is more a matter of WHEN.

It starts with a 3 step progression.

1) A 'crunching' or 'pop' sound or possibly just a 'twinge'

2) Next is the sinking feeling in your gut. Confirming that it is game over, at least for the time being

3) Then the question: Will I be ready for the next game?

If we use just a tiny bit of common sense we would easily understand that sport is the ultimate 'pattern overload' program; thousands and thousands of reps over the course of a career, executed with extreme force and velocity.

While injury is inevitable the athlete forges forward practicing and training hoping to never experience or undergo any type of catastrophic injury like broken bones, torn ligaments, or other major injuries.

There not much we can do about these 'big boys'; but the holy grail that many athletes spend much of their non-sport training lives pursuing is the prevention of the 'little injuries' like separated shoulders and pulled hamstrings.

There is another question that comes after "Will I be ready for the next game?"

And it is:

"How can I train to prevent this injury from ever happening again?"

While they are 'small' injuries, they are very common and are responsible for a lot of games lost in a variety of sports.

So I thought I would share a few tips that I have accumulated that work very well in answering the question:

"How can I train to prevent this injury from ever happening again?"

The 2 main areas that these 'little injuries' seem to turn up the most are:

-- Hips, Hamstrings, Groin
-- Shoulders

Unfortunately I have had to earn some of this knowledge the hard way, through my own injuries.

Through my experience I have been able to hone it on what really works; and following two considerations or the base principles I use to program.

Consideration 1: Is Accessibility of the exercise, can the athlete perform some kind regression/progression of the desired movement even when acutely injured, will the movement cause further damage, and will it lead a faster more complete recovery.

Consideration 2: Is Integrity does the exercise promote/improve the movement pattern integrity, does athlete lack the ability to integrate proper musculature to produce the desired movement, and does the selected movement enhance movement integrity.

Accessibility and Integrity are two of the base components to my A-DIS³C Movement Matrix; but we'll save the details of the matrix for another article.


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Let's get into some practical application, of my Top 7 Hamstring and Shoulder Injury Recovery Exercises

1. Double Kettlebell Rack Walk -- excellent full-body drill, good for helping establish body position and movement for both the hips and shoulders

2. TRX "W's" -- phenomenal shoulder exercise, establishes external rotation while stabilizing upper back and the eccentric control of internal rotation.

3. Kettlebell Windmill -- a much more accessible drill for most athletes than the get-up, excellent for teaching stabilization of the shoulder while moving the rest of the body; as well as hip mobility along the frontal plane. A much underrated exercise.

4. TRX Bodysaw -- Takes the plank to another level, removing the feet from the ground requires the body to work more effectively by establishing shoulder integrity via upper back all the way down to the core and posterior chain. Very usable progression from basic plank.

5. Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL -- performed well this kettlebell exercise will provide a lot of feedback, about the athlete's core strength, hip mobility, and integration of glutes and hamstrings to produce/reduce force during hip extension/flexion. Likely a more valuable than a traditional barbell deadlift for non-iron sport athletes

6. L-Walk -- super accessible drill, requires no equipment and is an excellent progression from rack walks and W's. Focuses on upper body locomotion and upper back stabilization in a semi-inverted position. Has bonus of putting hip joint thru flexion and extension.

7. Heavy Staggered Stance Goblet Squat -- is this the newest movement to the fold, has the value of holding in goblet position, with the bonus of high demand vertical hip extension

While not a complete list these are my best 7 exercise for recovery from the 'little' injuries of the shoulder and hip joint. Some of them may not be appropriate for the most acute and severe shoulder and hip injuries; but eventually they are all excellent movements that I have implemented with numerous athletes and of course on myself.

So take them, use them and help become the answer to your own question:

"How can I train to prevent this injury from ever happening again?"


Troy M Anderson

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Troy Anderson

Troy M. Anderson is the owner of Anderson Training Systems, and author of packages such as the superb Alpha Kettlebell Fitness Program.

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