You’re rugby players right? It’s kinda par for the course that you’re going to get injured at some point. Even the brutes get injured now and again.


But no worries. When you’re injured you don’t have to stop training!


This is going to happen to you. We play one of the toughest sports on the planet. At some point something bad is going to happen. Here’s a few numbers for you to get your head around:


Over 40% of injuries are muscular strains or contusions (bruising),


30% are sprains, followed by dislocations, fractures, lacerations, and overuse injuries.


Sprained and strained ankles are a common injury with ankle sprains representing almost 1 in 7 rugby injuries. Between 5-25% of rugby injuries are head injuries,including concussions.


Superficial injuries represent 20% of rugby injuries, followed by head injuries and sprains (16%).


Of the head injuries, 44% are concussions.


So we can discount the contusions and lacerations because firstly being bruised isn’t an injury and secondly you can’t really stop getting cuts unless you’re bitten by a radioactive animal or have been rolling around in toxic waste (in which case your super power is most likely cancer, i’m sorry).Concussions and head injuries are also something which you can’t really plan for unless you want to wear a scrum cap.


Things like sprains, dislocations and too an extent fractures are preventable though! (I’ll deal with this in part 2)


(——So I’m injured now what do I do?——)


It comes down to being smart and creative.


Let’s say you have a shoulder problem of some kind. The exact problem isn’t a big deal .I’m going to assume you hurt it wrestling some kind of wild animal. Perhaps a T-rex or a pack of bears. Probably the T-Rex though right because you’re awesome


The point is your shoulder isbust and that sucks.


It puts you out of loads of movements:



Pull Ups

Press ups


Overhead Press





Shit you might as well not even go gym right?


Horse shit man. Learn to train around it.


Let’s take squatting with a shoulder injury (I fucking love to squat). As Mark Rippetoe said


“If you don’t squat you’re a pussy”


And he knows what he’s talking about.


So, shoulders done in. Can’t take the bar on your back.


Can you rack the bar in the clean position?


Make front squats your new go to

Like Klokov here
Like Klokov here

Can’t rack it?


You can hold a dumbbell right though?


    Raised leg split squats! If you’re a masochist you’ll love this. (If I was forced, never to squat again this is what I’d do instead! Which is what Mike Robertson does with his NFL

combine athletes I believe!)


Can’t balance like that?


    Walking lunges baby! Keep your reps low and the weight heavy. Also seriously fix your balance mate, how do you expect to be able to change direction if you can’t balance on one leg!


Still want the hormonal effects of lifting super heavy?


    Do you have a hex/trap bar?


    Use that (it’s pretty much a mix between a quad dominant and hamstring dominant)and fill up the bar with as many plates as you can get your hands on


Guys that’s 4 ways just off the top of my head. You just have to get creative! I haven’t even gone into sandbags or kegs


The point is if there is a problem with one part of your body it doesn’t have to affect all of your body and turn you into a coach bound slob.


So here’s my guide to working around injury


  1. Go to the doctor find out what you have done and get some professional help on the injured area (remembering bruises are not injuries!)
  2. Find out what movements you can do pain free and if you are allowed to do by the physio (If they say don’t log press because you’ve torn your rotator cuff for god’s sake don’t log press even if it feels fine jackass)
  3. Figure out what muscles the movements you can’t do are working.
  4. Find a new and different way to load those muscles
  5. Start bulletproofing yourself so you don’t get hurt in the first place next time


Here’s an example for you.


I hurt my wrist and no can’t do any thing grip wise until that’s all healed up, So no deadlifting for me. Here’s how I’m working around it.


  1. Went doctor, got everything stitched up and mended. Not allowed to grip anything too hard
  2. Can’t do any pulls without feeling like my forearm is going to explode
  3. I want to work my posterior chain (this is some of what a deadlift does and to me is the most important)
  4. weighted hip thrusts are a similar movement and I don’t have to grip anything!
  5. I’m getting the stitches out in about 20 minutes so will start really light rehab and prehab tomorrow!



As always I’m open for questions.


Alex “if you don’t squat you’re a pussy” Miller


PS – Here’s the split squat