Develop Robust Shoulders & Reduce Injury

A lot of shoulder injuries in the weight-room or during your chosen sport can be associated with the poor management of volume, however, whether you want to hear it or not, the root cause is weakness and poor joint stability.

Yes, fluctuating and unstructured volume can be the trigger, but it ultimately comes down to the lack of robustness and resilience in the tissues that help keep the joint strong and healthy.

Most athletes are familiar with resistance bands... in fact, I'd go as far as to say that most no doubt carry a couple in their kit bags to use during their warm up prior to practise. Great, resistance bands are a versatile piece of kit that can be carried easily and offer hundreds of options when looking to challenge the muscles that help support and articulate the shoulder girdle.

The problem with bands, however, is that the intensity or load is simply too low. The exercises are not hard enough to stimulate the positive adaptations we're looking for to help dramatically reduce the risk of shoulder injuries and/or pain.

This is where Aqua bags come into play.....

These are absolutely incredible, and are used a lot in my programmes and sessions with the players/athletes I coach. They have thousands of uses, my favourite being amongst some very useful sprint and acceleration drills, however I will post more about this at a later date. Focusing on the topic of developing robustness of the shoulder, this exercise is about as good as it gets:

The Aqua Bag Thruster

The key with this exercise is to not press the bag, but in fact to use the force produced from the legs to get the bag overhead. Where the shoulders do come in, is to try and stabilise the sloshing or oscillations created by the water moving around within the bag. This is a lot harder than Amy is making it look, particularly if you make the bag heavy enough whilst also leaving some room for air so that the water has space to move around.

As an added bonus, if you're forceful and explosive enough, this exercise can be yet another tool that helps you improve force production and even your vertical jump.

Try 4-6 sets of 6-10 reps, holding for 5-10 seconds at the top whilst the shoulder and scapular stabilisers work hard to take control of the unpredictable movements of the bag.

The aqua bag is incredible, and can quite easily be emptied and then re-filled between uses and therefore proves handy when traveling a lot. It's just as portable as resistance bands but, in my opinion, much more useful and valuable

They're not easy to get hold of... for some reason they're not as popular as I think they should be... so here is a link so you can get one for yourself:


As always, thanks for taking the time out to read. I hope you found this post useful. If you're not following us on social media yet, then reach out to us on Instagram Youtube and Facebook

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#shoulderinjury #upperbodystrength

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