USA Team Handball News Information On The O...

Information On The OSTRC Shoulder Injury Prevention Program For Handball

Sept. 16, 2020, 10 a.m. (ET)

Background: 

The OSTRC Shoulder Injury Prevention Program was developed and tested by coaches, physiotherapists, and researchers working with the Norwegian Handball Federation. A study on 45 elite handball teams (660 players) showed a 28% reduction in shoulder injuries in the group completing the program for one season. 


Instructions: 

The program consists of five exercises completed three times per week during the warm-up, prior to throwing activity/practice. The five exercises change every six weeks. At start-up, follow the recommended load and number of repetitions. Progress by increasing the tension of the band or using a heavier weight or weighted ball. Reduce load and seek medical attention if you experience shoulder pain during the exercises. 


Rationale: 

The reason we believe injury prevention programs are successful is likely that they add some type of extra training that the athlete isn’t already doing. It’s not imperative that the exercises themselves look like the sport; the athlete is already getting that specific training when they play. The main goals of the OSTRC Shoulder Injury Prevention Program are to improve shoulder external rotation (ER) strength, scapular strength, shoulder internal rotation (IR) range of motion (ROM), and thoracic spine ROM. The set/repetition schemes can and should be modified as the athlete gains competence and the exercises become easier. 


Series #1: 

(Weeks 1-6) 

  1. Plank rotation 

In push-up plus position (pushing hands/elbows toward the floor by pressing shoulder blades forward and out), alternate rotating trunk and reaching towards the ceiling. This can be performed with a weight in the reaching hand.

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 6-8 reps 

2. Standing Y-flies 

Lift chest, draw shoulder back, and pull the band with straight arms towards the ceiling in a Y- position. This can be performed with weights in a hinge/bent-over position.

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 6-8 reps 


3. Trunk rotation 

Alternating trunk rotation pointing the hand towards the ceiling. This can be performed in a rock- back position to bias upper trunk rotation. 

3 x 8-16 reps 


4. Sleeper stretch 

Lying on your side with the shoulder around 90 degrees, push the hand downwards towards the floor into internal rotation until a stretch is felt. This can also be performed with a weight as a resistance exercise.

3 x 30 sec 


5. External rotation 

Keeping the elbow and shoulder at 90 degrees, move through the full range of external rotation. This can be performed with a weight or band as resistance.

3 x 10-20 reps progressing to 3-4 x 6-8 reps 


Series #2: 

(Weeks 7-12) 

 

1. Plank with passing 

In push-up plus position, players roll ball to each other, alternating hands. This can be performed against a wall without a partner.

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 10-20 reps 


2. Bow and arrow 

Start by drawing shoulder blade back/down, follow through with arm and trunk rotation. This can be performed with weights in a hinge/bent-over position.

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 6-8 reps 


3. Dynamic latissimus dorsi stretch 

Standing with elbows against a wall, slide the arms upward, keeping the forearms vertical and spine in neutral.

3 x 8-16 reps 


4. Cross-body stretch 

Lying on your side with the shoulder around 90 degrees, pull the arm across body until a stretch is felt without letting your shoulder blade move.

3 x 30 sec 


5. Drop and catch 

Keeping the elbow and shoulder at 90 degrees, drop the ball and catch it quickly. Return to start position. This can be performed with a weight as resistance.

3 x 10-20 reps progressing to 3-5 x 5-10 reps 


Series #3: 

(Weeks 13-18) 

 

1. Push-up plus with backward slide 

Start by performing a push-up plus, hold push-up plus position, slide backwards maintaining neutral spine position, and return to start. 

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 10-20 reps 


2. Slow arm lowering 

Tighten band with two hands to maximum height and return slowly (3 sec) with one hand. This can be performed with weights and also without the second arm assisting.

3 x 8-16 reps progressing to 3-4 x 6-8 reps 


3. Dynamic W-stretch 

Standing with forearms, head, and spine against a wall, slide arms upwards.

3 x 8-16 reps 


4. Sleeper stretch OR cross-body stretch 

3 x 30 sec 


5. Backwards throw
The partner throws a ball from behind. Catch the ball and throw it back using rotation at the shoulder. This can be performed with a weighted ball and progressed by having the partner stand further away.

3 x 10-20 reps progressing to 3-5 x 5-10 reps