Rotational Power for hurling

Joseph Boland is a Dublin senior hurler and Physiotherapist at Functional Training Ireland (FTI). If you would like to make an appointment with Joey, you can contact FTI by email.


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For any player involved in a rotational sport – i.e. hurling, golf, tennis etc. – with a history of upper back, neck or shoulder problems, here are some tips to help keep injury free and improve performance!

In the past I have dislocated both my shoulders due to lack of upper back/shoulder mobility which restricted my ability to take the hits and smoothly strike the ball.

Here are some easy to do exercises that can help improve movement, limit risk of injury and most importantly improve striking performance.


galway kilkenny hurling

Test Yourself

This is an easy way to test an athlete’s upper back extension which is important for high catching.


So the next test looks at an athlete’s upper back rotational ability, important for swinging a hurley, golf club or tennis racket.


waterford kilkenny hurling

As you can see I don’t have as much movement twisting to my left side which means pucking off my right side is restricted.

What can you do to fix the problem?

Here is a simple exercise that I find helps improve my upper back and shoulder movement.


Here is another one – this rotational exercise is great for releasing that stiffness in the upper back.


I find this cable exercise bridges the gap between basic mobility exercises and striking performance which still needs improvement as you can see from the video, you will need a good cable machine to perform this but you could use bands.


So much of this is to aid performance but also remember, fix these issues and a whole host of neck, low back and other issue you may have will disappear.


Joey Boland and Dave Hare

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