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Non-gym based rugby strength training


Non-gym based rugby strength Training- Individual

Get rugby fit on the pitch - If you played rugby at school, you probably experienced some form of strength and conditioning outdoors on or around the pitch. You were too young to hit the gym properly or the coach didn’t have the facilities for the whole squad. This meant old school outdoors rugby strength and conditioning drills. These sessions can be done anywhere you train rugby, outside in the cold, wet and windy conditions means they also develop mental as well as physical ro-bustness. 

What type of fitness does a rugby player need?

Twenty years ago this question would have been met with, “For what position?”. The thought process being that a prop needs a different style of fitness to a fullback. These days the game is more complete. The expectations are that every player on the pitch should have endurance, stamina, pace speed and of course, strength and power. Although you might expect the speed of a winger to be greater than that of a lock, or the overhead lifting strength of a prop to be greater than that of a fly-half, by ensuring each player trains every element of fitness regardless of their position, the coach will have a team that are strong and proficient in all movement patterns and will be able to compete any-where on the pitch. Strength training for injury prevention is imperative for every player.

The drills - Cardio specific

Rugby players need:

  • Explosive acceleration and speed
  • Upper and lower body muscular endurance
  • Upper and lower body strength
  • Balance and co-ordination
  • Proprioception and agility
  • Jumping power
  • Flexibility
  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Cardiovascular stamina
  • Strong core
skills every rugby player needs

We all know that every rugby player needs a good “engine”. They need good stamina and good endurance to keep up with the game and never give up. The following drills are designed to aid speed, stamina and endurance specifically for a rugby player.

Following a thorough warm-up, including a few light laps of the pitch, mobility for the joints, dynamic stretches and slow controlled bodyweight exercises before some more running, increasing the speed to raise the heart rate, perform the following drills.

1. Sprint starts - With one hand holding a rugby ball on the ground, pick it up and sprint with it for 20 metres before jogging back. Per-form 4-8 reps.

2. Weighted sprint starts - As before, but this time with a rope attached to a tyre; sprint away, dragging the person/tyre for 20 metres before jogging back. Repeat 4-8 reps.

3. Full sprint - Simply sprint at full speed the length of a pitch and walk back slowly. Repeat 4-6 times.

4. Sled push / drags - If you have the appropriate equipment use a sled and weights or large tyre. Start with half a pitch and then reverese. Once fitness allows try doing the whole length of the pitch. Perform 4-10 reps each.

5. Sandbag carries - Safely lifting a sandbag oronto the shoulders into a fireman carry at one end of the pitch. As quickly as possible carry them to the far end of the pitch/area. Do this back and forth for 6-10reps each.