Training

Strength Training | Rugby Player Workout

Written by Amy Golby


Strength Training For Rugby Players


Rugby is a tough sport that requires players to have hand-eye coordination, communication skills, mental toughness and excellent levels of strength, speed, power and agility. At any level of rugby it teaches invaluable lessons in teamwork, self-restraint, determination and hard work. The best rugby players in the world come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they all have in common is their drive to work hard, and push their bodies to the limit in order to become faster, stronger and the physical conditioning of rugby players is becoming increasingly important as your opposition become bigger and faster too.


rugby wolves myprotein


Strength and condition for a rugby player should not only increase the physical capabilities of a player are also being an effective way of reducing potential injuries that rugby player may face. The stronger a player can be the more impact they can take when playing meaning the less likely they are to be injured. The best strength and condition programs for rugby should always follow a periodization over the course of the year to ensure that best possible performance is reach for the start of the season. The program should account for year round training through recovery, off-season, pre- season and during the season.

 

Most people who weight train will work with muscle groups in a split programme however when applying strength and condition training in relation to a sport means it is also vital to look at the movements required when playing and the muscles involved in those movements. This means that programs should have a variety of exercises that replicate movements used within game (Squatting, bending, Pulling, pushing, twisting, and gait (running movement).Throughout the on season you need to make sure you stick to only 2-3 strength session a week so will need to have higher a variety of dynamic, compound exercises like squats and bench press to ensure multiple body areas are targeted and all muscles are fully trained, however during off-season a lot more isolated and intense weight training can be done however no matter what time of year the dynamic exercises should always be included.


Rugby


Below are two strength programs one of on-season and one for off season that will enable you to become stronger, bigger and better at rugby.


On-season Strength Program


LOWER BODY

 

Rest for 1 minute between sets (except core where you can rest for 2)

 

#1 Warm-up – 10 min – Rower/treadmill

 

#2 Dynamic Stretch’s – 5 mins

 

#3 Power cleans – 2 sets of 6 reps –If you have never used this exercise before aster your technique before adding weight, stick to 4 sets of 10-12 reps which will help create good power and muscular endurance and build better form when adding on resistance.

 

#4 Side squats – 3 sets of 10 reps – Stepping out as if to lunge but at a 45% angle, start with a lower weight and then build up.

 

#5 Squats (barbell on back) – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#6 Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 8-10 reps-you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#7 Bulgarian split squat – 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg- you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#8 Leg press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.


legpress


Core section:

 

#1 Plank – 2 sets of 60 sec (for beginnings drop this to 3 sets of 30 sec and build up)

 

#2 Bicycle crunches – 2 sets of 60 secs work

 

#3 Swiss ball roll-out – 2 sets of 60 sec work

 

#4 Press-up – 3 sets of 15

 

#5 Pull ups – 3 sets of 15

 

#6 Cool down – 5 mins rower/treadmill

 

#7 Static stretches – 5 mins


pnf calf stretches


UPPER BODY

 

Rest for 1 minute between sets

 

#1 Warm-up – 10 min – Rower/treadmill

 

#2 Dynamic Stretch’s – 5 mins

 

#3 Power cleans – 2 sets of 6 reps –If you have never used this exercise before aster your technique before adding weight, stick to 4 sets of 10-12 reps which will help create good power and muscular endurance and build better form when adding on resistance.

 

#4 Incline bench press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – with the bench at 45 degree, using barbell or dumbbells drive up to straighten your arms and then return until arms are at a 90 degree angle to your chest.

 

#5 Shoulder press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – (dumbbell or barbell) you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#6 Seated Lat pull down – 3 sets of 8-10 reps-(wide grip) you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#7 Hammer Curls – 3 sets of 8-10 reps each arm- you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#8 Tri-cep Extensions (overhead) – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.


close grip bench press


Strength Program – Off-season perform 3-4 times a week (2 upper body and 2 lower body)


UPPER BODY 

 

STRENGTH (rest for 1 minute between sets)

 

#1 Static stretches – 5 mins

 

#2 Cool down – 5 mins rower/treadmill

 

#3 Warm-up – 10 min – Rower/treadmill

 

#4 Dynamic Stretch’s – 5 mins

 

#5 Push ups – 2 sets of 15 reps – This will help warm up the chest, make sure they are controlled movements and you take r chest all the way to the floor. Drop to your knees if you need to in order to reduce the load.

 

#6 Push-press – 2 sets of 6 reps – Hold a barbell in front of you just less than shoulder-width apart. Pull the barbell up until just above your shoulders with elbows close to your body. Bend your knees until you lower your body in to a half-squat position. Press the weight over your head as you press through the heels to explosively stand up.

 

#7 Bench press– 4 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#8 Bent over row (barbell) – 4 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#9 Shoulder press (dumbbells) – 4 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#10 Pull-ups – 3 sets to failure – this should be bodyweight only (if required use a assisted machine or band)

 

#11 Tri-cep dips – 3 sets to failure – this should be body weight only

 

#12 Bi-cep curls (dumbbells) – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – Alternating each arm make sure not to swing your body in order to raise the weight – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#13 Cool down – 5 min – light row

 

#14 Stretches – 5 min – static upper body stretches


decline push ups


LOWER BODY

 

STRENGTH (rest for 1 minute between sets)

 

#1 Warm-up – 10 min –treadmill

 

#2 Dynamic Stretch’s – 5 mins

 

#3 Jump squats – 2 sets of 6 reps – Jumping onto a step or box, control your jump using your arms to propel yourself upwards, when landing have light feet and soft knees and drop into a full squat .

 

#4 Back Squat – 4 sets of 8-10 reps – Keep your form on every squat making sure you hit the 90 degree angle at the knee but you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#5 Leg Press– 4 sets of 8-10 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#6 Walking Lunges – 3 sets of 20 steps – use a barbell across your shoulders to increase load or stick with Body weight to ensure correct technique.

 

#7 Seated Leg curl – 3 sets of 8-12 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.

 

#8 Laying Hamstring curl – 3 sets 0f 8-12 reps – you should not be able to get any more than 10 reps out on the weight selected.


Core section

 

#1 Crunches – 3 sets 15 – ensure correct form, and do not pull on next by keep arms crossed over the chest

 

#2 Russian twist with med ball – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – Alternating each side ensure the weight touches the floor

 

#3 Leg raises – 3 sets of 10 reps – ensure lower back is pressed into the floor and legs are kept straight when raised, to increase load raise arms to touch toes at the top of movement.

 

#4 Plank – 3 reps to failure – ensure a straight back and hips are dropped towards floor. Hold until you failure rest for 30-60secs and repeat.

 

#5 Cool down – 5 min – treadmill

 

#6 Stretches – 5 min – static lower body and abdominal stretches


hamstring curl


 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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