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Train Like A Rugby Player

2 MIN READ • 7th August 2016

To excel in this male dominated sport, you need to be fast, strong and resilient, so here’s a couple of the type of exercises rugby players will regularly include in their fitness routines – why not give them a try? Top fitness expert Dean Hodgkin ( gives us a step-by-step guide…

  • Burpees
    Rugby players need powerful legs that can generate force quickly to either accelerate away from an opponent or drive forward in collisions, with plyometric (explosive) exercises, like this one, being the route to achieving this.

    • From a press-up position, pull your knees up to your chest and immediately lift your upper body.
    • Use the momentum you have generated and extend your legs to lift you up from the squat position and then continue into a jump, reaching your hands to the sky.
    • As you land, instantly bend your knees to lower your body down. Then, hinge forward at the hip so you can reach your hands to the floor and shoot your legs back so you return to the starting position quickly.
    • Don’t delay, begin the next repetition immediately, so the whole set becomes continuous.
    • Keep your abdominals pulled in at all times to protect your lower spine, and ensure your landings are soft to reduce the risk of injury to your lower limbs.
    • Also, keep your neck in a neutral alignment so you look down at the floor while in the press-up position, but focus ahead when jumping and landing.
    • Try for 3-5 sets of 30 seconds on – attempting to do as many as you can – followed by 15 second’s rest.
  • Train Like A Rugby PlayerBack extension
    Keep your midsection in match-fit shape with this exercise using a Swiss ball. If you find the balance aspect of this move too challenging, you could steady your feet against a wall.

    • Lie with your stomach and chest in contact with the ball and your toes on the floor and feet apart for extra stability.
    • To help with your balance initially, you may wish to place your hands on the sides of the ball and bend your knees.
    • With a strong contraction in your lower back and buttock muscles, raise your chest off the ball, moving slowly and smoothly.
    • Pause at your highest position before gently lowering, ensuring no jerking or bouncing in either the up or down phase.
    • As you progress you can increase the intensity of the exercise by bringing your feet closer together and varying the hand positions from outstretched to the side, or harder still, straight out in front. Common sense safety tip: always check the ball before using it.
    • Aim for a target of 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.

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