Rugby players generally fall into one of two camps when selecting exercises:
Camp 1) Thinks the only thing that matters is the squat, bench, and deadlift.
Camp 2) Focus’s on “specificity” at the expense of effectiveness.
Let’s find some middle-ground.
Here’s my best exercises for rugby players after 10+ years of coaching:
You compete in a running based sport, run.
2. Bent-leg knee flexion
Reduce hamstring injuries, the most prevalent injury in contact sports.
i.e. RDL, Good morning, deadlift.
Develops robust hamstrings and backs, whilst building the base of power – the posterior chain.
4. Direct Shank Work
Ferraris don’t run on flat tires.
The stronger your lower limbs, the greater force you can put into the ground.
6. Direct Neck Work
i.e. plate neck flexion, isometric holds, rotational band work
Strong necks cash cheques.
For every 1% increase in neck strength, risk of concussion goes down 5%.
i.e. Zercher, farmers, suitcase.
Develops “contact strength” like no other exercises.
8. Direct trunk work
Supplement a holistic programme. The foundation of great things.
9. Plyometrics and jumps
Different directions, different speeds. Develop elasticity and power.
Armour building for the back of the body.
Greater armour = greater hit absorbing potential.
Armour building for the front of the body.
Develop body awareness, shoulder health, contact skills, and breakdown skills.
If you want to read what kind of strength levels we expect in these exercises: read this.
Are you a contact athlete? Do you want a free in-season programme? Get your free in-season Game Ready Programme here – Game Ready: The Inseason Training Programme