Key Rugby Training Exercises

Posted by


For part 2 of our mini feature on rugby fitness & performance we’re providing a quick run down of some of the key exercises for those looking to improve at or begin taking part in rugby.

Compound Exercises

These are the powerful exercises which takes your training to the next level. It’s an exercise that engages more than 1 muscle to give you a proper workout! Compound exercises are the most efficient way to workout and make the progress and gains you need.


What are Squats?

Squats engage the bulk of your leg muscles with the aim of increasing explosive power which is of benefit in sprints, in the scrum and in establishing a powerful base when getting your hands on the ball in a ruck.

How to squat?

Place your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and slowly lower your body until parallel. The weight on your back shouldn’t solely be straining your back, if you’re doing it right, you’ll feel back and leg muscles working.

Why Squat?

It’s a workout which can exercise the muscles needed to generate sufficient power to not only take a tackle, but to produce one.


What are Deadlifts?

Deadlifts are a great exercise to improve your muscle mass and give you that extra edge during the game.

How to Deadlift?

Keeping your back straight, bend your legs and grip the barbell bringing it above your knees, straightening your legs and then by replicating that movement back down.

Why deadlift?

Again it strengthens your leg and back muscles, but it also strengthens your core, ideal for tackling and creating turnovers.


What are Sprints?

Sprints are clearly not a compound exercise, but are nonetheless an extremely beneficial area in which to train for better results on the pitch. With increases in acceleration and top speed beaten defenders can be left in your wake or last second try saving tackles made.

How to Sprint…

Set out cones every 10 metres to a distance of 50 metres. Begin by sprinting to the 10 and back, recover, then keep this going to the 20, 30, 40 and finally the 50. Be sure to record your times to mark improvements.

In order to simulate match situations change your starting positions, ie on the ground, kneeling etc.

Why Sprint?

Sprint training allows you to make a tangible difference to your performance and can tip the balance in your favour in those vital seconds that decide which way a game is going to go.

Copyright © 2014 USN (Ultimate Sports Nutrition). All rights reserved. ®

USN in Ireland Ltd. Unit 6a, Adelaide Court, Albert Road, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.