The Best Workout for Rugby Players

Are you a Rugby player looking to get the most out of your workouts? You’ve come to the right place! This article discusses the best exercises and strategies to help Rugby players increase their power and speed on the field. Get ready to maximize your performance!

Quick facts: Best Workout For Rugby Players

  • ✅ A combination of explosive strength, aerobic endurance, and power is essential for successful rugby players – British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • ✅ Plyometric exercises are beneficial in improving the power and speed of rugby players – Strength and Conditioning Journal
  • ✅ Agility drills are important to help rugby players increase their lateral movements and change direction quickly – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
  • ✅ Core exercises are important for maintaining good posture, balance and stability – International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
  • ✅ Heavy weight training increases muscular strength and power for rugby players – Sports Medicine Journal
  • Introduction

    Training for rugby requires both physical and tactical preparation. Rugby players must have sufficient strength, power, agility, speed and endurance. Prior to any training program, it is essential that a rugby player has an understanding of the basic rules of the game in order to develop an effective movement strategy. This will also provide them with an understanding of how rugby players move around on the pitch in different situations.

    The aim of this article is to provide a detailed overview of the best workout for rugby players that can help improve their performance both on and off the pitch. The focus will be on developing strength, power, agility, speed and endurance. It will also provide information on how to prevent injuries while playing this tough sport.

    By following this comprehensive workout routine designed specifically for rugby players, you’ll be better prepared than ever before come game day!

    • Develop strength.
    • Develop power.
    • Develop agility.
    • Develop speed.
    • Develop endurance.
    • Understand the basic rules of the game.
    • Learn how to prevent injuries.

    Strength Training

    Strength training is a vital part of any rugby player’s workout regimen. Increasing your strength will make you more powerful on the field, allowing you to hit harder and tackle with more force. It is also important to focus on increasing your core strength, as this will help you stay balanced and make it easier to move quickly and accurately.

    In this article, we will discuss the best types of strength training for rugby players:


    Squats are a key exercise in a rugby player’s strength training program. They help build the leg muscles needed for explosive power and strength during scrums and tackling. Squats should be performed with an emphasis on proper technique to prevent injury and maximize performance on the field.

    To perform a squat, begin standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed outward. Bend your knees to lower your body down towards the floor until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and chest up throughout the movement. Powerfully push off from your feet as you drive yourself back up to standing position, squeezing your glutes at the top of the move. Start with light weights until you have gotten used to this motion, then increase weight or reps as you become more comfortable with performing squats properly.


    Deadlifts are a staple exercise in strength training for rugby players. The deadlift is an excellent exercise to strengthen the entire posterior chain (muscles of the back line) and legs. When deadlifting, it is important to ensure that proper form is maintained throughout the range of motion to ensure optimal results and minimize risk of injury.

    The start position should include a hip hinge, with a flat back, and the barbell positioned directly below the shoulders with arms straight and extended. The concentric phase begins with an explosive hip drive leading into a lockout at the top of the movement with maximum tension at full extension, before slowly returning back to your starting position. As you progress, increasing weight can be added to increase your strength further and add mass to your frame if desired.

    Bench Press

    The Bench Press is a classic strength exercise and is one of the most effective moves for rugby players. It works the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. This exercise can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells or just your bodyweight. When performing the Bench Press with weights, it’s important to use proper form – keep your back straight and make sure to lower the weights in a controlled manner.

    When starting out, begin with light weights and don’t forget to warm up first. You can also incorporate variations on the bench press such as incline or decline presses to really target different areas of your upper body. As you become more experienced, gradually increase the weight. It’s important to remember to always push yourself but never overdo it as this can lead to injury or burnout.

    Shoulder Press

    The shoulder press, an exercise used in strength training and rugby players, is a compound overhead lift. This exercise concentrates on the shoulder muscles, triceps and deltoids by pressing a barbell or dumbbell upward from shoulder level. The placement of the hands can be adjusted to isolate specific muscle groups; for example, gripping with a wider hand-position targets the chest muscles more than the shoulder muscles.

    Shoulder presses are one of the most common exercises amongst rugby players for several reasons. Not only does it work two major muscle groups – the shoulders and triceps – but it can also strengthen your postural stability, helping to better absorb contact from opponents and prevent injury. Additionally, this exercise helps build strong, powerful shoulders which will lead to better performance while facilitating all other exercises you perform as part of your training program such as lifts and throws.

    Power Cleans

    Power Cleans are an essential exercise for rugby players and one of the best compound exercises for power. They involve pulling a barbell from ground to shoulder level in a single, explosive movement. The focus of the exercise is on using your hips and legs to create a powerful pull, so that you can accelerate the bar upwards while keeping it close to your body. This focus on quick power is perfect for rugby-specific activities such as tackling, scrummaging and lineouts.

    Power Cleans work several major muscle groups at once, including your arms, shoulders, legs and back. This helps to build strength and explosive power which are key attributes within rugby. They also help to improve your balance and coordination, giving you an added edge when competing on the pitch. Include Power Cleans in your workouts at least two times a week in order to reap its full benefits.


    Lunges are a great way for rugby players to increase their strength and mobility. This compound exercise targets multiple muscle groups, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and abdominals. It also helps with posture and balance.

    To perform a lunge correctly, stand upright with feet together and then take a step forward with one foot while lowering your body until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Then you must push up through your front foot while stepping back to the starting position. Practicing lunges can help improve leg strength as well as build core stability in rugby players to help them become stronger on the field.

    It’s recommended that athletes do 3 sets of 10 reps in each leg for optimal results. Additionally, using heavier weights can increase the intensity of the exercise and make it more effective for rugby players who need powerful leg strength to perform on the pitch.


    Plyometrics is a type of exercise that utilizes explosive movements to build strength, power and speed. It is particularly popular among rugby players, who need to be able to sprint, jump and tackle their opponents effectively. Plyometrics can help develop the coordination and agility required to play rugby, as well as providing a great all-around workout.

    Let’s take a closer look at how plyometrics can benefit rugby players:

    Box Jumps

    Box Jumps are plyometric exercises used by rugby players to develop their explosive power and agility. Box jumps involve jumping onto a raised platform, moving feet quickly in an effort to increase your vertical height. In order to improve the muscles used in rugby, box jumps should be performed using proper form and technique. When performing this exercise, make sure to keep your head up and back straight while jumping with both legs at the same time.

    It is recommended that box jumps be included in a rugby player’s weekly workout routine. Not only do box jumps help build explosive power and agility, but they also help improve coordination and balance. Additionally, this exercise helps prevent injuries related to the lower body by strengthening the hip muscles and tendons which are frequently used during tackles and scrums on the rugby field.

    Depth Jumps

    Depth Jumps are a type of plyometric exercise that falls into the category of ballistic-type plyometrics, where the goal is to generate as much power and acceleration in an explosive movement as possible. This exercise can be applied to rugby players, who are looking to improve their speed and agility.

    To do a Depth Jump, stand on a solid object such as a bench or box of appropriate height. Step off the object and land in an athletic position with both feet flat on the ground. The landing should be quick and controlled in order to maximize performance. From this position, immediately explode up into a jump while still maintaining control of your bodyweight.

    Depth Jumps can be part of any full-body training plan for rugby players looking to increase their time to contact or agility on the field. Incorporating this type of plyometric exercise will help build strength and power for more explosive movements during play, giving players an advantage over their opponents.

    Hurdle Jumps

    Hurdle Jumps are a type of plyometric exercise designed to increase power and speed. They are often used by rugby players to improve agility and explosiveness, which is essential for the sport. The basic technique involves jumping over low barriers with both feet while reaching your hands over the top. This requires an incredible amount of strength and an instantaneous burst of power. Advanced variations include Jumping Hurdle Drills, Ski Jumps, and Single Leg Hurdles Drills.

    One unique benefit of hurdle jumps is that they give you a full-body workout. This means that they target all major muscle groups at once, enabling you to develop maximum strength while burning more calories in less time. Additionally, they help improve your balance and coordination as well as your reactive agility. All of these factors can help Rugby Players gain the competitive edge needed for success on the field!

    Broad Jumps

    Broad jumps are a type of plyometric exercise used in rugby training. Plyometric exercises involve quick, powerful movements that make use of the stretch-shortening cycle. When done correctly, they help to improve power output and speed while also recruiting more muscle fibres than traditional weight training exercises.

    Broad jumps involve standing with feet shoulder-width apart and then jumping as far as possible while reaching both arms forward. Keeping the feet close together and ensuring that the body is in a straight line helps to increase the distance of each jump. The landing should be quiet, with hips in line with toes and chest up; any deviation from this will increase the risk of injury.

    Doing 3–5 sets of 4–8 repetitions twice per week is an effective way for rugby players to incorporate plyometrics into their strength and conditioning program.


    Cardio is an important part of any successful workout routine for rugby players. It helps to improve endurance, build stamina and increase agility, all of which are key components of playing rugby. Moreover, regular cardio workouts can help to reduce the risk of injuries and improve overall health.

    Let’s look at some of the best cardio exercises for rugby players:

    Interval Training

    Interval training is a form of cardio exercise that alternates between short periods of intense activity and longer periods of rest. This type of cardio workout includes activities such as running, biking, or rowing for a few minutes at your highest intensity, followed by a few minutes at a quieter pace. Interval training is one of the most effective ways of improving cardiovascular endurance and fatigue resistance while also building strength and power in rugby players.

    Interval training can provide explosive bursts to increase speed and improve agility on the field, as well as improve energy levels. It also increases anaerobic threshold to help players perform better during changes in play such as passing the ball or changing direction quickly during a match. It is also beneficial for enhancing recovery time which can be key during specific drills or when making quick decision during games. Interval training can help rugby players build muscle mass while maintaining lean body weight which allows them perform better on the pitch.

    • Explosive bursts to increase speed and improve agility on the field.
    • Increases anaerobic threshold to help players perform better during changes in play.
    • Enhances recovery time which can be key during specific drills or when making quick decisions during games.
    • Builds muscle mass while maintaining lean body weight.


    Running is an essential part of any rugby players workout. It provides aerobic training, one of the most important exercise types for rugby players in order to build endurance and stamina. Running exercises also help strengthen the muscles in the legs and core, essential for any rugby player.

    The best type of running for a rugby player is interval training. Interval training involves running at two different speeds; a fast pace for shorter periods followed by a slower pace to allow recovery before repeating the cycle. This style of running helps improve speed and power, which can translate into improved performance on the field. Additionally, interval training also helps burn calories and builds up endurance over time – both important elements when it comes to playing a few full 80-minute games over the course of a single weekend tournament.


    Cycling is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise for rugby players. It works several muscle groups at once, specifically the calf muscles, thighs, glutes and core. This type of training provides anaerobic and aerobic benefits which improves endurance, speed and strength.

    Cycling can be done in a variety of locations such as a gym or outdoors on a track. There are also several different styles of cycling such as mountain biking and road cycling that offer different challenges to help rugby players build their fitness.

    Cycling is ideal for developing cardiovascular fitness as it helps to build endurance, which is important for rugby players who need to be able to make long runs during the game. It also helps with muscular endurance so that the player can maintain their performance throughout the entire game.


    Swimming is a great form of aerobic exercise and an ideal form of cardio for rugby players. By doing regular swimming, rugby players can increase their aerobic capacity and improve overall performance on the field since it strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps with endurance.

    Swimming is also a great full-body workout as it works your arms, shoulders, back muscles, core muscles, hips, and legs. Additionally, it develops coordination and balance which can help improve a player’s agility on the field and help them increase their speed endurance. Because swimmers have to move through water they have to use all their major muscle groups which leads to increased strength and power on the field during matches.

    In addition to all these benefits, swimming is low impact so it’s less stressful on joints than running or other forms of cardio. This minimizes the risk of injury while still enabling athletes to gain fitness benefits that are helpful for their game.


    Rowing is a great cardio workout for rugby players to incorporate into their regular training regime. It is a full-body exercise that targets the muscles in both the upper and lower body, engages multiple muscle groups at once, and increases cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, rowing also helps build strength and endurance which are essential skills for rugby competitors.

    To ensure an effective and balanced rowing workout, it is important to focus on proper form and technique. This includes keeping your movements smooth and continuous with no jerking of the arms or legs during each stroke. Rowing can be done outdoors on water or indoors on a rowing machine in a gym or fitness center. It is important to set realistic goals for your sessions but also challenge yourself to increase intensity each time you row if you wish to improve your performance levels over time.


    In conclusion, the best workout for rugby players should include a combination of strength training, agility drills, and cardiovascular exercises. Strength training should focus on developing core strength, lower body strength and power. Agility drills can help players develop their speed, reaction time, and coordination to make them better on the field. Lastly, cardiovascular exercises such as running are important for developing aerobic endurance for long periods of play.

    It’s also essential that players use proper form in all exercises to avoid injuries. With these components of a rugby-specific workout program in place, players can be sure they are doing everything they can to improve their performance on the field!

    FAQs about: Best Workout For Rugby Players

    Q: What kind of workout should rugby players do?

    A: Rugby players should focus on developing their full body strength, agility, and endurance. Strength exercises like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses should be included in the routine, as well as agility drills, and long-distance running.

    Q: What kind of nutrition do rugby players need?

    A: Rugby players need a diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. A good balance of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains are essential to ensure they’re getting the right fuel for their bodies.

    Q: How often should rugby players work out?

    A: Rugby players should work out 4-5 times per week, focusing on different muscle groups each time. It’s important to ensure you get enough rest between workouts to allow your body to recover and rebuild.

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