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Rugby Strength and Conditioning: A Guide from Rugby World

first_img Many gym-goers base their strength and conditioning training on muscle groups (legs day, chest day, back day, arms day etc) but this is a flawed plan as muscles need to work together to produce movement. So really we should train movements not muscles, writes Simon Nainby.There are six basic movement patterns that we all use in our daily lives and when playing rugby. They are:Squat, Bend, Push, Pull, Twist and Single LegWe group these movements together to perform skills on the pitch such as scrummaging (squat, bend and push), rucking (squat, bend, push, pull) and mauling (squat, single leg, push, pull).Practising good form in these patterns in the gym will allow the moves to become second nature so that when under pressure in a game, you will find it second nature to hit a ruck with a flat back or land from a lineout without turning your knees and ankles in.Knowing these movement patterns and the exercises that train them will help you plan your training sessions to ensure you are efficient in what you do on the pitch.Is It Time To Rethink Strength & Conditioning In Rugby?Here are some rugby strength and conditioning sample exercise videos:Strength and conditioning: SquatThis is a key movement pattern for virtually all sports. It builds strength primarily in the legs and hips (but also core strength) but importantly it develops balance, co-ordination and even flexibility. Done properly squats will help prevent injury as they strengthen the hips, knees and ankles to stay in the correct alignment.Sample exercises:Back SquatFront SquatOverhead SquatStrength and conditioning: PushThe upper body movement of pushing an object away from the body or the body away from an object such as a hand off. There are 2 forms of push – horizontal (arms in front of the chest) and vertical (arms above the head) and they can be done with one hand or two.Sample exercises:Jammer PressBench PressArnold Shoulder PressOverhead PressStrength and conditioning: PullAn upper body movement pulling the body towards something or pulling something towards the body.  Again this can be horizontal or vertical and one hand or two.Sample exercises:Pull upsSuppine PullStrength and conditioning: BendBending at the waist is something we constantly do in rugby as we pick up a ball, tackle, hit a ruck or scrummage or before we jump.  It is also a major source of injury and back pain so learning to keep a natural curve in the lower back as we bend and shoulders squeezed back is very important.Sample exercises: Strength and conditioning training based on muscle movements rather than muscle groups Stephen Moore of the Wallabies spots team mate Wycliff Palu as he bench presses during an Australian Wallabies strength training session (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Romanian Deadlift Good MorningStrength and conditioning: Single LegAnything done on one leg which for the most part is running but also includes the following exercises:Step UpBulgarian Split squatLungeOne Leg SquatSingle Leg Romanian Dead LiftStrength and conditioning: TwistRugby involves not only twisting through the torso such as when passing but also resisting twisting movements such as props resisting each other in a scrummage.Sample exercises:Twists: Medicine Ball TwistPush Up and RotateStrength and conditioning: CombosOnce you have good technique in each pattern you can start putting them together in combination exercises that work more than one pattern just as happens on the pitch.Sample exercises:Deadlift – Pull & BendPowerclean – Pull, Bend, SquatGlute Band – Squat & PushPress/Push Press/Jerk – Push, SquatBurpee – Push, Bend, SquatCheck out more Fitness articles herecenter_img Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more