HOW RUGBY PLAYERS STAY IN SHAPE
YOU'LL NEED STRONG MUSCLES, ROCK-SOLID BONES AND A HIGH LEVEL OF STAMINA
For you to experience maximum success in rugby, it's important to have the necessary fitness. You need to have strong muscles, rock-solid bones and a high level of stamina. Today, professional rugby players run for approximately 7 kilometers in every match. The game has become so demanding that players have to attain much more than just lung capacity. It has become necessary for them to be bigger, more powerful, stronger and highly explosive as well.
Have the Ability to Run for Days at a Time
The first step to this type of program is to find a space where you can run. An open field or a treadmill will do just fine. Here, you can perform interval training. Traditionally, it focuses on improving your VO2 Max more than your stamina. The VO2 Max is the highest rate at which your body can consume oxygen while exercising. On the treadmill or open field, run and hit your maximum sprint speed while performing at a high tempo. After that, slow down to a jog. Suddenly, accelerate to a sprint once again. Perform this exercise while alternating 4 minutes of jogging and 4 minutes of high tempo sprinting. If you can, include some footwork around cones as you sprint. This will help you to create the stamina required to keep playing even if the game extends into extra time.
Increase your Sprinting Speed
In earlier times, only the backs were expected to have all the sprinting speed. Today, it's important for players in all positions (including forwards) to have sprint speed. Great players such as Jason Robinson confess that being able to sprint hard is necessary so as to maintain a successful rugby career. By increasing your capability to sprint hard in short bursts can help you to be more competitive in comparison with other players. To achieve this, you can use equipment such as weighted sled pulls and parachute sprints. This equipment will push your legs to become stronger resulting in better performance over time. Perform 5 cycles of bungee cords or sled pulls at a distance of 50 meters. You can have 30 seconds of rest in between the cycles. When you perform eccentric and isometric movements under gradually increasing pressure, you are able to build up strength in your hamstrings and quadriceps. This can quickly transform you into a total speed merchant.
Increase Your Explosiveness
There are superstar rugby players who make split-second changes in direction and maintain explosive speed. An example of such is Manu Tuilagi; He makes this look natural but has achieved it by performing the necessary exercise required for explosive power. Training to achieve explosiveness is not easy at all. As a matter of fact, this article requires you to exert maximum effort and implement high levels of technique. You need to perform plyometric body exercises such as box jumps, squat thrusters and jump squats as well. Perform 4 cycles of single-leg box jumps with 10 repetitions in each set. Increase the size of the box each successive week. This training regimen can transform you into a rugby player with deadly speed.
Increase your Speed and Capability of Changing Direction
Being extremely fast is a great characteristic to have. However, you need to run in more than just a straight line so that you don’t get restricted to the wings of the field. You should have the ability to change your direction in a split second without losing control of the ball. Some examples of exercises and fitness equipment which can help you to accomplish this include the traditional cones. For speed and balance, slalom through 10 to 20 cones that have been placed in a zig-zag pattern at a moderate pace. Slalom in one direction and then back-double. As you do so, increase your running speed and use your foot to push the ball throughout the motions. Combining this fitness routine with shuttle runs, you will soon be able to change direction while running at a full tilt and maintain control of the ball.
Create a Stable, Rock-solid Core
There are players who maximize every single feature of their physical form to their advantage. An outstanding example is Lionel Messi. He maintains incredible balance and speed as he weaves through defenders at a blistering pace. Despite his small frame, Lionel ends up scoring many goals and is widely regarded as the best player in the world. To perform like Lionel, you need to create a rock-solid core which is stable. Some examples of exercises that you can perform to this effect include sit-ups, crunches and balancing on a Bosu ball. You can also perform some Romanian deadlifts using a T-bar. Getting on a TRX to perform plank jacks is also ideal. These exercises can test your core and increase your overall stability when playing football. To achieve a rock-solid core, simply perform any of the exercises indicated above for 6 repetitions. Make sure to include a 3 second break in-between.
Increase your Strength
It is very important to perform strength training as a rugby player. According to reports produced by sports science professionals, you can increase your strength dramatically by performing resistance training and Olympic lifting. How can you achieve this type of fitness as a rugby player? Simply perform 5 sets of squats, deadlifts and lunges. Each set should have 6 repetitions. Performing regular strength training protects you from suffering injury. Your ligaments, tendons and skeleton become stronger over time. This ensures that you have a long, great career!
Relax and Rest
Modern rugby requires you to perform hectic exercise routines. You need to sandwich training sessions in between games and stay alert for upcoming tournaments. Therefore, it's necessary to recover. You can do this effectively by foam rolling for 10 minutes after heavy physical exertion. It prevents the onset of Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS). Also, ensure that your personal nutrition is ideal. Last but not least, take your time to stretch after every training session and game as well.