Rugby relies more and more on the physical attributes of a player as the science around sports nutrition and training starts. Rugby has found popularity in no small part due to the physique of players that can be tightly linked to the nutrition and training market. What gives it that advantage is the UK is the fact that football players don’t exactly stack up in this way, their physique is of more slight frame to deal with the demands of the game and as the world becomes more interested in muscle building in general footballers don’t really fall into that category.
What that means anyway is that possibly the greatest sport on earth is getting tons of attention, with a new league in the USA even rumoured to be put together soon this sport could really start taking off.
Rugby is one of the most physical games you’ll play, you need muscle and you need to build it. Weight training is a key part of building the bulk you need.
The big compound moves like squatting is a key part of the training like a rugby player. Squats, military press and deadlifts are all part of the staple rugby players training. These big moves build muscle and lots of it.
The game is built on small margins and making those line breaks can be the difference of millimetres. Training for those short sharp bursts of acceleration should be a staple of any rugby players training plan. This isn’t position specific, most of the phase play in rugby gives players less than 5 meters before they are heading into contact so you’re ability to power into the contact the more chance of breaking the line or finding a gap in the defence.
Correct sprint action needs to be done person specific, but there are basic technique pointers you can look to.
- Relaxed sprinting action helps to transfer power through your feet.
- Body position should be upright with a slight forward lean
- Concentrate on thrusting elbows back as opposed to forcing fists forward. Drive with opposite rear leg to high knee with the extension of the driving leg as far as possible.
Plyometrics is an exercise that involves rapid and repeated stretching and contracting of the muscles, the aim of this is designed to increase strength.
Below is a great set of plyometric workouts, building this kind of functional power is a great asset to the rugby player in building huge amounts of energy before engaging into a contact situation.
Maybe you thought you could skip this one, well not a chance. Cardiovascular fitness helps the body recover from the energy output you will be placing, while you won’t be running a marathon the short bursts of energy will be followed by short periods of time to recover, having this aerobic system trained means you will recover from the anaerobic (short bursts of energy like sprinting) exertion quicker.
Aerobic fitness will increase your lactic acid threshold which in turn means you have more capacity for the short sharp bursts of the aerobic system.
So rugby players basically have to do the lot, fitness of both the anaerobic and aerobic systems, plus building muscle. To cope with this supplements are a huge part of the rugby players training process.
At this point it’s worth pointing out you’ve not even taken into account training for the skills needed to even play the game itself?!
The skills needed vary across the pitch with key positions like scrum-half and fly-half requiring an array of ball handling and kicking skills along with the vision to orchestrate a team around.
Creatine has been a revelation for rugby players and is a big part of the reason for so many more players putting on serious bulk especially in the professional game. Head to our creatine page to check out how it can work for you.
Familiar to all who train protein plays as big as part in rugby as any sports. With the rigours of training meaning the body is in an all but constant state of recovery through the season in preparation for the next weekends big game.
The building blocks of the body. Making up roughly 35-40% of your muscle mass, they build and repair tissue and our majorly important in production of hormones.
As a rugby player they can help the recovery process due to the intense workouts building up to a game situation, by stopping as much muscle breakdown and aiding in the repair supplementing your diet by taking onboard BCAA’s you give the body more ability to be ready for peak performance when it’s needed.
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