Best Workout Program for Rugby Players

Ayhan Acar
Read Time4 Minutes, 9 Seconds

Rugby players need to have specific programs for their positions. This can be hard to find on the internet. However, there are some necessary abilities when it comes to rugby! Every player will benefit from increased strength, agility, speed and endurance. These skills have to be improved if you want to be a successful rugby player. In this topic, I will try to cover the basics of each skill and guide you through step by step.


We should start with improving strength it’s the basis of all of the sports. It’s a highly required skill in rugby, especially for the forwards. Strength skill determines the outcome of 1v1 situations most of the time. You can never see a 150 lbs scrum-half tackling a 250 lbs forward unless his technique is too good. Size and strength are mostly correlated but you can still improve your strength despite your size. You can start out with a basic gym program for beginners if you have never been in the gym.

Full body splits are great for beginner programs. However, if you are in the off-season you can also do upper-lower programs. You should mostly stick to multi-functional exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, pull-ups, chin-ups, etc.. These are the basic foundation of a strong athlete. You should aim to increase your relative strength to become a well-developed athlete. You can start with a basic program at this link.


This will guide you through for the first month. After that first month, you can start doing strength programs. These programs are geared especially towards gaining strength which will also build the base of your foundation! You can start with a basic 5×5 strength program to get your desired results. After some progress, you should move into more complex programs which require expert help. You can always check some powerlifters forums or this Reddit page to gather information about how to get strong.


Developing speed is a little bit harder compared to other ones. Most of the time you are either fast or not. However, you can still improve your numbers by working hard. Maintaining speed during the latest stages of the match is also important for rugby players. Speed endurance is a highly important skill for rugby players which should be developed.

Most of the time speed training goes well combined with strength training. They have the same basics which can be improved simultaneously. You can implement some speed training drills into your strength training and make gains all around.

Speed Endurance

Developing speed endurance should be at the start of the season. You should make most of your strength gains in the offseason and maintain them through the season. The speed endurance can be developed relatively fast compared to other things. You can find some training programs at online runner forums or at this link.


Endurance is crucial for rugby players especially the union players. A single match lasts around 80-85 minutes and it’s considered a high-intensity workout. You burn a lot of calories and expend a lot of energy. You need to have a good amount of endurance if you want to perform at your best for a full match. Endurance can be improved quickly between 2 and 4 weeks at the beginning of the season.

Some positions require extra endurance compared to other ones. The playing tactic is also really important for that matter. If you are a back and your team constantly plays through the backs, you are going to need a lot of endurance. Generally, forwards require more endurance compared to backs.

You can always start with 3 miles or 5 mile runs to improve your endurance. It’s crucial to watch your time and try to improve it. You can also do some online programs which are definitely helpful. I think endurance is the easiest skill to improve when it comes to rugby. It can be increased in a short time span which is pretty cool! You can visit this link to start endurance training but be sure you start it just before your rugby season!


Agility is a killer skill, especially for the backs. It’s highly crucial in one on one positions. It will determine the outcome of whether you score or not! Agility drills are pretty and it can be improved with hard work. You can implement one agility training session once a week while in your in rugby season. You can increase session count to 3 if you are in offseason. Agility training should not be done on the same days as strength or speed training since they will affect your stamina levels badly. You should leave at least 24 between agility and strength sessions. It’s ideal to leave 48-72 hours between these sessions. You can visit this link or watch the video below to increase your agility.


Improving these skills are fun for any rugby player out there. These are crucial for a well-developed player. Every player should incorporate these sessions in training programs in addition to the training program.

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