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 lb scrum-half tackling a 250 lb forward unless his technique is perfect. Size and strength are mostly correlated, but you can still improve your strength despite your size. This is called relative strength. Relative strength is one of the most important factors for athletes. It basically means how much you can lift on a single movement depending on your body weight.
For example, a 200lb guy can squat 400 lb which makes his relative squat strength 2.0,
another 200 lb guy can squat 450 lb which makes his relative squat strength 2.25. This makes the second guy stronger than the first one which is obvious.
However, if there is a 160 lb guy who can squat 400 lb, this will make his relative strength 2.5. The last guy has better relative strength compared to other guys. Therefore he will be more athletic and explosive if all of the other elements are in place.
You can start with a basic gym program for beginners if you have never been to 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. It would be best if you mostly stuck to multi-functional exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, pull-ups, chin-ups, etc.. These are the necessary foundation of a strong athlete. It would be best if you aimed 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 the first month. After that first month, you can start doing strength programs. These programs are geared mainly 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 applications that 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 essential for rugby players. Speed endurance is a highly valuable 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.
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 this link.
Endurance is crucial for rugby players, especially 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 the right amount of endurance if you want to perform at your best for a full match. Stamina 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 crucial for that matter. If you are a back and your team continually plays through the backs, you are going to need a lot of endurance. Generally, forwards require more stamina compared to back players.
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 effective online programs. I think endurance is the most natural skill to improve when it comes to rugby. It can be increased in a short time, 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 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 severely. 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.
The rugby programs should be designed according to the position of the player. Every position requires different motoric skills which will directly affect the game performance. If your team’s tactic heavily relies on the forward players, the back players won’t need too much endurance. However, the tactic of the opposite team also affects what type of skills you need to develop. The league you play also affects the required skills directly. Some leagues rely more on physical fitness and other ones rely mostly on skills. You need to do a proper assessment and figure out what your league and team require!
Improving these skills is 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. You also need the proper equipment for rugby if you want to be successful. You can check rugby mouthguards here. Have fun with your game and training!