How to improve strength for playing rugby

Rugby is a mentally and physically challenging sport, with speed and endurance, power, stamina, ball skills, agility and intelligence all important aspects of the game.

Image Credit

Players need to be physically fit and strong to scrum, maul, tackle, ruck and sprint. To be successful in these areas on the pitch, great rugby players must work on building their strength. This not only leads to a more successful game but also assists in avoiding injury.

Improving and developing overall strength brings great benefits to the sport and is a huge factor in a player’s success.

ESPN offers a full and informative glossary of the rugby terms mentioned above, alongside other helpful rugby definitions.

Rugby training drills offer a host of strength-building exercises. Although the first thought when it comes to strength is overall body mass, strength is important in other areas of the body:

Arm strength

Building your arm strength is important to improve contact skills and minimise injury. Taking knocks whilst scrummaging and mauling puts a lot of strain on the arms, so be sure to train both arms equally to maximise strength and success.

Image Credit

Wrist strength

Wrists and hands are used constantly whilst playing rugby, which can have a negative impact on joints. Resources such as Sportplan have hundreds of rugby training drills, with several exercises specific to strengthening your wrists and hands. This is an area that is often overlooked in sport.

Core strength

Core strength is beneficial to any rugby player, as it helps to maintain stability and control. Try sit-ups to assist in strengthening your core, abs and back. These convenient and popular exercises can be done anywhere.

Leg strength

Squats are a simple exercise that helps to strengthen all your leg muscles, such as your calves, hamstrings and quads, and your knees, ankles, hips, abs and core. Squats also help to improve flexibility and balance, which is ideal for when you are out on the field.

Upper body strength

Upper body strength is important. If you want to be a great player, you must be able to take heavy hits without these resulting in injury. Choose exercises and drills that help to build strength throughout the chest, shoulders and triceps, which will help with hard tackles during the game.