Rugby: Perfecting your performance

Date published: June 24 2015

Rugby is not for the feint-hearted. You’ll need strength, speed and determination in order to succeed. 

To help you perfect your performance, we’ve put together this handy guide so you can give 100% every time you step on the field.
Improve your pace

Pace is crucial in rugby, so sprints should make up a significant part of your training. Simple yet effective, there are a number of variations you can do.

Combining 50 metre sprints with short periods of running and jogging will test your endurance. Repeat the exercise multiple times, pushing yourself to the limit.

Including press sprints in your training regime will mimic gameplay, where you regularly need to move quickly from a low position. Start the exercise by completing 8-12 press ups before sprinting 50 metres. Perform the exercise multiple times to see real improvements.

Strengthen key muscles

The position you play will determine which muscles you’ll need to focus on during your training sessions. While you’ll obviously need to work on your all-round fitness, targeting core muscles could give you an advantage on the field.

Take a second row player for example. Responsible for locking and pushing the scrum, powerful shoulders and good jumping skills are crucial. To develop these areas, a player could include plyometric push ups, overhead slams and squat jumps into their training programme.

Identify what skills you require and make them the focus of your workouts. Make sure you don’t neglect your general fitness though – there’s no point having strong shoulders if you can’t last 80 minutes on the pitch! 

Repair your muscles

It’s important to push yourself while training, but it’s also vital to get the rest you need. Immediately after training, it’s recommended that you consume protein. Playing an important role in muscle repair, often the easiest way of doing so is through shakes and supplements. You’ll find some great ones at MaxiNutrition that can help minimise muscle aches.

Because rugby is an intensive sport, you’ll find you need to up your calorie intake too. Help with managing your nutrition can be found in Irish Rugby's handy guide.