Rugby requires you to absorb the impact of 200lb + men running at top speed. Then once you make the tackle you have to get up, hurl yourself into the path of another player. All the while these opposing players are changing direction, stopping and starting with incredible balance and agility. You have to be able to mimics the oppositions actions in order to stop his advancement. The ball comes loose, you dive on it instantly, then make a pass before being tackled. The whistle blows, and you are in the scrum. And this entire sequence of action last less than 2 minutes out of the 80 total minutes involved. In the past rugby strength training was focused on the legs. The goal was to develop a powerful lower body as it is necessary for the brutality and physical nature of advancements. That same lower body strength is required for the mauls and scrums.
As rugby strength training has evolved, the need for a complete overall strength program was recognized. A player’s ability to break through the opposing team’s defense requires brute force. The last thing you want is to be grounded. And if you are only training your lower body, you a limiting your strength. Rugby strength training is now focused on functional strength. Functional strength can take a average rugby player and transform him into an elite player. Coaches have analyzed the game, and all the requirements of every single movment involved. Using strength training to address all of these movements is referred to as functional strength training. You have to take all parts of the game and divide it into separate parts.
Rugby players continue to get bigger, stronger, and faster. Your training has to evolve to keep up. If you only concentrate on working your lower body, you will be at a disadvantage when you oppose a team that has trained for functionality. The bottom line is, functional strength training equals PERFORMANCE! And in the sport of Rugby, that is the name of the game. If you want to play at an elite level, make sure that your rugby strength training focuses on functionality. If you are looking for a more detailed approach, check out the best rugby strength training program on the market. It’s called, “Get Fit for Rugby”, and it includes a complete program to get you ready for the season of your life.