As a rugby player, your performance on the field is directly influenced by the work you put in off the field. One of the most effective ways to improve your game is by incorporating rugby-specific gym workouts into your training routine. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of gym workouts for rugby players, outline a sample workout plan, and provide tips on how to maximise your results.

Benefits of Rugby Gym Workouts

  1. Improved Strength and Power: Rugby is a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of strength and power. Gym workouts can help you build muscle mass and increase your overall strength, allowing you to make more forceful tackles, break through tackles, and maintain a strong presence on the field.
  2. Enhanced Speed and Agility: Rugby players need to be quick on their feet, and gym workouts can help improve your speed and agility. By incorporating exercises that target your fast-twitch muscle fibers, you can increase your acceleration and change of direction, making you a more elusive and effective player.
  3. Increased Endurance: Rugby matches can be exhausting, and it's essential to have the stamina to perform at a high level for the entire game. Gym workouts can help you build cardiovascular endurance, allowing you to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the match.
  4. Injury Prevention: Incorporating strength and conditioning exercises into your training routine can help reduce the risk of injury by improving your overall fitness and ensuring your muscles and joints are prepared for the demands of the sport.

Rugby Gym Workout Plan

This sample workout plan is designed to target the key muscle groups used in rugby and can be adjusted to suit your individual needs and goals. Perform each workout twice a week, with at least 48 hours of rest between sessions.

Workout A:

  1. Squats: 4 sets of 8 reps
  2. Bench Press: 4 sets of 8 reps
  3. Bent-Over Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
  4. Box Jumps: 3 sets of 10 reps
  5. Core Circuit: 3 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise (plank, side plank, Russian twists)

Workout B:

  1. Deadlifts: 4 sets of 8 reps
  2. Overhead Press: 4 sets of 8 reps
  3. Pull-Ups: 4 sets of 8 reps
  4. Plyometric Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps (per leg)
  5. Core Circuit: 3 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise (hollow hold, bicycle crunches, leg raises)

If you are focusing on your kicking, we have a 6 video playlist on more specific exercises targeted for kicking strength.  

Tips for Maximising Your Rugby Gym Workouts:

  1. Focus on Form: Proper form is crucial for preventing injury and ensuring you're effectively targeting the intended muscle groups. Take the time to learn the correct technique for each exercise and consult with a coach or personal trainer if needed.
  2. Progressive Overload: To see continuous improvement in your performance, it's essential to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This can be achieved by adding weight, increasing the number of reps or sets, or decreasing rest periods.
  3. Incorporate Rugby-Specific Exercises: While general strength and conditioning exercises are beneficial, it's also important to include rugby-specific exercises in your gym workouts. These can include exercises that mimic game movements, such as weighted sled pushes, medicine ball throws, and agility ladder drills.
  4. Prioritise Recovery: Adequate recovery is essential for maximising the results of your gym workouts. Ensure you're getting enough sleep, fuelling your body with proper nutrition, and incorporating active recovery techniques, such as foam rolling and stretching.
  5. Train with Purpose: Approach each gym session with a clear goal in mind and stay focused on your objectives. By maintaining a strong work ethic and staying committed to your training plan, you'll see significant improvements in your rugby performance.

Incorporating effective rugby gym workouts into your training routine can significantly boost your performance on the field. By focusing on building strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance, you'll be better prepared to face the challenges of the game and become a more valuable player for your team. Remember to prioritise proper form, progressive overload, rugby-specific exercises, and recovery to maximize your results and minimize the risk of injury. With dedication and consistency, you'll see the benefits of your hard work pay off on the field.

Check out the RB programs to help you reach your goals:

Strength & Conditioning Program

Online Coached Rugby Passing Program

Peter Breen