Elitefts™ Blog – The Physical Requirements That Make a Rugby Player Great

Elitefts™ Blog - The Physical Requirements That Make a Rugby Player Great

As we approach the start of the 2020 Guiness Six Nations Rugby Union Championships I thought I would take a look at the intensive training the players endure in order for them to succeed at this most physical of games. To help me do that I have referred to the experts at Elitefts™ to outline all the significant training factors. Ashley Jones is a Strength and Conditioning coach with over 25 years of experience who was awarded NSCA Coach of the Year in 2016. In January 2017, Marc Keys castironstrength.com and Ashley embarked upon a labor of love to develop a questionnaire investigating what the various groups of people who make up the rugby industry think are the key elements of the physical preparation of the rugby player. Blog below. 

It has taken a while to compile and apologies to all those who replied to the questionnaire, so any inaccuracies in the reporting are entirely my own. We used a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being least important and 5 being most important; all averages are rounded to one decimal place.

Of course, with this type of survey/questionnaire, there are likely to be some inaccuracies: Was there collusion between players doing it at the same time? Have players and strength and conditioning coaches responded as accurately as possible? Did players have preferential biases behind the answers, such as “I like training for this, but not for this”?

The survey was sent internationally, but one flaw in the reporting process was that the competition that each respondee was currently involved in was not requested. Many aspects are open for individual interpretation, but I sincerely believe that it is a solid starting point to open discussions with groups to attempt to get the best possible training plan in place to optimize rugby performance.

World Rugby lists the key physical fitness components required to play the game of rugby as:

  • Strength and power
  • Speed and agility
  • Endurance — general endurance and multi-sprint/activity

In my words: fitter, faster, and stronger, but to break this down further, we needed to categorize elements within each component of fitness. For this particular survey, the following areas were investigated:

  • Strength: maximal strength, power, muscular endurance
  • Metabolic: aerobic ability to recover, repeated efforts ability to complete high-intensity efforts back to back, contact fitness
  • Speed: first step quickness (0-5m), acceleration (5-20m), top-end (30+m)
  • Agility: acceleration/deceleration, lateral (slide/shadowing in D), footwork/sidestep

To read the rest of the article follow this link – https://www.elitefts.com/education/the-physical-requirements-that-make-a-rugby-player-great/

Check out the top 4 strength and conditioning picks for rugby training below:

ELITEFTS™ Signature Posterior Chain Developer PCD
Over the years, Ashley has found that the biggest area rugby players need more work in is posterior chain development. There’s no better way to tackle that area than with the PCD. With this piece of equipment, you can use two of the most important exercises for the glute and hamstring combination area. It’ll help you greatly enhance the strength of the glutes and hamstring and improve overall injury prevention and performance enhancement.
It’d be a mistake if Ashley failed to include the prowler in his top-5 pieces of equipment. Rugby requires a lot of horizontal components, such as running and tackling. If you only focus on vertical components, such as the squat, you’re not going to get the full benefits of exercise. As for getting that horizontal component, that’s where the prowler comes in. It’s great for long and short distances and as a conditioning tool.
ELITEFTS™ American Cambered Grip Bar
The ELITEFTS™ American Cambered Grip Bar is great for Ashley’s rugby players because nearly every rugby player will end up with a shoulder and/or neck injury. He recommends using this bar for the bench press in particular because that position, along with the Multi-Grip Log Bar, takes more stress off the shoulder joints and brings the elbows in. It also works the triceps and allows for more grip variations.
ELITEFTS™ Tri Plyo Cube
Experience 3 different levels of training intensity with our versatile ELITEFTS™ Tri Plyo Cube. It adjusts to 3 different training heights – 20”, 24” and 30”, by simply flipping the cube. This plyo box is ideal for exploive training and can also be used for conditioning work. The durable, high density, solid foam construction is designed to prevent injury. By reducing the fear of injury, it motivates and challenges the user to overachieve. Perfect for box jumps, box pushups, step ups.


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