If you are looking for more information on how to train yourself for rugby or train others I would strongly recommend that you look at the South African Rugby Unions handbook. It is the most comprehensive guide you will find for physically conditioning rugby players. It breaks down each of the required components the periodisation for the season, the breakdown of training sessions and the execution of exercises. It can be applied from the highest level of rugby all the way down to youth level. It is a 170 page long document so it is by no means a quick read but as reference material you won’t find any better.
In our last article I touched on some of the requirements for playing rugby at the highest level. You might have been wondering what one of their training sessions might look like. Before watching the videos it is important to watch them in context, any athlete who is training for a specific purpose will have had their program tailored to their needs and in line with their own goals. It’s also more likely for teams to film when players are performing lighter more dynamic work, as it makes for a better spectacle. The first clip is an interview with Irish Rugby’s National Strength and Conditioning Jason Cowman by Alan Quinlan.
In the clip he discusses some of the challenges that he faces as he prepares the Ireland squad in advance of a 6 Nations class against France. Ireland will be hosting the French this Saturday at 5pm in the Aviva Stadium.
The next two clips look at the worlds top ranked side the New Zealand All Blacks.
One of the body parts that rugby players need to focus more heavily on then other athletes are the shoulders. as you may note in this video from the All Blacks training session. This is due to the collisions that a rugby players can expect to occur during a game. The shoulder is also one of the most flexible joints in the human body as a consequence of this it requires more stabilisation then other joints. In this the band work, muscle ups, and push ups in dynamic stances were all included to work the shoulder stabilisers through a broad range of motion.
The final clips was one of the better examples of how athletes at the elite level train differently from the rest of the population. Most sports rely far more heavily on an athletes power then on their maximal strength with some obvious exceptions e.g. strongman and powerlifting. In the clip they are using Gym Aware software to track the velocity of the bar.
There are also a host of videos available with some of the best on the All Blacks website. If you would like more information on our own homegrown players go to the provincial channels (Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht) or the Ireland teams channel.
If you have seen any other clips that you thought were interesting or know of any other useful resources please send them on to us or get in touch.