If you’re looking to improve your speed out on the rugby pitch, then these seven tips from the pros may be just what you need…
Plyometric exercises, are ones where muscles are forced to exert maximum force during short intervals. Skipping and hopping are two fairly simple options, however you may want to incorporate box jumps, burpees and jumping jacks. These kinds of exercises will allow you to develop explosive power, allowing you to get up to full speed faster.
Incorporating stretches into your training routine on a regular basis can really help boost your top speed. Speak to a trainer if you’re not sure and look to identify and tightness in muscles which can be alleviated. Tight quads of hamstrings for example can shorten stride length, making it difficult to maintain your speed over distance.
3.Strengthen Your Core
Any half decent rugby player should already be doing plenty of core work as part of their training, however if you’re not then you could be selling yourself short. Try to incorporate exercises like planks and seated Russian twists to help. You may also benefit from training your hip flexors.
By running up hills, or using sleds/weighted vests, you force your body to work harder to achieve the same end goals. This not only helps build aerobic capacity, but also makes it much easier sprinting when you’re on a flat surface with no added resistance.
Ensuring you are regularly doing heavy compound lifts is an easy way to build both strength and speed. Exercises like squats and deadlifts are ideal for building strength in key muscles, whilst power cleans can help develop explosive speed for sprinting.
6.Reverse Your Reps
If you normally do 3 sets of 8 reps, instead try reversing this by doing 8 sets of 3 reps with a heavier weight. This allows you to do the same movement but with a quicker lifting phase, thereby transferring power gains into your flat out speed.
7.Don’t Forget Your Arms
It’s important to ensure that you are training your arms to assist in your speed goals. Not only do you need power in your arms for the pumping action, but you need to ensure that they are moving correctly. Bend your arms at 90 degrees and bring your hands up to your face