Summer Conditioning For Rugby Players!

A gradual build up over the summer months enables fitness gains to be made without so much pain and with less injury. Check out these awesome conditioning tips for rugby players.

It is important to avoid short frantic preseason fitness programs because the risk of injury is at its highest at this time. A gradual build up over the summer months enables fitness gains to be made without so much pain and with less injury. Try it, or consult someone who can help you out. It is important to get a blend that suits your priorities and the time you have available.

Try to do some of the sessions with a few teammates, but first have a break. Let your body and psyche recover from a hard season. Club training will start in August, which gives 4 weeks until the first friendly before the league starts in September. These time-scales requires basic fitness levels to be obtained prior to club pre-season training.

Overall Structure & Content
Irrespective of playing position, all players should select from the following units. Each unit takes 20 - 30 minutes to complete, so the maximum time would be 4 hours of work per week.

Aerobic Or Stamina Work
This is running at a steady state. Take 2 aerobic units per week or 3 if this a priority to you. Aim to run 2 - 3 miles at a steady state pace. Three miles is the maximum distance needed. Your target should be a 6 - 6.4 minutes per mile pace. If you can this at 6 minute per mile pace or below, then 1 aerobic unit per week is sufficient to maintain this level.

This level of aerobic or stamina training will not reduce sprinting speed provided it is balanced by other running sessions.

Hill sessions are putting together strength in you legs and are important because it is specific to the running pattern.

150 Meter Runs
Start with 3 x 3 and aim at just under 22 - 20 seconds with 1 minute recovery and 5 minutes between the sets. Progess to 3 x 4 if possible but ensure quality of pace. The objective is to cut the running time as far below 20 seconds as possible while keeping recovering the same.

Weight Training
Do circuits of exercises without recovery between exercises. Weight training is potentially dangerous and requires great care. Learn more about weight training, click here!

Leg Drills, Mobility & Speed
An athletic sprint coach would be able to demonstrate these drills and explain the purpose of each. These will include some plyometric exercises. Please be cautious, they are dangerous to the Achilles, shins and knees. Keep the repetitions low.

A speed session could comprise of a warm up, leg drills and strides followed by sprints over distances of 20 - 60 meters. Some should be straight runs, the next set a slalom, and the next with a ball. Use a Work : Rest ratio of 1 : 5 and 3 - 5 minute rests between each set of 4 repetitions.

For more info, check out our speed and agility articles.

Weekly Plan
The columns are headed with a week number and contain the number of times a specific unit should be done in one week.

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Aerobic 2 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
Weights 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1
Speed 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Hills 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 2
150's 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1

The choice of option for each week is yours. The drills and mobility can be done as warm up for any session or in the recovery periods during a weights program. If you want to put 2 units together, then do a weights units first followed by a aerobic unit.

Remember start gently. All sessions should be somewhat hard but keep the real pain for the last six weeks before your first big game of the season. You must let your muscles and tendons get used to taking the strain or you won't be playing but spending your time visiting some medic or a physiotherapist.

Example Sessions

Day: Workout One: Workout Two
Monday Weights & aerobic run Aerobic run
Tuesday Aerobic unit Hills
Wednesday Hills Hills
Thursday Rest Rest
Friday Weights & aerobic run Weights & aerobic run
Saterday Hills Hills
Sunday Rest Rest

Be Sure To Check Out More Sports Articles For More Info!