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The 4 Strength Exercises Every Rugby Playing should be doing

As a rugby player, we need to be extremally strong, we need to be explosive, fast, agile and coordinated.

So how do you cover all of these areas through strength training?

Firstly we need to be thinking about what movements we perform on the rugby field then start training those movements.

The biggest mistake rugby players make when it comes to strength training is that they train like a bodybuilder.

They perform exercises to just build muscle and not to improve their tackling strength, speed, agility and power.


To build rugby strength, you need to be training movements not muscle groups.

You want to build athletic rugby strength.

Strength that will transfer onto the field.

The type of strength that will make you tackle harder, sprint faster, jump higher and step with explosiveness.

Here are my 5 strength exercises that will turn you into an athletic beast on the field.

I've included both weight training and bodyweight training exercises so it doesn't matter if you train in the gym or don't have any weight training experience, you'll be able to improve your rugby strength.


Upper body strength is paramount as a rugby player. Not only do we use our upper body to tackle we also need upper body strength to sprint faster.

As muscles act as padding, a stronger upper body will reduce the risk of injury especially around your shoulders.

The bench press for those that weight train and the push up for those that train with just there bodyweight are the king of upper body strength.


Whenever you run, sprint, jump or sidestep, you are using one leg at a time so it makes sense to train one leg at a time.

Single leg strength training is important as it ensures that both sides of you body are of equal strength which will improve your balance and coordination when performing any movement in rugby.

The Single leg squat (weight training) or Steps Up (bodyweight training) will improve your quads, hamstrings and glute strength but will also improve your trunk control, balance and stability. What an exercise!!


We've improved our upper body strength through the pushing action of bench pressing or push ups so now we need to focus on the pulling action and our upper back to be able to perform those bone crushing tackles and clearing out the ruck.

This is where the mighty pull up comes into play.

If we can improve our upper back strength as well as our biceps through pull ups, we will be on our way to improving Joint stability and heathier shoulders.


If you want to sprint faster, you need to have strong hamstrings and the Nordic Curls will do this.

Also if you are a shorter player, you will be more quad strength so improving your hamstring strength will be even more important to you.

This exercise is great for those that have weight lifting experience or not.

There you have it my 4 favourite rugby strength exercises that will make you tackle harder, sprint faster, sidestep explosively and jump higher.

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Want to take out the guess work and have the exact exercises, reps and sets mapped out for you?

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