5 Ways To Get Faster For Rugby

To you diehard Renegades it will be no surprise that rugby players are getting bigger. Since the turn of professionalism average bodyweight has increased by over 7kg!

But why do you get players like Shane Williams, Jason Robinson or Santiago Cordero?? How can they survive against the behemoths they face? More importantly, how do they end up being some of the best and most exciting players dominating the game?

Yes… You guessed it SPEED!!! In modern rugby speed kills.

If you want to get as fast as possible read on for 5 techniques to leave the competition in your wake…

  1. Sleds

Sled sprints are an excellent tool for teaching the right mechanics for acceleration. They force you into a forward lean and overload your legs. For best results begin by using 10% of your bodyweight on the sled. A good approach is to alternate between resisted and unresisted sprints and try to carry over the technique. 10-20m is enough for the sled sprints but make sure you get enough rest. When training for speed fatigue is your enemy. Shoot for 1-2mins at least.

  1. Hills


Hills are often used for conditioning but with sufficient rest are excellent for speed. Similar to sleds they encourage the forward lean for acceleration. Acceleration is of massive importance for Rugby as most sprints are less than 4om (especially for forwards). Hills are great to use when returning from injury as you are a lot less likely to pull a hammy. I prefer to do 30-40m sprints on hills but it is imperative that you have longer rest periods. 3-5mins in some cases.

  1. Wall Drills

Wall drills are a great teaching tool to ensure body stiffness in the correct position. It can really help people who struggle with the coordination and also points out their weaknesses. Ensure you keep your toe up when raising your knee. Stiffness through entire supporting leg. And hold a good posture throughout. These can be thrown in as part of your warm-up to get glutes and hip flexors firing.

  1. Jumps & Plyos

Box jumpos for rugby

If you have good plyometric ability you can apply more force to the ground quicker. That means your faster and can change direction faster. In rugby that is obviously a huge advantage! Basic jumps like box jumps, vertical jumps and standing long jumps will improve your acceleration. And true plyometrics like depth jumps and bounds can increase your top speed. Keep these to a very low volume and progress slowly. Remember to rest and if you feel slow rest more!

  1. Explosive Lifting

Its the old adage train slow, play slow! And it’s why top power lifters aren’t great athletes. Some of your lifting needs to be heavy and slow but you also need explosive lifting. Throw in some Olympic lifts and jump squats and they will improve your change of direction speed and acceleration. Get used to lifting heavy loads as fast as possible and you will be better prepared for the collisions in a game… 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps is all you need!!

Try incorporating some or all of these techniques into your routine.

I can’t guarantee that you will be as agile as Shane Williams, or have the pace of Carlin Isles or Jonny May. But I’m sure your game will improve… and that’s what it’s all about!!!

Want to become the machine you were meant to be?

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