Rugby Kettlebell Workout

Read on to learn the benefits of kettlebell training for rugby players and get not one but two rugby kettlebell workouts!


Before we begin it is worth stating that if you want to get bigger, stronger and more explosive for rugby the barbell is second to none. The ability to steadily and incrementally increase the load of the barbell makes it the ideal choice of strength training equipment for rugby players looking to get stronger. That being said kettlebells offer a change of pace and some unique benefits. Here they are:

Kettlebells are Transportable

Thats right. You can take them almost anywhere quite easily! Chuck them into the car, taker them to the park, the track. Try taking them to a decent hill and perform a set of snatches or swings then sprint up the hill repeat for 8-10 reps and you’ve got a pretty tasty workout! Can’t make it to the gym? Kettlebells allow you to get a decent workout in at home. All you need is one or two decent heavy kettlebells.

Kettlebells are Versatile

Kettlebells can be used for many training goals. If you have heavy enough bells you can use them to get stronger. Exercises like the swing and snatch are great for building explosive power and a strong posterior chain and performed for high reps they will have you in a pool of sweat in no time! If you already have your barbell training down for your strength and power training then kettlebells could be a great addition for you fitness and conditioning.

Kettlebells are Like Odd Object Lifting

Odd object lifting, like strongman events, are great for challenging your functional strength in ways that traditional training doesn’t. Kettlebells with their off balanced load, and thick handle do just the same. Especially as may good kettlebell exercises are single arm which challenges balance, proprioception and core more than bilateral training. Think of some of the positions you can end up in playing rugby and you should see why this will help your performance.

Kettlebells Build Strong Grip, Back and Core

What do all strong individuals have in common? A strong grip, back and core! Kettlebells are brilliant for putting this right for you. The fat grip of the kettlebells hits the grip, the myriad of hip hinging exercises build the back and entire posterior chain and finally the single arm lifts challenge the core like nothing else! As a rugby player I’m sure you can see the benefit of having those three strong!

Disadvantages of Kettlebells

The main disadvantage of kettlebells is that the come in rather large weight increments. Normally 4-8kg differences in kettlebells depending on how many your gym has. so, unlike with a barbell you can’t slowly increase the load each session. It’s not a major issue so long as you know how to progress your training with kettlebells. Volume methods are better until you have built the strength to progress to the next kettlebell. Try to increase the number of reps your perform, number of sets or training density.

Rugby Kettlebell Workouts

Rugby Kettlebell Workout 1

Kettlebell Conditioning Circuit

A1: Kettlebell Swing x 15-20 reps

A2: One Arm Kettlebell Press x5-8 reps e/s

A3: One Kettlebell Squats x 4-6 reps e/s

A4: Renegade Row x 5-10 reps e/s

90 secs Rest

x 3-5 Sets

Rugby Kettlebell Workout 2

A: 10min EMOM Kettlbell Snatch x 3L & 3R (every minute on the minute)

B: One Arm Kettlebell Lunge 3 x 5-8 reps e/s 90s rest

C1: Kettlebell Push Ups 4 x 10-15 reps

C2: Kettlebell Single Arm Row 4 x 8-12 reps e/s


Kettlebells are a great tool for your rugby strength and conditioning tool box. Give these workouts a try and you will soon have a stronger grip, back and core and be dominating your opposition!

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